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Major progress in nation's key Confucian classics project

Peking University, Apr. 1, 2011: A PKU-led project compiling Confucian works has made remarkable progress, according to a book donation ceremony at PKU on March 30.


A number of government agencies, research institutes, and international organizations received the donation — a select edition of Ruzang, the country’s key project for collected works of Confucianism, and a statue of Confucius.


Tang Yijie, a renowned Chinese scholar and Peking University senior professor, donated fascicles of the select edition newly published by Peking University Press.


"The aim of this ceremony is to promote academic and cultural communication and gather criticism, advice, and general help working on the select edition of Ruzang,” said Professor Tang, also chief expert of the Ruzang Program at China’s Ministry of Education, chief compiler of Ruzang, and director of both the Center for Compilation of Ruzang and the Confucianism Research Institute at PKU.


Peking University Press has already published 40 volumes of the select edition of Ruzang with some 30 million Chinese characters covering 500 kinds of Confucian classics, whereas the remaining 290 volumes will be finished in 2015, People's Daily Online reported.


Professor Tang emphasized that the Ruzang project has been the biggest academic and cultural project in the fields of humanities and social sciences since 1949, boosted by participation and cooperation on the part of scholars at home and abroad.


Professor Zhou Qifeng and Professor Tang Yijie (File photo)


PKU President Zhou Qifeng congratulated Professor Tang's team on the achievements and spoke highly of the importance of the project. “Peking University will continue to wholeheartedly support the compilation of Ruzang,” Professor Zhou pledged during his speech at the ceremony.


Director of the Counselors' Office of the State Council Chen Jinyu and Vice President of the Renmin University of China Yang Huilin also gave congratulations on the extraordinary achievements of the project and expressed their willingness to contribute to these efforts.



Background info:


Pages from Annotation on Mencius, a part of the magnificent Ruzang project (PKU Center for Compilation of Ruzang)


About Ruzang
Ruzang is an ongoing project to published collected Confucian works, corresponding with Daozang (Taoist Canon) and Fozang (Chinese Buddhist Canon).


The effort to compile and study Ruzang was inaugurated at PKU in 2003 as a main subject project of the country’s philosophy and social sciences research. Three years later, it became a part of the national philosophy and social sciences research plan, the national publishing plan, and a key publishing project of China’s 11th Five-Year Plan.


The project has two components, namely compilation of a select edition and compilation of a complete edition. The select edition includes not only the most representative Confucian classics, but also significant Confucian classics from East Asian countries such as the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The final complete edition, with 5,000 pieces from almost all of the major classic works at some 1.5 billion Chinese characters, will be finished in 2025.


Classics in the modern era
As Kenji Shimada, a famous Japanese scholar in Chinese studies once said, "Confucianism is not only representative of the Chinese spirit, but also the spirits of all East Asian nations as well." However, some still doubt the necessity of compiling Ruzang in an era of information and globalization.


"The aim of compiling Ruzang is the same as that of compiling Fozang and Daozang, that is, to provide people with reliable materials with which to study Confucianism as well as to arrange the cultural classics systematically for better conservation and use," Professor Tang Yijie once responded. “We still needed to explore and study the classics of Confucianism though it may not be totally applicable to the social reality today. Years of hard work have yielded the discovery that potentials of Confucian theories could help address modern problems."


Ruzang is a project with a modern academic vision and technological advancement. The full text will be searchable in its digital version, according to an earlier report.



Translated by: Chen Meng

Edited by: Jacques

Source: PKU News (Chinese)