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杜维明教授访问南非并作演讲
发布日期:2010-10-11

杜维明先生访问南非并做了英文演讲。南非对此进行了报道,报道内容如下:

                                                       

                                                                              The quest for a common humanity (Vivien Horler

There is an African proverb that says: The earth is not given to us as a gift by our ancestors—it is a treasure entrusted to us by our descendants. These are the kind of wise words being sought by Professor Tu Weiming, director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University and a former professor of Chinese history and philosophy and of Confucian studies at Harvard University. He has been in South Africa for the past week “learning”, he says, and seeking the wisdom of Africa.With its message of caring for and protecting the earth, our only home, the proverb falls within one of the four major and interconnected pillars of Confucianism: to cultivate self, community, nature and heaven. The Confucian idea of a cultivated person is one who is politically concerned, socially engaged and culturally sensitive. 

Tu was born in Kunming, China, in 1940, but his family left for Taiwan to escape communism when he was nine years old. He went to university in Taiwan, and then completed his MA and PhD degrees at Harvard, where he has taught for 30 years. He recently returned to China, despite the doubts of American family and friends, to establish his institute at Peking University. He wants you to note the title of the institute – it is for advanced humanistic studies – not humanities. The emphasis is on the importance of finding a common humanity. 

Tu says he first encountered African philosophy more than 20 years ago and was deeply impressed. The ideas associated with ubuntu gelled with his own work in Confucian humanism; the idea of “I am because you are” matched with the Confucian idea of humanity as a dynamic flowing stream.He is astonished how, in the global study of wisdom, like that found within Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Western humanism, Africa is ignored. 

“Africa is perceived as a problem rather than a continent that has a bright future. But my perception is that the rules of the game are changing. Twenty years ago there was a sense that China wasn’t going anywhere. Forty years ago Japan was heavily polluted—like China is today—but not any more. And 10 to 15 years ago ”no one had any idea of what we see now as the dynamism of the Bric countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—to which we could add South Africa to make it Bricsa.”He emphasises the strength of African diversity—biodiversity, geographic diversity, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity. Yes, the continent may be beset by problems including regionalism, communal strife, disease, dictatorships and corruption, but the strengths have not been identified and exploited, he says. And positive change is possible — just look at the South African experience. 

One of the major challenges facing humanity is to integrate Africa into the human community, to deal with the disease and all the other problems. “These are not African problems – they are problems of the human community.”The problems affect humans everywhere because two major dangers face us all if they are not resolved: sudden death, as in some form of nuclear holocaust, or slow suicide caused by environmental degradation.

With the people of Europe and North America attached to the American dream of employment that enables the purchase of a house, a car and occasional travel. We would need more than one Earth to support us. Add the billions in Asia and Africa wanting to be part of the same dream, and we would need four for five Earths.

But this is impossible, and we have to more from individual desires to a world where there is more emphasis on commonality, on communication, on collaboration and joint ventures. There has to be dialogue, he says, and he means true dialogue that goes beyond bargaining—I’ll do this if you’ll do that—to recognition of the other, and then mutual respect. Isn’t this all a bit pie-in-the-sky, I ask him, all too good for what we know goes down in the real world? “Not at all,”he says. The goodness is there, and so the good people, people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. But Tu feels a real sense of urgency: a sense that the world is at a crossroads, with one way leading to irreversible destruction and the disintegration of the world order; the other leading to a rethinking of what it is to be human. 

Certain forces are seen as being so powerful that they cannot be challenged, like the world economy and political power, but there are also sources of good out there, like a growing sense of common humanity, of learning to be human, a recognition of the importance of culture, a vision of a society based on trust. “We are humans first, before we are anything else, Christian or Buddhist or Jewish.”

He point out the difference between power and influence—governments have power, but their influence is less pervasive. He cites the experience of the Roman Empire as Christianity began to spread; the most powerful government collapsed, while the influence of Christianity continued to grow. Neither Jesus nor Confucius was powerful, but their influence is still felt millennia after their deaths. 

In the present day United States another Western countries, many people are choosing to be vegetarians, to renounce consumerism and find another way. They are not powerful, but they have influence. Looking at heaven or the spiritual dimension—the fourth pillar of Confucianism—Tu says it is important to remember that it is omniscient and omnipresent, but it is not omnipotent. Heaven is not all-powerful, because humans are co-creators and also co-destroyers. People have to make change happen, starting with the leaders of the West. You can‘t expect others to do what you are not prepared to do.”South Africa may not be powerful, but it can play a powerful mediating role. Bric – or Bricsa – must present a united front to persuade the world to engage in fruitful dialogue. Real dialogue—not bargaining.”He says millions of people around the world are not happy, and are seeking something else. “Habits of the heart—like ubuntu—are not always seen, but when the opportunity presents itself they will manifest themselves.“ He adds:”I see signs of hope everywhere, sometimes just a gleam, which could be overwhelmed, but there are sparks of inspiration all around.”


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