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  • Learning’s Legal Spirit: Montesquieu on Education as the Study of Law

    February 15, 2019

    The history of political philosophy is the history of education. Its content, its prospects, its goals—all receive copious attention, from Plato’s Republic to the Scholastics, from Locke and Rousseau to Nietzsche and Rawls.  For education is a central concern to any political community, doing much to form the character,…

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  • Modernity, Friendship, and the Purpose of Liberal Education

    February 14, 2019

    Thank-you Professor Cheng, the Lingnan University Office of Global Education, and the sponsors of this conference for inviting me to join you at this crucially important conference in this beautiful hotel. It is a great honour to come all the way from Canada to speak to you today. The…

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  • How to Recover China’s Censored Reality

    February 13, 2019

    Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China. Li Ma and Jin Li. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications (Wipf and Stock Publishers), 2017.   For people whose country is known for censorship and self-censorship, writing in a foreign language is like taking refuge in…

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  • Varieties of Chinese Nationalisms and Their Implications on Religions

    February 12, 2019

    Religion and Nationalism in Chinese Societies. Cheng-tian Kuo, ed. Amsterdam University Press, 2018.   A Varieties of Chinese Nationalisms and Their Implications on Religions This volume is a collection of papers discussing “the origin, development, content, and implications of religion-state relations” in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (10).…

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  • Reading Augustine’s Confessions in Dalian Labor Camp with Liu Xiaobo

    February 11, 2019

    Liu Xiaobo was the Chinese dissident writer and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient who passed away this past June. He died of liver cancer while serving out the eleven-year sentence he received in 2009 for his role in the Charter 08 movement that modeled itself after the Charter 68…

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The history of political philosophy is the history of education. Its content, its prospects, its goals—all receive copious attention, from Plato’s Republic to the Scholastics, from Locke and Rousseau to Nietzsche and Rawls.[1]  For education is a central concern to any political community, doing much to form the character, not only of citizens, but of the polity itself.
Among the less…

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Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China. Li Ma and Jin Li. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications (Wipf and Stock Publishers), 2017.
 
For people whose country is known for censorship and self-censorship, writing in a foreign language is like taking refuge in a free country. For the author of this review and those of the…

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Religion and Nationalism in Chinese Societies. Cheng-tian Kuo, ed. Amsterdam University Press, 2018.
 
A Varieties of Chinese Nationalisms and Their Implications on Religions
This volume is a collection of papers discussing “the origin, development, content, and implications of religion-state relations” in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (10). The lens of using nationalism in examining state-society-religion relations works as an overarching theme…

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Liu Xiaobo was the Chinese dissident writer and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient who passed away this past June. He died of liver cancer while serving out the eleven-year sentence he received in 2009 for his role in the Charter 08 movement that modeled itself after the Charter 68 movement of dissidents of communism in Czechoslovakia. Liu’s work promoting freedom…

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Avengers: Infinity war is one of the highest grossing films of all time. The movie resides in the same cinematic universe as all the other Marvel Comic movies. For roughly ten years, the Marvel universe has been building towards Avengers: Infinity war. Each of the previous Marvel movie contributed in some way towards the development this movie.
For those unfamiliar with…

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Socrates and Divine Revelation. Lewis Fallis. Rochester, University of Rochester Press, 2018.
 
In the landscape of political philosophy today, one is fairly hard-pressed to find any serious consideration of the significance of the divine. Dismissing it as absurd or at least unknowable, there is instead a turn to the exclusively “human things,” as though they could be separated from considerations of…

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The word “dignity” is not particularly Christian. It has no special significance in the Scriptures and not much history as a theological concept. Only in the twentieth century did moral theologians begin to use it when addressing issues such as abortion, religious liberty, and economic justice. Neither does the word come to us from the classical philosophers such as Plato…

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Happiness can only be experienced by individuals. While happiness can affect groups of people, its basic quality as a human emotion springs from a person's engagement with human reality. Like other existential categories, happiness is a vital concern of differentiated persons. In other words, happiness and sadness only occur to individuals. As such, happiness is not an objective event in…

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Utilitarianism represents a nadir in philosophical moral reasoning, more corrupting and evil even than the spontaneous tendency to scapegoat.
Before Plato, the Ancient Greek attitude to morality was “help your friends, harm your enemies.” Modern people can see that such a point of view is grotesquely immoral. It is a description of corruption. Plato’s suggestion was “harm no one.” This is…

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