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Racing Confucianism in Contemporary China

With the reform and opening policy implemented by the Chinese government since the late 1970s, mainland China has witnessed a sustained resurgence of Confucianism first in academic studies and then in social practices. This essay traces the development of this resurgence and demonstrates how the essential elements and authentic moral and intellectual resources of long-standing Confucian culture have been recovered in scholarly concerns, ordinary ideas, and everyday life activities. We first introduce how the Modern New Confucianism reappeared in mainland China in the three groups of the Chinese scholars in the Confucian studies in the 1980s and early 1990s. Then we describe how a group of innovative mainland Confucian thinkers has since the mid-1990s come of age launching new versions of Confucian thought differing from that of the overseas New Confucians and their forefathers, followed by our summary of public Confucian pursuits and activities in the mainland society in the recent decade. Finally, we provide a few concluding remarks about the difficulties encountered in the Confucian development and our general expectations for future. 1

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