From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Now, almost a century after Confucianism first came under attack as an obstacle to development, it is being heralded as a solution to the many political, economic, and ethical problems China faces.
In addition to impressive economic gains over the past 30 years, China has experienced a growing gap between rich and poor and a rise in corruption, crime, and divorce. Academics say few people still believe in Marxism or Communism, but nothing has risen yet to take its place, leaving an ideological vacuum. People clearly feel something is lacking.
…Confucian scholars are basking in a newfound popularity that none could have imagined just a decade ago. Books and DVD’s on Confucianism, including a growing number of translated works by Western scholars, are prominently placed at the front of bookstores. Leading universities are advertising courses on Confucianism, aimed at executives. Peking University, for example, offers a 12-month program in Confucian studies for businesspeople at a cost of nearly $5,000 ” a huge sum in China.
Some 18 universities around the country offer courses on Confucianism or have set up Confucian institutes. Academic conferences on the philosophy have become regular events at home and abroad. “I’ve been to 14 in the past year alone,” says Mr. Peng, who is also the general secretary of the Chinese Society for Confucian Studies. [Full text]