Chinese Studies Forum: Lecture 8 | Leap and Return – Liang Qichao at Tsinghua

On the morning of June 15, 2019, the last session of IIAS Chinese Studies was held at Conference Room 205 of the Central Main Building of Tsinghua University. It was hosted by Prof. Liu Dong from the Institute of Chinese Studies, Tsinghua University.

In this lecture, Prof. Liu described Liang Qichao’s life journey from four aspects, namely his eloquence and regret, the internal causes of change, the scholarship of learning, and why he came to Tsinghua.

At the beginning of the lecture, Prof. Liu showed a few photos, including the place where Liang Qichao had lectured, the four mentors of Tsinghua National University, and the photos of Liang Qichao’s youth and middle age. First of all, he sorted out the specific meaning of Liang Qichao’s eloquence and regret. He pointed out that if a person has two contradictory thoughts fighting in his mind, it is the most painful thing. Life is such a process of continuous planning and redesign, and because of this, it will manifest itself as a process of continuous opening to the possible world. Next, Prof. Liu elaborated the internal causes of Liang Qichao’s thought change at that time based on various documents and materials. Then, he reviewed Liang Qichao’s academic experience and his academic attitudes, who was introspective, subjective, special, sympathetic, experiential, general, comprehensive and agile.

Later, Prof. Liu summarized why Liang Qichao came to Tsinghua University. Now that the National Academy has been rebuilt,the cultural splendor that Liang Qichao has demonstrated in his life, even though it has gone through more than eight decades, is still inherited consistently by us, because we are on the campus where he lived. Furthermore, we still hope to re-discuss the value of ancient Chinese culture from the broad perspective of the contrast between China and the West, and lay the foundation for this vast interculturality to rebuild the more expansive world of life in the future. And this is exactly what Liang Qichao wanted to accomplish but failed. As long as this cause exists and the desire to complete it has not died, Liang Qichao’s spirit and life will never disappear.

The event ended in warm applauds of the participants.