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Globalizing Confucianism: The Rudao (儒道)

Globalization is a complex concept.1 Moreover, it is a controversial idea, and like all contested and intricate concepts, simply trying to define the term is difficult. Along with the obvious spatial metaphor of encompassing the whole world, literally globalization, we also need to consider the temporal dimensions of the term. For instance, W. C. Smith (1981) begins his study of world/global theology by telling a fascinating story of globalization, a particular process that took more than two thousand years work its way around the world. There was certainly a great deal of interaction among cultures prior to the modern world, though admittedly the speed and intensity of the contact has increased dramatically. One of the interesting questions is: does the increase in the velocity and quantity of transmission of everything collated by the idea of globalization really mean a complete change from the past? Is globalization a completely new event in the history of the world?

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