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This course explored the history of Confucian philosophy and its continuing relevance today, from the ethical views and accounts of human nature presented in classical texts such as the Analects, Mengzi, and Xunzi, to the views of the later Confucians like Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming, to the contemporary role of Confucianism in today’s more global world. Attention was given to disagreements and debates within the Confucian tradition itself, and to the way Confucian thought was shaped by the critiques of competing schools of thought such as Mohism, Yangism, Daoism, and Buddhism. The course also explored the impact of Confucianism on East Asian cultures and how Confucianism can serve as a resource for addressing contemporary moral problems. This class (THEO 368) was taught by Erin Cline as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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Erin Cline headshot

Erin Cline

Senior Research Fellow
Department of Theology and Religious Studies