Tu Weiming, as a leading spokesman for contemporary New Confucianism, has been reinterpreting the Confucian tradition in the face of the challenges of modernity. Tu takes selfhood as his starting point, emphasizing the importance of cultivating the human mind-and-heart as a deepening and broadening process to realize the anthropocosmic dao. He highlights the concept of a “fiduciary community” and advocates that, because of it, Confucianism remains a dynamic “inclusive humanism.” Tu’s mode of thinking tallies well with Wilfred C. Smith’s vision of religion, specifically the latter’s exposition of faith as a universal human quality and proposal of “corporate critical self-consciousness.” This article details the theories of both scholars, highlights their similarities, and contrasts their differences. It argues that Smith’s world theology provides a heuristic framework through which one understands how Tu has advanced his Confucian humanism from a Chinese philosophical or cultural tradition to the midst of world religions.
The International Workshop on Confucianism among World Religions: A Dialogue with Tu Weiming,Dao, 7(4), 349-365