In 1681, Jiangsu scholar Shen Fuzong introduced to the European courts, specifically those in England, France, Holland, and Italy, the Latin version of Four Books and Five Classics, the canonical works on Confucianism that were written more than two millennia prior. His travels further highlighted and popularized Jiangsu Province’s capital city, Nanjing, then China’s premier publishing center, as a global literary and cultural hub.
Reviving that spirit of academic discourse and cultural exchange is at the heart of a new series from Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG). The Jiangsu Scholars Translated series, launched in March 2023, is all about translating, publishing, and introducing outstanding academic works by Jiangsu scholars to the world. “It is about highlighting academic voices from the region,” said Fan Ming, director of PPMG’s global business development division.
Historically, Jiangsu was one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization, spanning ten dynasties, and has been one of the most developed regions in terms of culture, economy, and politics in China. “So there is a wealth of academic works from Jiangsu scholars that fully demonstrates the cultural heritage of our province,” Fan said. “PPMG, which is based here, acts as a matchmaker in conveying the beauty of Chinese thoughts—those from Jiangsu, to be specific—to the rest of the world and seeks partners to translate and disseminate these thoughts farther afield. We are facilitators of the exchange of the ideas and fruits of Jiangsu academic research between the East and the West.”
The first two titles in the Jiangsu Scholars Translated series, which will cover areas such as economics, philosophy, and sociology, are Xiaoyue Xu’s Essentials of Chinese Humanism: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism and Xiaoxi Wang’s The Theory of Moral Capital. “The second edition of Xu’s book offers an evolution of the work and will be available in English from Los Angeles–based Bridge21 Publications in May,” Fan said.
For Madrid-based reviewer, as well as writer and translator, Asunción Álvarez, the 327-page Essentials of Chinese Humanism “is a clear and illuminating guide to understanding how the focus on the human in native Daoist and Confucian thoughts, which was later enriched and transformed by Indian Buddhism, has deeply shaped and defined the Chinese civilization and humanism. One of the most striking aspects of Chinese culture and history from a Western point of view is the fairly insignificant role of spiritual belief in China, which never remotely approached the impact that Christianity had in the West. This is, among other things, the reason why China managed to avoid the many religious wars and conflicts that devastated Europe for centuries. Through its description of the humanistic spirit, this book provides a good account for understanding this crucial difference.”
In his book, which holds strong contemporary relevance in these uncertain post-pandemic times, Xu reinforces the significance of the three teachings while reminding readers that “a stable world, a healthy body, and a tranquil mind are all needed by society and man.” “Confucianism,” Xu writes, “inspires us to be broad-minded; Daoism teaches us how to optimistically cope when bad things happen; and Buddhism gives us the wisdom of tolerance and endurance.”
As for The Theory of Moral Capital, it encapsulates the author’s 20-year research career in the nature and function of morality in economic activities. This 239-page work offers unique perspectives, logical arguments, and philosophical analyses and explores practical applications. Wang sets out to show the function and effect of morality by analyzing and defining the moral domain. He explains why economic development requires moral support by analyzing the inseparable logical connection between economics and morality and discusses the basic strategy enterprises can use to accumulate and manage their moral capital.
Springer Verlag published The Theory of Moral Capital in English in 2018. German and Thai language editions followed in 2021, and in 2022, the second edition was published in Russian.
“Professor Wang’s main research revolves around economic ethics,” Fan said. “He has creatively put forth concepts such as ‘moral capital,’ ‘moral productivity,’ and ‘economic virtue’ that filled the gaps in the interdisciplinary research field and led to a new direction in ethics research. This has affirmed the cutting-edge standard and innovation in China’s economic ethics research. And his title exemplifies the outstanding academic works that the Jiangsu Scholars Translated series is set to offer.”