Five contemporary challenges for confucianism

In this essay I will discuss five major challenges faced by Confucianism in recent times. Two of these challenges have been widely acknowledged, namely those of science and democracy. I believe that Confucianism’s problem with science has been largely solved, even though more constructive work would further strengthen Confucianism in this regard. The problem of democracy is still being dealt with. I will examine three more major challenges. The third major challenge for Confucianism comes from environmentalism. Confucianism has taken note of its important message and has begun to respond to it. The fourth major challenge is the feminist challenge. Even though contemporary Confucianism accepts sexual equality, philosophically significant progress is yet to be made. The final challenge is the challenge of Confucianism’s own survival. After suffering three major assaults in the 20th century, especially the most recent assault by “the glorious cat,” Confucianism needs to find ways to renew itself into the future.


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