NOBILITY AND CIVILITY
Globalization has become an inescapable fact of contemporary life. Some leaders, in both the East and the West, believe that human rights are culture-bound and that liberal democracy is essentially Western, inapplicable to the non-Western world. How can civilized life be preserved and issues of human rights and civil society be addressed if the material forces dominating world affairs are allowed to run blindly, uncontrolled by any cross-cultural consensus on how human values can be given effective expression and direction?
In a thoughtful meditation ranging widely over several civilizations and historical eras, Wm. Theodore de Bary argues that the concepts of leadership and public morality in the major Asian traditions offer a valuable perspective on humanizing the globalization process. Turning to the classic ideals of the Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, and Japanese traditions, he investigates the nature of true leadership and its relation to learning, virtue, and education in human governance; the role in society of the public intellectual; and the responsibilities of those in power in creating and maintaining civil society.
De Bary recognizes that throughout history ideals have always come up against messy human complications. Still, he finds in the exploration and affirmation of common values a worthy attempt to grapple with persistent human dilemmas across the globe.
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This came to involve the licensing of monks , and eventually the establishment of
superintendencies to ascertain whether monks were not simply taking advantage
of the immunities , while neglecting , if not actually violating , the disciplinary ...
The superintendent headed a bureaucracy staffed by lay officials or nominal “
monks ” charged with oversight of monastic affairs . He was not the head of an
autonomous religious organization , but rather an appointee of the Emperor and
As late as the ninth century the idea persisted that study of the Confucian classics
was an important adjunct to the preparation even of Buddhist monks , because
these texts dealt with secular matters not treated in the Buddhist texts . Vestiges ...
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