University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Research Lectures Series of the Teaching and Research Office for Chinese Culture

On campus
15 April 2019 (00:00)









Suffering, Exceptionalism in Judeo-Christian Culture & Chinese Culture: A Study of the Analects and the Book of Job



Dr. Man-Lung Cheng





The Origination of Neo-Confucianism in Song Dynasty II



Prof. HE Jun

Fudan University




Similarities and Differences between Confucianism and Daoism



Prof. ZHANG Guoqing

Yunnan University


About the Speaker:

Dr. Man-Lung Cheng

Graduated from Shenzhen University (BA in law), Beijing University (MA in philosophy), Harvard University (Master of Theological Studies) and University of Hong Kong (PhD in law), Dr. Cheng is currently a teaching and research staff at the Teaching and Research Office for Chinese Culture of the UNNC.

Research Interests:

Jurisprudence, constitutional studies, political theology, political philosophy, and Judeo-Christian philosophy and theology.


‘The Virtues of Aristocracy and the Legislative Intent of the Solonian Reform’ (in Chinese);

‘Sense of Shame and Its Relationship with the Divine Law in Judaism in Genesis 1-3’ (in Chinese);

‘Franz Rosenzweig’s Apolitical Theology and the Jewish Question’ (in Chinese);

‘The Homeric agathoi and Hesiod’s kakoi’ (in Chinese);

‘Ancient Greek polis and Religion: Homer’s Epics and Fustel De Coulanges’ La Cité antique’ (in Chinese);

‘Indigenization of Political Sciences in China’ (in Chinese), etc.

About the lecture:

Exceptionalism is an outstanding feature in Judeo-Christian Culture. The chosen people are exceptional to other people and play a unique role in the plan of God. In contrast, Chinese culture is humanistic with the emphasis on the doctrines of the means. The lecture aims at taking suffering as the clue to understanding of the differences between these two cultures with the focus on Confucius’Analects and the Book of Job.

Prof. HE Jun

Professor He is the distinguished professor and doctoral supervisor of Fudan University. He received his PhD from Hangzhou University (Now the Zhejiang University). He is former Vice President of Hangzhou Normal University, former Director of the Institute of Sinology at Hangzhou Normal University and professor and doctoral supervisor of Zhejiang University.

Research Interests:

Song-Ming dynasties philosophy and intellectual history.


Representative works include The Divergence of Western Learning and Late Ming Thought, Construction of Confucianism in Southern Song Dynasty and Things and Hearts: Spiritual Dimensions of Zhejiang Studies.

Abstract for the lectures:

Hu Yuan, founder of the Lake School, set a pioneering example for the Neo-Confucianism studies in Song Dynasty. Focusing on the analysis of the righteousness and rationality, his studies were directed to the concurrent issues, and diverted from the classics to Neo-Confucianism. His theory was effectively presented through his teaching practice, and the Lake School was elevated from the study of local experience to national ideology and activities. The Lake School, through its establishment, development and ascendance, revealed that there was a shared bond among the classics, the society and the politics during the formation of the Neo-Confucianism in Song Dynasty. However, after the Lake School was integrated into the national governance, its learning died away in the sub-national level.

Prof. ZHANG Guoqing

Professor and a Doctoral Supervisor of Literature and Art of the Chinese Department of Yunnan University;
Vice President of “Wen Xin Diao Long” Research Institute;
The Executive Director of the Chinese Ancient Literary Theory Society and the Director of the Chinese Academy of Literary and Art Theories;
A visiting scholar at the Chinese Research Center of University of Hawaii and the Department of East Asian Language and Civilization of Harvard University in 1998 to 1999.

Published Works:

Seven academic books published in Chinese Social Sciences Press, China Publishing House, Central Compilation & Translation Press: China Ancient Aesthetics Theory, Neural Beauty of, Yunnan Ancient Poetry works, Aesthetics of The Twenty-Four Poetry, Emendation, Annotation and Translation of The Literary Mind and the Carving of Drago (Wen Xin Diao Long);

Aesthetics of The Twenty-Four Poetry (selected in The Third Batch of National Social Science Fund Achievements Library);
More than 60 academic articles published in famous academic journals Literary Review, Literature and Art Studies, Literary Heritage, and Cultural China.

Abstract for the lectures:

The Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods witnessed the emergence of ancient Chinese creative thinking and ideas, known as the Contention of a Hundred Schools of Thoughts. In fact, there were ten or eleven major schools, namely Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, Logicians, Legalism, Yin and Yang, Diplomacy, Syncretism, Agriculturists, ‘Minor-talks’ and Military. While each school has to some extent changed the landscape of Chinese culture, the most influential remains Confucianism and Taoism. Buddhism has also profoundly shaped the Chinese culture, but it is no comparison to Confucianism and Taoism, for it was only introduced into and gradually spread out in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Although both Confucianism and Taoism have experienced ups and downs over the course of time, they never cease to evolve. Both thoughts boast their own rich and unique doctrines and distinctive cultural characteristics, and they distinguish from and complement with each other. Since the ‘Cultural Fever’ of the 1980s, academics have conducted numerous studies in this respect. Some scholars argue that the ‘opposite but complementary’ features of Confucianism and Taoism constitutes the main context and basic framework of traditional Chinese culture. The argument has gained quite universal recognition. In more specific studies, there are many different views on their relationship, commonalities and similarities. Li Zonggui, in Introduction to Chinese Culture, observes the underlying logic from six aspects: masculinity of yang and femininity of yin; offense and defense; officialdom and idyll; collective and individual; permanence and variance; affirmation and negation. Li's book is quite influential, and his analysis makes some sense, but it is not conducted accurately and thoroughly.

This lecture is based on Li's relevant theory, and we will extend our discussions to further understand and explore the respective characteristics and relations of Confucianism and Taoism. Specifically, we will compare the thoughts of Confucians (mainly Confucius) and Taoists (Laozi and Zhuangzi), reevaluate Li’s six points, and inspire some new ideas to for further understanding.

Friendly Reminder:

We are delighted to announce that we will offer one-to-one paraphrasing interpretation provided by student volunteer for audience. With consideration of classroom order and efficacy of teaching & learning, the service is provided with the condition of agreement from the speaker. Application for interpretation service for Dr. Man-Lung Cheng will be available on April 15, 2019; for Prof. He Jun’s, on April 17, 2019; for Prof. Zhang Guoqing’s, on April 18, 2019. This service will be made upon individual request. And you can express your interest by filling in the application form through HERE.

Please pay attention to the following points during your registration:

  • The application deadline will be at 15:00 on Friday April 12, 2019.
  • Application will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis. But for the time being one-to-one paraphrasing interpretation will be offered on a limited basis under existing conditions.
  • We plan to provide simultaneous interpretation for all lectures eventually.
  • Due to the limited capacity of the lecture room, please arrive earlier to get seated and discuss with interpreter about the interpretation.
  • If you submit your application more than once, only the latest one will be considered. However, we do strongly recommend you to submit for only one time.