Tu Weiming

Tu Weiming
Born Tu Weiming
(1940-02-26) February 26, 1940
Kunming, China
Nationality United States
Education B.A., Tunghai University
M.A., Harvard University
Ph.D., Harvard University
Alma mater Harvard University
Notable work Confucian Thought, The Global Significance of Concrete Humanity
Website http://tuweiming.net/
Notable ideas
cultural China, dialogical civilization, spiritual humanism
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tu.

Tu Weiming (simplified Chinese: 杜维明; traditional Chinese: 杜維明; pinyin: Dù Wéimíng; born February 26, 1940) is an ethicist and a New Confucian. He is Chair Professor of Humanities and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. He is also Research Professor and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University.[1]


Tu was born in Kunming, Yunnan Province, Mainland China and grew up in Taiwan.[2] He obtained his B.A. (1961) in Chinese Studies from Tunghai University and learned from such prominent Confucian scholars as Mou Zongsan, Tang Junyi, and Xu Fuguan.[3] He earned his M.A. (1963) in Regional Studies (East Asia) and Ph.D. (1968) in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, where he studied with renowned professors including Benjamin I. Schwartz, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Neelly Bellah.[4] He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an executive member of the Federation of International Philosophical Societies, and a tutelary member of the International Institute of Philosophy.[5]

Tu was Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University (1981–2010) and Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute (1996–2008). He also held faculty positions at Princeton University (1968–1971) and the University of California at Berkeley (1971–1981)[6] and was Director of the Institute of Culture and Communication at the East-West Center in Hawaii (1990–1991).[7]

Tu was a visiting professor at Beijing Normal University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University, Peking University, and the University of Paris. He currently holds honorary professorships from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Jinan University, Renmin University, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Suzhou University, Zhejiang University, and Zhongshan University. He has been awarded honorary degrees by King's College London, Lehigh University, Lingnan University in Hong Kong, Grand Valley State University, Shandong University, Soka University in Japan, Tunghai University in Taiwan, and the University of Macau.

In 1988, Tu was one of many public intellectuals who were asked by Life Magazine to give their impressions on "The Meaning of Life."[8] In 1994, he was featured in A World of Ideas with Bill Moyer: A Confucian Life in America (Films for the Humanities and Sciences). In 2001, he was appointed by Kofi Annan as a member of the United Nations' "Group of Eminent Persons" to facilitate the "Dialogue among Civilizations."[9] In 2004, he gave a presentation on inter-civilizational dialogue to the Executive Board of UNESCO. He was also one of the eight Confucian intellectuals who were invited by the Singapore Government to develop the "Confucian Ethics" school curriculum.[10]

Tu was the recipient of numerous awards including the grand prize of International Toegye Society (2001), the second Thomas Berry Award for Ecology and Religion (2002), the Lifelong Achievement Award by the American Humanist Society (2007), the first Confucius Cultural Award by Qufu (2009), the first Brilliance of China Award by China Central Television Beijing (2013), and the Global Thinkers Forum Award for Excellence in Cultural Understanding (2013).

Tu has two sons and two daughters: Eugene, Yalun, Marianna, and Rosa.



Edited books



  1. Fred Dallmayr, M. Akif Kayapınar, and İsmail Yaylacı (Eds.), Civilizations and World Order: Geopolitics and Cultural Difference, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014, p. 252.
  2. Tu Weiming, "My American Experience: First Impressions and Future Prospects," Harvard China Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 2004, p. 36.
  3. Tu Weiming, "My American Experience: First Impressions and Future Prospects," Harvard China Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 2004, p. 36.
  4. Tu Weiming, "My American Experience: First Impressions and Future Prospects," Harvard China Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 2004, p. 38.
  5. Leonid E. Grinin, Ilya I. Ilyin, and Andrey V. Korotayev (Eds.), Globalistics and Globalization Studies: Aspects and Dimensions of Global Views, Volgograd, Russia: Uchitel Publishing House, 2014, p. 364.
  6. Pracha Hutanuwatr and Ramu Manivannan (Eds.), The Asian Future: Dialogues for Change (Vol. 1), London, UK: Zed Books, p. 137.
  7. "Harvard Scholar Named New ICC Director," Centerviews, Vol. 8, No. 2, March–April 1990, p. 2.
  8. http://www.maryellenmark.com/text/magazines/life/905W-000-037.html
  9. Giandomenico Picco (Ed.), Crossing the Divide: Dialogue among Civilizations, South Orange, NJ: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, 2001, pp. 49-96.
  10. Tu Weiming, Confucian Ethics Today: The Singapore Challenge, Singapore: Federal Publications, 1984.
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