CASS releases works on building modern Chinese civilization

Source:Chinese Social Sciences Today 2024-02-02

On January 18, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) held its first press conference of 2024 in Beijing, where it presented major outcomes related to the research and interpretation of the building of a modern Chinese civilization.

Vice President of CASS Zhen Zhanmin noted in his address at the event that CASS has been actively playing a guiding role in constructing philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics. Leveraging its advantage in multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary studies, it has effectively pursued the dual objectives of “research” and “interpretation” for building a modern Chinese civilization. As a result, CASS scholars have generated a collection of high-quality, influential theoretical articles and academic papers, along with fundamental, original works.

Five articles and five monographs were presented at the conference, the first of which being “Deeply Understanding the Historical Significance and Contemporary Value of the Five Prominent Features of Chinese Civilization,” authored by the leading Party members’ group at CASS. This publication offers systematic elaborations on how the five prominent features—consistency, originality, unity, inclusiveness, and peaceful nature—reflect the law governing the development of Chinese civilization, how to deeply understand the five prominent features and the historical inevitability of integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with fine traditional Chinese culture, and how to thoroughly understand the contemporary value of the five prominent features.

“A Guiding Light for the Development of Modern Chinese Civilization,” by the Chinese Academy of History (CAH) under CASS, offers a theoretical exposition of the spirit of the speech delivered by General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping at a seminar on cultural inheritance and development held in June 2023. This article provides profound answers to questions regarding what makes Chinese civilization great, in-depth interpretations of the integration of Marxism with China’s specific realities and fine traditional culture, and sound guidance for the important task of building a modern Chinese civilization.

“Deeply Understanding the Prominent Unity of Chinese Civilization,” written by Xing Guangcheng, a CASS Member, research fellow, and director of CASS’s Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, demonstrates historical manifestations of Chinese civilization’s unity from the building of an internally cohesive, unified, multiethnic nation and from the formation of the big family of the Chinese nation featuring diversity in unity.

“Historical Examination of the Compatibility between Marxism and Fine Traditional Chinese Culture,” by Bu Xianqun, a research fellow and director of the Institute of Ancient History at CASS, elucidates the brilliant insights and great significance of integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with fine traditional Chinese culture through the lens of history.

The fifth article, “Deeply Understanding the Originality of Integrating the Basic Tenets of Marxism with Fine Traditional Chinese Culture,” was authored by Zhang Zhiqiang, a research fellow and director of the Institute of Philosophy at CASS. Zhang emphasizes that integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with fine traditional Chinese culture is an original exposition put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping, leading to the creation of a significant achievement for the new era: Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which is essentially contemporary Chinese Marxism with the vigor of Chinese culture.

The book Literary Philology of the Middle Ancient Times (Revised Edition) written by Liu Yuejin, a CASS Member and research fellow from the Institute of Literature at CASS, expands and modifies Liu’s namesake 1997 work. The middle ancient times is defined as ranging from the late Eastern Han Dynasty to the Sui Dynasty. The first edition comprises over 300,000 Chinese characters, and the new edition has been expanded to 650,000 characters, more than doubling the length. With several new chapters added, the new book incorporates the latest research outcomes and newly discovered philological materials from over the past two decades.

An Exploration of Materials About Ancient Chinese Legal System (10 Volumes), compiled under the chief editorship of Yang Yifan, an Honorary CASS Member and research fellow from CASS’s Institute of Law, encompasses 20 outcomes from the collection, sorting, and research of materials such as bronze inscriptions, bamboo slips, tablet inscriptions, decrees of the Han Dynasty, the coinage system of the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties period, legal formats of the Tang, and legislative works of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period and Song and Yuan dynasties. The volumes provide ample materials for expanding studies of Chinese legal history from multiple aspects.

Research on Chinese Governance System in Past Dynasties, compiled with Xia Chuntao, a research fellow and director of CASS’s Institute of Modern History, as the lead editor, covers an expansive span of time and zooms in on Chinese governance system from grand historical perspectives. Apart from the Introduction and Conclusion sections, the book is divided into 11 chapters, including “Administration and Supervision,” “Management and Employment of Officials,” “Central and Local Government,” etc. Each chapter contains the historical evolution, institutional structure, main characteristics, and experiences and lessons of governance, providing historical references for modernizing the system and capacity for governance in the new era.

Regional Civilization and Significance of Communication: An Archaeological Construction of the Bronze Age in the Chengdu Plain, authored by Shi Jinsong, a research fellow and deputy director of the Institute of Archaeology at CASS, focuses on the geographically closed Chengdu Plain in southwestern China. Interwoven by the two principal threads of bronzes and sacrificial relics and tombs, it reveals the civilizational foundation of the Neolithic Age in the Chengdu Plain, cultural and social landscapes of the Bronze Age, and the national unification and integration during the Qin and Han dynasties from “objects,” “regions,” “entirety,” and “comparison.”

Pursuing Common Good in the Family-State Era: A Construction of Classical Political Thought, by Liu Jiuyong, an associate research fellow from the Institute of Political Science at CASS, provides a holistic explanatory framework for classical Chinese political thought from the perspective of politics’ public nature, and summarizes the framework as a politics of pursuing common good for all. Related studies are conducive to understanding the modern transition and development of traditional Chinese political philosophy.

Editor:Yu Hui

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