Academy of Chinese Culture

Academy of Chinese Culture
(Zhongguo wenhua shuyuan)
The Academy of Chinese Culture is an independent entity founded in 1984 by a group of scholars from Peking University (Beijing daxue) including Zhang Dainian, Tang Yijie, Ji Xianlin and Wang Shouchang, among others. It was also supported by prominent intellectual figures such as Feng Youlan and Liang Shuming.
The purpose of the Academy is the promotion, beyond the academic world, of the study of Chinese traditional culture, the understanding of its historical specificity, and the fostering of cultural dialogue with the outside world. Activities of the academy include publications, organization of symposia, and teaching programmes. For two years, between 1986 and 1988, more than 12,000 people from extremely different backgrounds (engineers, doctors, military personnel, students) enrolled in its courses, some of which were broadcast nationwide.
The Academy’s activities had a strong impact on the intellectual debates of the second half of the 1980s. As it encouraged the rehabilitation of traditional culture, the Academy was subject to fierce criticism and accusations of conservatism from intellectual circles that considered tradition to be an obstacle to modernization. Nonetheless, several scholars linked to the Academy published articles requesting the liberalization of the political system beyond the economic sphere and also participated in the student movement of 1989. This in turn generated strong criticism from the regime. From 1989 to 1991 the Academy almost ceased its activities as the authorization to operate was not renewed. It was reactivated afterwards, yet has since concentrated on academic research.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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