Rectifying the Name of Confucianism

September 28-30, 2018

Boston University

Organizer: Boston University Confucian Association: Dr. Bin Song, Chapel Associate for the Confucian Association, and Br. Lawrence A. Whitney, LC†, University Chaplain for Community Life

Host: Marsh Chapel at Boston University, The Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill, Dean

Reporters: Anna Sun (Kenyon College) and Robert C. Neville (Boston University Emeritus)

Conference Schedule

Friday, September  28th

11:00am-1:00pm – Arrival and Registration (lunch on your own)

1:00-2:30pm – Opening Plenary Panel – School of Theology B24

Bin Song, moderator

Defining the Problem: Knowledge and Perceptions of Ruism in the U.S. (Benjamin Butina, PhD, Elliott Group)

Ruism and the Problem of Eurocentrism in Academic Philosophy (Leah Kalmanson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Drake University)

Lessons from the Past: A Prospectus on Ruist Models and Agendas for the 21st Century (Albert Welter, Professor and Head of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona)

2:30-3:00pm – break

3:00-4:30 pm – Keynote

“How Not to Rectify Names?” – Bryan Van Norden (Vassar College)

4:30 – 5:00 pm – break

5:00-6:30 pm – Parallel Panels

Panel A: Ruist Philosophy and American Life – College of Arts and Sciences, 201

Albert Welter, moderator

Confucian Li: From Theoretical Role to Content (Sean McAleer, Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire)

The Play’s The Thing: The Ethics & Politics of Confucian Ritual in Contemporary America (Catherine Klancer, Senior Lecturer, Boston University)

Confucian Respect for Persons and the Age of Polarization (Pengbo Liu, Lecturer, Bentley University)

Panel B: Ruist Religiosity – College of Arts and Sciences, 203

Anna Sun, moderator

The Religious Dimension of Confucius and its Contemporary Significance (Wei-chun Hsiung, PhD S, National Taiwan University)

Ruism and New age Religions, (Yair Lior, Lecturer, Boston University)

Rectifying Confucian Religion: Classical Theories and Chinese Traditions (Timothy Gutmann, PhD S, Chicago)

6:30 pm Dinner

Saturday, September 29th

9:00-10:30am – Parallel Panels

Panel A: “Rectifying Names” in Ruism – College of Arts and Sciences, 227

Alexus McLeod, moderator

Interpreting the Confucian “Rectifying Names”: A New Perspective (Haiming Wen, Professor, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China)

“Correcting Names”: from Confucius to Xunzi (Yiming Geng, PhD student, Sun Yat-Sen University, China)

Rectifying the Names for Social Harmony and Peace (Fahrur Rozi, PhD student, The University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille, France)

Panel B: Ruism’s Historical Interaction with the West – College of Arts and Sciences, 229

Leah Kalmanson, moderator

Robert Morrison’s Ruism in His Bible Translating (Zhiying Lu, Renmin University, China)

Ruist Enlightenment? Confucian Influence on the Rise of Secular Ethics and Chronology in Modern Europe (Dawid Rogacz, PhD S, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)

Ruism (Confucianism) in Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’ and Walden (Mathew Foust, Associate Professor, Central Connecticut State University)

10:30-10:45am – Break

10:45am-12:15pm – Keynote – College of Arts and Sciences, 224

“Confucianism as a Way of Life” – Stephen C. Angle  (Wesleyan University)

12:15-12:30pm – Break

12:30 -1:00pm – Ritual of Venerating Confucius, Robert C. Neville presiding

1:00 -2:00pm Lunch

2:00 – 4:00pm Plenary Panel

Workshopping Interpretations of Ruist Concepts – School of Theology Community Center –

Lawrence A. Whitney, facilitator

Inaction of Ruism: Beauty of Presentation (Xuyang Li, PhD student, Renmin University of China)

The Rhythms of the Junzi: Tianren Heyi as a Bridge Between Heaven and Earth (Loye Sekihata Ashton, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Tougaloo College)

Tian in Classical Confucianism (Fang-Ru Kuo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica and Visiting Assistant Professor, Center for General Education, Chung Yan Christian University, Taiwan)

Two Ways of the Mean in “Bao Xun” of Tsinghua Bamboo Slips (Jiagang Yang, PhD candidate, Renmin University of China)

Understanding Filial Piety (xiao) in Confucianism (Liu Zengguang, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Renmin University)

Reflecting on the Mind-Heart in Value Conflicts (Yuhan Liang, PhD student, University of Connecticut)

Personal Responsibility, Axiomatic Belief, and Classical Ruist Religiosity (Matthew Duperon, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Susquehanna University)

4:00-4:30pm – Break

4:30- 6:00pm – Parallel Panels

Panel A: Prospects for Ruism in the U.S. – College of Arts and Sciences, 227

Mathew Foust, moderator

Envisioning a Diasporic Confucian Ministry: Preliminary Encounters Between Pastoral Training and Confucian Cultivation (Angela Parkinson, MDiv, University of Chicago)

Ruist Non-Profit: The Necessity for Progress and Understanding in the United States (Jonathan Duvall, East Georgia State College)

Confucianism, Super Heroes and a New American Slang Translation of The Analects (Benjamin Giaimo, PhD S, Renmin U)

Panel B: The Global Revival of Ruism – College of Arts and Sciences, 229

Haiming Wen, moderator

Thickblackology and the Confucian Revival in Mainland China (Gino Lapaglia, PhD S, Georgetown)

Confucianism and Leadership Education (Baifeng Sun, PhD, Director of Confucius Institute, U-mass Boston)

The Transnational Co-readership of East and West: A Comparative Study of Great Books Project in the US and Dujing Movements in China (Yukun Zeng, PhD S, U of Chicago)

6:00-6:30 – Break

6:30pm – Dinner

8:00pm – Optional Evening Activity

Sunday, September 30th

9:00-10:30 am – Parallel Panels

Panel A: Ruism, Ethics, and Well-being – College of Arts and Sciences, 227

Dean Chin, moderator

Norms for Emotional Expression in Care Ethics and Confucianism (Kelly Epley, Instructor, Westmoreland Country Community College)

Fulfilling the Heart: Confucian Persuasion to Virtue (Benjamin Huff, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Randolph-Macon College)

Natural Law, Lixue, and the Science of Well-Being: Alternative Philosophies for the Science of Well-Being (Kyle Smith, Instructor, Grand Canyon Univeristy)

Panel B: Centering the Commons: Notes from the Chicago Confucian Congregation – College of Arts and Sciences, 229

Yair Lior, moderator

Lixin Zheng, Timothy Gutmann, Angela Parkinson (University of Chicago)

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-12:15 – Closing Plenary Panel – College of Arts and Sciences, 224

Stephen C. Angle, moderator

Ruism Amidst the Prospects and Perils of Protestantization (Lawrence A. Whitney, LC†, University Chaplain, Boston University)

The Infamous Ru Ethic of Three Bonds and its Famous Application in Modern Business (Bin Song, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Washington College)

12:15-12:30 – Break

12:30-2:00 – Lunch and Conference Reports

Anna Sun (Kenyon College) and Robert C. Neville (Boston University Emeritus)

Conference Registration

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Directions to Boston University

All conference events will take place at Boston University, either at Marsh Chapel, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the School of Theology, all three of which buildings are immediately adjacent to one another and are readily accessibly from the BU Central MBTA stop on the B branch of the Green Line. See the Marsh Chapel directions page for more details. Parking will be exceedingly limited during the weekend of the conference, especially because the Boston Red Sox will be playing the New York Yankees that weekend at Fenway Park, just around the corner. We strongly recommend utilizing public transportation to get to and from the conference venue.


Due to the Red Sox vs. Yankees series the weekend of the conference, accommodations are at a premium. You may wish to book a hotel room via a service such as or Airbnb. If you would like to make a reservation in tandem with another conference attendee for sake of economy, please contact Brother Larry.