Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Upcoming Event: Matti Nojonen (U Lapland); 'Xunzi’s practical philosophy of governance; concepts of rites (li), law (fa) and social order and contemporary Chinese Party-State’


 You are warmly invited to the online guest lecture 'Xunzi’s practical philosophy of governance; concepts of rites (li), law (fa) and social order and contemporary Chinese Party-State’ by Professor Matti Nojonen from the University of Lapland.


Time: 24 May, 14:15 – 15:45 Finnish time

Venue: Zoom


Further information about the speaker and overview of the lecture can be found HERE.


The lecture is open to all. Please register by 20 May by clicking this LINK.

More about the event ("Background" and "About the Speaker") follows. More on the Nordic Network on Chinese Thought HERE.


This lecture has three overlapping layers focusing on the political/governance philosophy of Xunzi (荀子, ca. 310-237 B.C.) who was one of three so called grounding fathers of Confucianism. Firstly, Professor Nojonen will introduce the roots of Xunzi’s political philosophy, fundamental ideas and concepts whereafter he will focus on the dialectics and practice-related concepts of “rites/ritual/appropriate behavior” (li, ), law (fa) and the ideas of social order. In the second part of the lecture, Professor Nojonen will reflect contemporary governance ideas and practices of the Chinese Party-State through the “Xuncian” framework. The motivation for this analysis emerges from the systematic urge of the Party-State agents and academic community to learn from own tradition (so called “national learning” movement, guoxue国学, and new strive of finding learnings from Chinese wisdom, Zhongguo zhihui中国智慧). Eventually, in the third section he will illustrate how Xunzi’s ideas are seen and utilized in the academic community. Xunzi is sometimes thought of as a Legalist, or as a Confucian who moved toward Legalism. Xunzi’s ideas were not necessarily popular or openly praised by subsequent generations of Chinese thinkers, but his ideas on what were the elements and practice-related concepts of successful governance of society, the role and position of the individual in society have had an immense influence on the Chinese Imperial (and even contemporary) governance philosophy and practices.

About the speaker

Photo by Inka Hyvönen

Matti Nojonen is Professor of Chinese Culture and Society at the University of Lapland, Finland. He has been working on China for three decades on traditional and contemporary  Chinese philosophy, social, institutional and value base changes in China, institutional reform policy, traditional and current Chinese strategic thinking and Chinese over-seas direct investments (including the Belt and Road Initiative).

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