Academic journal article
By Wang, Peter Chen-Main
Journal of Church and State , Vol. 47, No. 2
Remaking China's Public Philosophy for the Twenty-first Century. By Jinghao Zhou. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2003. 256 pp. $69.95.
With growing economic and military power and active participation in world affairs, China's future development in this century definitely deserves serious attention from both political and academic circles. While Western scholars usually approach their research on China out of theoretical or methodological discussion, scholars from China, based on their personal experience and understanding of its political and social systems, are able to offer an inside perspective in studying contemporary China. Jinghao Zhou, who grew up in China and received academic training in both China and the United States, has pondered China's future through "the prism of public philosophy." After an excellent examination of five aspects of Chinese public philosophy, ideology, politics, religion, and education, Zhou demonstrates that the Chinese Communist Party and its adherence to communism are the antithesis of democracy.
The best way to make China a democratic society peacefully, according to the author, is to "remake China's public philosophy." Zhou believes that this can be achieved by domestic and international pressure, reform in education, and religious missions. This book makes two major contributions. First, it provides an in-depth examination of the structure of China's society and politics. The author painstakingly traces major aspects of Chinese public philosophy from its origins to contemporary times. The second contribution of this book is that the author demonstrates the positive role of religion in China's democratization. …