Symposium of Judaic and Confucian Ethics (at Shandong University)

All day
Through December 10, 2013

Dec. 8

Following the workshop on Maimonides and Medieval Jewish Thought, held in April 2012 at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, Josef STERN, Director of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, in collaboration with FU Youde, Director of the Center for Judaic and Inter-religious studies at Shandong University, organized a follow-up conference to continue to advance the development of Jewish Studies in China.  Following the model of inter- and cross-disciplinary studies that the CCJS has been attempting to develop and cultivate on campus in Chicago, they decided to do a symposium on a comparative theme, putting the study of Jewish philosophy and thought, specifically ethics, in interaction with Chinese philosophical ethics.  The specific topic chosen was filial piety and parental honor, an important ethical value in Judaism and an absolutely central one in Confucian thought.

Hosted superbly by Professor Fu at a Jinan campus of Shandong University, presentations at the symposium were spread over three days.  Some two dozen invited participants and another dozen auditors combined with presenters to give each session an attendance of roughly 40.  Three faculty from Chicago attended: Michael FISHBANE (Divinity), Brook ZIPORYN (Divinity), and Josef Stern (Philosophy).  Besides his 2 and ½ presentations in Jinan, Professor Fishbane also gave a talk at the UChicago Center in Beijing following the symposium.

A topic that repeatedly emerged in Jinan was how to reconstitute one’s tradition in order to accommodate the changes and challenges of modernity– for example, how to reformulate and reinvigorate Confucian values within current Chinese culture.  This is, of course, a topic that has been central to Judaism throughout its history and to which Judaism can draw on much experience, especially from a hermeneutic and interpretive perspective.  Thus, this may be one topic that could serve as a basis for a future conference.

At the invitation of Professor Xiangchen Sun, Professor Stern also delivered a paper at Fudan University in Shanghai, “The Unbinding of Isaac: Maimonides on the Aqedah (Genesis 22).”  A video of his similar talk in Jinan in 2012 can be found here.


December 8th, Sunday

18:30 Welcome Dinner and Opening Ceremony

Location: The cafeteria, the first floor of University Hotel, Shandong University

Hosts: Youde Fu (Shandong University), Josef Stern (University of Chicago)

Speaker: Michael Fishbane (University of Chicago): Wisdom Ethics in the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic Literature


December 9th, Monday

9:00-10:30, Location: AI721, Zhixin Building

Moderator: Chenyang Li (Nanyang Technological University)

Josef Stern, Models of Filial Piety in Medieval Jewish Thought: from Son to Disciple and from Parent to Sage

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:15 Moderator: Chung-Ying Cheng (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Xianglong Zhang (Shandong University): An Analysis of the Consciousness of Filial Piety through Time Horizon

Ping Zhang (Tel Aviv University and Shandong University): Expanding Family Reverence: A Confucian-Jewish Dialogue

12:15 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Moderator: Josef Stem

Michael Fishbane, Filial Piety and Moral Tension in Ancient Judaism: Case Studies

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45-18:00 Moderator Lauren F. Pfister (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Chenyang Li, Confucian Xiao: Filial Piety or Filial Dutifulness?

Youde Fu, Filial Piety in Ancient Judaism and Early Confucianism

18:00 Dinner, The cafeteria, the first floor of University Hotel


December 10th, Tuesday

9:00-10:30 Moderator: Archie Lee (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Lauren F. Pfister: Assessing Ernst Faber’s Writings on Traditional Ruist Teachings and Ritual Practices Related to XiflOdito

Brook Ziporyn (University of Chicago): Ethical and Metaphysical Dimensions of Filial Piety: Reading the Xiaojing (Classic of Filial Piety) and Its Antecedents

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:15 Moderator: Xu Xin (Nanjing University)

Speakers: Michael Fishbane, Brook Ziporyn, Josef Stern: Textual Traditions and Filial Piety in Jewish and Chinese Texts

12:15 Lunch

13:30-15:30 Moderator: Ping Zhang

Archie Lee: Lead the Reading and Discussion of A Text on Sage and Piety from the Interpretation of Taiping Tianguo

Youde Fu: Hebrew Prophets and Confucian Sages: A Comparison

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45-17:30 Moderator: Xianglong Zhang

Xiaowei Fu (Si Chuan International Studies University): Why is Having no Posterity the Worst Unfilial Thing?

Mingran Tan (Shandong University): The Limit of Moral Transformation and Its Solution–Using Moral Education as a Supplement of Legal Governance

17:30 Closing Ceremony

Chung-Ying Cheng: Human Nature and Way of Filial Piety

remarks from Josef Stern and Youde Fu

18:00 Dinner

Location: Second floor of the University Hotel

Organizers: Josef Stern (Department of Philosophy) in collaboration with Youde Fu (Shandong University).