The schools of the Rújiā儒家 (called 'Confucianism’ in the West) have contributed much to the cultures of East Asia. Also Vietnam has been deeply influenced by Confucian administrators and their culture of holistic education. The Confucian legacy being tangible throughout Vietnamese academia and in other sectors of society, it is not surprising that future-oriented topics are discussed in the light of this living tradition. In this context, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities VNU-HCMC (Vietnam) and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa (USA) have jointly organized an international conference on the topic “Confucianism as a Philosophy of Education for the Contemporary World” which was held recently in Ho Chi Min City from July 24th – 28th, 2016.
In relation to the main topics “Confucian Classics and Education” and “Confucianism and Practical Issues” the conference had been grouped into twelve panels. Participants came from Vietnam, the USA, the Peoples Republic of China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Great Britain, Iceland, Slovenia and Germany. Often misinterpreted lopsidedly as a religion or philosophy, the participants demonstrated once more that Confucianism is to be seen as an ancient and yet developing and flourishing system of holistic as well as well-balanced (and philosophically reflected) ways of education which fosters self-learning as well as a life-long development of self-reflection in action, so-to-speak. In this regard, the overall topic was reflected in terms of an interdisciplinary setting. Topics ranged from a manifold of innovative regards concerning Vietnamese Confucianism (past & present) and especially Confucian education, a wide range of general philosophical topics concerning Confucian education as well as highly interesting contributions from Confucian perspectives in fields of politics and cultural history. All participants expressed their gratitude to Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tho and his team for the exceedingly well organized conference as well as to keynote speakers and top executives.