2022 Confucius Academy Four Seasons Debate (Round Three) How to Revive Ancient Chinese Civilization among Children

2022-08-12

  On August 9, the third session of the 2022 Four Seasons Debate of Confucius Academy jointly sponsored by the International Confucian Association, Guangming Daily and Cultural Communication Center of Guiyang Confucius Academy was held in Confucius Academy around the theme of “how to revive ancient Chinese civilization among children”.

  Mr. Song Lilin, Deputy Director of Excellent Traditional Culture Education Center of Qufu Normal University, Shandong, Mr. Wen Yongning, Professor of Shenzhen University and Vice President of China Zhouyi Seminar, Mr. Sun Jinsong, professor and Dean of the School of Chinese Classics of Wuhan University and President of the Hubei Institute of Chinese Studies Classics, and Mr. Wang Xingguo, Professor of the School of Humanities, Shenzhen University and Director of the Chinese Philosophy History Association, participated in the debate as distinguished guests. Mr. Ouyang Zhenren, Professor of Chinese Traditional Culture Research Center and the School of Chinese Classics of Wuhan University, Director of Yangmingism Study of Wuhan University and Vice President of Chinese Confucian Academy, presided over the meeting.

  What is ancient Chinese civilization?

  “It is a worldwide concept. Our understanding should not be limited to China’s inherent traditional culture.” Mr. Wang Xingguo explained the concept of ancient Chinese civilization from the perspective of globalization. He believed that we should understand it from the perspective and height of globalization with a new concept, and the classical content mainly composed of Confucian classics be inherited, retained and passed on. At the same time, we should absorb, open up, understand and integrate the excellent traditional culture of foreign countries, which is conducive to our education.

  Why should we learn ancient Chinese civilization?

  Mr. Song Lilin said that Chinese traditional culture is the root and soul of the Chinese people, and to learn it is to cultivate roots and shape the soul, so as to be a better Chinese, to better absorb all the achievements of civilization created by mankind, and to better advance the modernization of the Chinese nation.

  Mr. Wang Xingguo believed that no matter what methods and channels are used to learn ancient Chinese civilization, it is necessary to cultivate a healthy, noble and rational personality. Only in this way can ancient Chinese civilization be implemented and meaningful.

  How to revive ancient Chinese civilization among children?

  Mr. Sun Jinsong started his speech with the Three Character Primer, emphasizing that children’s learning is the foundation of their life. He further pointed out that the essence of traditional culture was rich in content from etiquette and behavior education to the final practice, which can be continuously expanded according to the form of modern society from common sense education to science education.

  Song Lilin said that we are guiding and advocating for children to learn ancient Chinese civilization, rather than forcing them to do so. The education should moisten things silently in line with the spirit of ancient Chinese civilization, which will truly take root, flower and bear fruit.

  What roles should society, government, school and family play in ancient Chinese civilization education?

  Mr. Wen Yongning believed that the government may support ancient Chinese civilization education in various forms. It should actively popularize relevant knowledge, so that the society can form a consensus and cultural confidence in ancient Chinese civilization.

  Mr. Song Lilin, on the other hand, held that it is necessary to correctly identify its status in education today. Parents and schools should not take a utilitarian attitude towards it.

  Mr. Ouyang Zhenren said that classics should be learned in a gradual way. “Only through the classics formed over thousands of years can we truly adhere to the true, the good and the beautiful. Only by tapping the potential of the sense of compassion, sympathy, social responsibility, respect and conscience can we become a man of indomitable spirit.”