Building on his long-standing work in metaphysics and Asian philosophy, Robert Cummings Neville presents a series of essays that cumulatively articulate a contemporary, progressive Confucian position as a global philosophy. Through analysis of the metaphysical and moral traditions of Confucianism, Neville brings these traditions into the twenty-first century. According to Confucianism, rituals define most of our relations with other individuals, social institutions, and nature, and while rituals make possible the positive institutions of high human civilization, they may also lead to harmful behaviors, including racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Neville argues that the amendment of rituals that institutionalize oppression is a positive task, which should be undertaken from within a skillfully ritualized life rather than in the form of external criticism. Confucianism, in Neville’s hands, is a left-wing, progressive, liberal political philosophy, one that can address institutionalized oppression and suggest a path for moving forward.
Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology and Dean Emeritus of the School of Theology at Boston University. He is the author of many books, including Ultimates, Existence, and Religion, a trilogy advancing a systematic philosophical theology, and Boston Confucianism: Portable Tradition in the Late-Modern World, all published by SUNY Press.
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