Tu Weiming Interview

Tu Weiming was professor of Chinese history and philosophy at Harvard University until 2010, when he became Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. This 1994 interview is called "The Dialogue of Civilizations."

The first question for Professor Tu was: Why is the “dialogue of civilizations” important, and what is your own interest in this subject? Tu Weiming responded: "We are now confronted with two seemingly contradictory forces, both of which define the human condition for the twentieth century. The first is globalization. Westernization evolved into modernization, and all civilizations, large and small, old and new, have been affected by this process. The assumption was made that cultural and even religious differences would lose their significance because the globalizing process would homogenize everything. This assumption is now being challenged by the other major trend of thought of the twentieth century: The search for roots. This trend, in contrast to the first, could be called “localization,” or a quest for a sense of primordial ties and rootedness."

Read the interview

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