In this lecture for the 10th International Symposium of the “21st Century World Forum on Chinese Culture,” 7–10 December 2018, in Zhengzhou, PR China, Zbigniew Wesołowski reflects upon familism as a universal trait of Chinese traditional culture which could be a very desirable component to support the development of a future culture of humanity.
In Search of Universal Traits of Traditional Chinese Culture: Chinese Familism as a Most Possible Support for a Future Culture of Humanity?
10th International Symposium of the “21st Century World Forum on Chinese Culture,”
7–10 December 2018, Zhengzhou, PR China
This contribution investigates traditional Chinese culture and searches for its so-called universal traits which could be possible desiderative components of a future culture of humanity. Chinese culture takes its special place and unique rank among other very advanced civilizations of humankind, because it is the culture with the longest continuous duration among our present cultures. In order to approach this problematic properly, we ask first: What does it mean to be “universal” in view of human culture? Then the author depicts two examples of the search for characteristic traits of traditional Chinese culture and its universal applicability, i.e., that of Liang Shuming (1893–1988) and – especially in view of Confucianism the universality of which is by now widely recognized – that of Rolf Trauzettel (b. 1930). Subsequently, the author will concentrate on one universal trait of Chinese traditional culture, i.e., Chinese familism, which in his conviction could be a very desirable component to support the development of a future culture of humanity. In his conclusion, the author further depicts the dangers of the present-day cultures in the world in view of family and points out a possible role of Chinese society. The author also sees another possibility of Chinese cultural influence in the world: In view of the economic rise and international role of the present-day China, there is still another way of influencing a future world culture by enriching it, e.g., with so-called “Chinese characteristics.”