Confucianism in a nutshell

Course Dates: 13/01/20 - 03/02/20
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
John Goff

‘If one learns from others but does not think, one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril.’ Confucius, ‘Analects 2.15’.


What is the course about?

Confucian thought has had a major influence on Chinese philosophy. However, what it amounts to is often unclear. Is it merely an arbitrary ‘moral’ system full of pithy admonitions or does it harbour greater depths than might at first appear?

What will we cover?

• Confucius – key ideas: ‘benevolence’ (ren), ‘propriety/ritual’ (li) and the ‘cultivated person’ (junzi)
• ‘Warm-hearted’ confucianism: Mencius
• ‘Cold-hearted’ confucianism: Xunzi
• ‘Neo-confucianism’: Zhu Xi – ‘the investigation of things’ (gewu).

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Discuss, simply, the significance of ‘benevolence’ in the Confucian tradition.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course does not assume any prior knowledge, however some familiarity with or interest in East Asian culture/ideas would be beneficial.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will run in seminar format with short presentations including group discussion and Q&A. Slides and relevant links will be available online. No work outside class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Notemaking equipment of your own choice. Handouts of portions of relevant texts will be provided during the course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in Daoism in a nutshell (HP118) starting on 10.2.20.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HP117

Mon, eve, 13 Jan - 03 Feb '20

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Full fee: £69.00
Senior fee: £69.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.