In an effort to further international collaboration and to showcase Taiwan’sacademic contribution in the fields of Confucian studies and philosophy, theNational Central Library and the University of Ljubljanaco-hosted the “Taiwanese Philosophy and the Preservation of ConfucianTradition” international conference from October 17–18 of this year (2019) at the University of Ljubljana. Huang Kuan-min, research fellow at the Institute ofChinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, was invited as keynotespeaker, expounding New Confucianism to the audience, and acting in officialcapacity, Tseng Shu-hsien, director general of the National Central Library, joinedTaiwanese scholars and other participants at the conference. The conference wasnot only evidence of European academia’s continued engagement in TaiwaneseConfucian tradition and philosophy, but also the first large-scale academicactivity organized by Taiwan in the Balkan Peninsula, a profound milestone forthose involved.
Regarding the development of contemporary academia, both partieshighlighted that although trends in Taiwanese philosophical thought have bothpreserved Chinese cultural tradition—particularly Confucianism—and establishednew philosophical methodologies and systems that have influenced theories anddiscourses concerning Asia as a whole, Taiwanese scholarship has largely yet toreceive recognition for these contributions within Western academia. Therefore,more than 23 distinguished scholars from both Asia and Europe, including BartDessein, president of the European Association for Chinese Studies andprofessor at Ghent University, were invited to discuss the thought of Taiwanesephilosophers as well as the contributions of and methodologies employed byTaiwanese scholarship. Huang Kuan-min’s keynote speechtitled “Dissemination and Reterritorialization: Mou Zong-san, Tang Jun-yi, andRefreshment of Contemporary Confucian Philosophy” opened the conference.
In addition, bothinstitutions organized the “Taiwanese Philosophy and the Preservation ofConfucian Tradition” book exhibition in concert with the conference. Well over100 publications and volumes concerning related topics were exhibited tointroduce the quality and breadth of Taiwanese research in the field, stoppingall passersby in their tracks. During the opening ceremony of the conference,these works were presented to Zlatko Šabič, director general of the East AsianResource Library (EARL) at theUniversity of Ljubljana, which will assist in bolstering their collections, and willbe publicly displayed at EARL beginning on October 21.