Główna Religious Studies Review XIÀN DĀNGDÀI XĪN RÚXUÉ SĪCHÁO YÁNJIŪ 现当代新儒学思潮研究 [The Study of Contemporary New Confucianism]. By...
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Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 44 • NUMBER 4 • December 2018 after the Sino-Japanese War; the third stage is its development in Hong Kong and Taiwan from the 1950s to the 1970s; the fourth stage is the development of overseas Contemporary New Confucianism (mainly in the United States) from the 1970s to the 1990s; the fifth stage, the “Mainland New Confucianism” since the reforms within and opening-up of China. Guō explores the core notions of the relationship between Confucianism and modernity in an attempt to reconstruct the spiritual value of Confucianism. He argues that Contemporary New Confucianism’s reflection on religiousness (宗教性) and the “Yi-ology” (易学思想) of Contemporary New Confucianism has transformed and inspired Chinese culture. In response to the challenges of other cultures, religions, and ideologies, Guō states that the modern significance of Confucianism can offer a solution to current problems. Mei Yang University of Vienna agree with. It does not confront readers with masses of historical examples and other round about methods of persuasion. Instead, the eminent figure of Laozi is set up as a spokesperson to define and explain directly what is right and what not by combining reasonable and widely accepted rules for personal morality and political order with a thorough skepticism toward activism and violence of all sorts. Van Els’s work is the first English language monograph on the text. He provides an excellent introduction to the philological conundrum of the received text that relies heavily on the Huainanzi (before 139 BCE) and a tomb text of 277 bamboo strips that was produced between 206 and 55 BCE. About one-third of these strips have parallels in the received text. Both versions of the Wenzi take a politico-philosophical interest in integrating concepts proposed by Confucius’s followers in a framework dominated by ideas from the Laozi. Convincingly, van Els links the creation of the received text to a general interest in the Laozi that came to the fore when the scholarly ; craze for the classics began to subside in the second-century CE. Regarding the Wenzi this is not accompanied by any traces of the newly emerging religious movements, be they Daoist or Buddhist and even the Huainanzi’s interest in metaphysical issues is cut short. Throughout, van Els works in discourse with the large field of traditional as well as contemporary Chinese scholars on the Wenzi for whom an old book that harmoniously incorporates ideas put forth by Laozi and by Confucius is of ongoing vital interest. The volume, brief as it is, is reliable, comprehensive and readable and can serve as a model for putting a complex ancient text to pertinent philosophical and historical use. Barbara Hendrischke University of Sydney YASUKUNI SHRINE: HISTORY, MEMORY, AND JAPAN’S UNENDING POSTWAR. By Akiko Takenaka. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015. Pp. x + 279. Hardback, $80.00; Paper, $28.00. Yasukuni Shrine (Yasukuni Jinja 靖国神社; “Nation Pacifying Shrine”) was established as Tōkyō Shōkonsha 東京 招魂社 (“Tōkyō Summoning the dead Shrine”) at the end of the inner-Japanese Boshin War 戊辰戦争 in June 1869. From the early 1900s, it was put on a saliently chauvinistic trajectory, which, for many, renders Yasukuni today a byword for nationalism and historical revisionism in Japan. Nearly 2.5 million spirits of war dead are enshrined at the Shintō shrine, of which there are more than 1.000 war criminals. Notably, the latter figure includes 14 Class-A war criminals enshrined by the Shrine’s head priest in 1978. The Yasukuni Issue 靖国問 題 keeps straining the relationship particularly with Japan’s neighbors, ever since Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro中曽 根康弘 (b. 1918; p. 1982–1987) formally—and with much media attention—visited Yasukuni Shrine in 1985. Especially, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō’s 小泉純一郎 (b. 1942; p. 2001– 2006) frequent visits fanned the proverbial flames. Takenaka (b. 1965; 竹中晶子), Associate Professor of Japanese History at the University of Kentucky, is not interested so much in the intellectual and political discourse surrounding the Shrine. Rather, she provides a rich social history of the Shrine from its beginnings up to modern times. The first two chapters address the early (contextual) history as well as the Shrine’s transformative years around the turn of the nineteenth century. Chapter 3 extends the discussion of Chapter 2 by specifically looking at the popularization of the logic of Yasukuni shrine’s purpose (i.e., memorializing the war dead). Chapter 4 explores the “institutionalization of grief” during the war period of 1931–1945. Chapter 5 discusses the Yasukuni Issue with a XIÀN DĀNGDÀI XĪN RÚXUÉ SĪCHÁO YÁNJIŪ 现当代新 儒学思潮研究 [THE STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY NEW CONFUCIANISM]. Guō Qíyŏng 郭齐勇. Běijīng 北京: Rénmín chūbǎnshè 人民出版社, 2017. Pp. vii + 513. Paper, ￥85. Guō Qíyŏng—professor and dean at the School of Philosophy and the School of Chinese Classics in Wuhan University—is a Chinese philosopher and one of the most representative contemporary examples of Chinese cultural conservatism. Guō’s book represents the tendency toward conservatism, evident throughout the thirty years’ of study of Contemporary New Confucianism in mainland China. Guō examines the development of sixteen New Confucian scholars over three generations. He divides the development of Contemporary New Confucianism into five stages. The first stage is its formation, giving birth to the debate on East–West cultural issues (1915– 1927) as well as science and the philosophy of life (1923–1924), namely, “New Confucianism after the May 4th Movement”; the second stage is its study in mainland China during and 497