Albert WelterOct 3, 2023
The Future of China's Past
Reflections on the Meaning of China's Rise
SUNY Press 2023
Albert Welter's book The Future of China's Past: Reflections on the Meaning of China's Rise (SUNY Press, 2023) examines how China's traditional culture is being reinvented and manipulated for political purposes. Like no time before in its recent history, and certainly at no time in the history of the People's Republic, China is being shaped in terms of its past, but which past--Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism, Buddhism--or combination of pasts is being held up as the model? Given its growing economic, political, and cultural significance, it is incumbent upon us to take China's rise seriously, yet perspectives involving modern and contemporary geopolitical and intrastate dynamics are insufficient, on their own, for understanding China's rise, and the same holds true for economic analyses, however pertinent. Instead, this book looks at current engagements with models of China's past, introducing the four traditional lenses of Chinese thought and reflecting on their potential relevance for China's--and the world's--future.