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Confucian Canon Project preserves worldwide Confucian classics
May 08, 2023
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BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The Confucian Canon Project has made significant achievements as it recently completed a compilation of the influential and representative Confucian classics in China, said Peking University.

Confucianism is the gene of Chinese traditional culture and has a far-reaching influence on the world. Historically, Confucianism has spread to ancient Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other places, and its impact is profound.

The Confucian Canon Project is the most substantial basic cultural construction project that has systematically organized Confucian classics in China and abroad since 1949.

In 2014, the Editorial and Research Center of Confucian Canon of Peking University was established to implement the compilation of the Confucian Canon Project.

The project functions in two steps. The early works of the "Essence" contain the most influential and representative Confucian literature in Chinese, ancient Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese history.

A total of 510 Chinese Confucian works have been compiled into 282 volumes after nearly two decades of effort. More than 400 scholars from almost 100 universities and institutions at home or abroad have dedicated themselves to the systematic collation and research of Confucian literature. And another 160 Confucian works written in Chinese in the history of Japan, ancient Korea, and Vietnam will be compiled.

In the second phase, with modern technical means and academic vision, the project aims to compile the collection of Confucian classics into an independent documentary system, covering more than 3,000 domestic and overseas writings in the long run.

"The purpose of compiling the project is to systematically sort out and summarize the context and essence of Confucianism to collect, preserve and utilize it, promote the rejuvenation of Chinese national culture, and help Chinese ideology and culture go global," said Sun Qinshan, chief editor of the project and professor at Peking University.

Experts believe the extensive and in-depth application of digital technology in antique book compilations will bring great convenience to compiling the entire project edition.

At present, the digital platform of the "Essence" of the project is in a trial operation, which is convenient for more researchers to consult and learn Confucian literature.

Executive chief editor of the Confucian Canon Project and professor at Peking University Li Zhonghua said they hope the project can provide a database of Confucian literature resources with reliable texts, fine collation, and convenient retrieval for scholars and readers who study and love Confucianism from all over the world. 

Related reading: PKU125 | The Confucian Canon Project commenced at Peking University
Xinhua News Agency