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[Beijing Forum 2015] Panel II--Beauty through Each Other’s Eyes (Session 1)

NOV . 09 2015
Peking University, November 9, 2015: On the afternoon of November 6, 2015, the session 1 of the Panel Session II of Beijing Forum is held at Four Seasons Hall, VILLA2, Diaoyutai State Guest House. The topic of the Panel Session II is “Beauty through Each Other’s eyes: Retrospection and Outlook on the Exchange and Mutual Learning Among Civilization.” And the session 1 focuses on “the wisdom of the east and the west in the exchange and mutual learning among civilization.” Around 50 scholars from both the east and the west attend the meeting, and some of them deliver keynote speeches.

Professor Zhuo Xinping, who is now doing academic research at Chinese Academy of Social Science, attaches much importance to the conception of community. He says communities, such as agricultural community, industrial community, financial community, political community, national community, religious community, cultural community, global community and human community, are becoming increasingly important to human beings. He thinks human beings are living at a Community Age. The development of all kinds of communities requires more communications between different nations and cultures, and in return promotes cultural communications. At the end of his speech, Professor Zhuo Xinping appeals to people to develop a new way of holistic thinking and to be devoted to the harmonious human society.

Professor Zhuo  giving his speech
Professor Michael Welker from Heidelberg University mainly talks about the spirit of justice, mercy and freedom in the west. He thinks this spirit is a vitally important heritage of western culture and has an “enormous shaping power” to people’s lives. He mentions the Biblical tradition in the western culture, which is quite different from the eastern culture. He says that not only the leaders, but also everybody should participate in the culture establishment and development. He also says it is a long way to reach the final harmony of human society.

Professor Wang Bo from Peking University gives a speech on Ren, one of the central conceptions in Confucianism. He explains Ren from three different aspects: wholeness, difference and ethics. He says that Confucius’ way of thinking is to take both oneself and others into consideration, which indicates the whole perception of Ren, and that while at the same time, Confucius also emphasizes the difference of people’s identities, especially the monarch and the subject, the father and the son, and the husband and the wife. Professor Wang Bo thinks that Ren is a conception of ethics. He says that the conception of Ren also has its own weakness. People are apt to enlarge their own willingness and ignore others’ ideas. He thinks bringing the conception of individual right into Confucianism is beneficial to make up the deficiency.

Professor Wang making his speech
South Korean scholar, Professor Park Jongchun from Methodist Theological University, compares Romans, one chapter of the New Testament, with Zhongyong, one of the Confucian classics. His topic is “An intertextual and intercultural reading of Romans8:18-25 and Zhongyong 22 for the care for our common home”. He thinks dialogues between different cultures are very important.