Over the past half-century, China has experienced some incredible human dramas, ranging from Red Guard fanaticism and the loss of education for an entire generation during the Cultural Revolution, to the Tiananmen tragedy, the economic miracle and its accompanying fad of money worship and the rampancy of official corruption. Moral Decay or Ethical Awakening? Social Ethics in a Changing China provides a rich empirical narrative and thought-provoking scholarly arguments, highlighting the imperative for an ethical discourse in a country that is increasingly seen by many as both a materialistic giant and a spiritual dwarf. Meanwhile, the basic recognition of society's prevalent ethical problems and moral decay can help to begin a profound ethical awakening.
He Huaihong was not only an extraordinary firsthand witness to all of these dramas; he played a distinct role as a historian, an ethicist, and a social critic exploring the deeper intellectual and sociological origins of these events. Incorporating ethical theories with his expertise in culture, history, religion, literature, and politics of the country, Professor He reviews the remarkable transformation of ethics and morality in the People's Republic of China and engages in a global discourse about the major ethical issues of our time. The book aims to reconstruct Chinese social ethics in an innovative philosophical framework, reflecting the new economic power's painstaking search for new virtues.
He Huaihong, one of the most influential ethicists in present-day China, is a professor of philosophy at Peking University in Beijing, China. Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings, is co-editor of China's Political Development (Brookings, 2014). John L. Thornton is chairman of the board of trustees at the Brookings Institution and professor and director of global leadership at Tsinghua University, China.
I: Reconstructing China's Social Ethics II. Historical and Sociological Origins of Chinese Cultural Norms III: The Transformation of Ethics and Morality in the PRC IV: China's Ongoing Moral Decay? V: Ethical Discourse in Reform Era China VI: Chinese Ethical Dialogue with the West and the World