Second “Rule of Law Enlightenment” Workshop: New Light on Legalism

On April 16th, the Center hosted an in-person/virtual hybrid event, organized by the Center for the Study of Legalism at Renmin University of China, “New Light on Legalism.” Over the past decade, a vibrant scholarly community has been constantly invigorating studies on Legalism, offering fresh perspectives and comparisons that tie the ancient school of thought to our modern times. In the spirit of bringing together leading historians and scholars to shed a new light on Legalism, this event, the Second “Rule of Law Enlightenment” Workshop, was jointly sponsored by China pre-Qin History Society, School of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China and UChicago Center in Beijing.

Built upon the success of the first workshop, academics and intellectuals from over ten universities and other institutions gathered on April 16th and 17th, and elaborated on a variety of far-reaching and cross-cutting topics on legalism: from the “Rule by Rite and Rule of Law in the Spring and Autumn Period” to “Ethics and the Rule of Law in the Cyber World: a Legalist Perspective.” Adapting to pandemic restrictions, the two day workshop was organized in a hybrid format, broadcasted live through Tencent Meeting. On the 16th, participants shared an offline discussion at UChicago Beijing Center; their counterparts in other provinces who could not make it to the main event participated online on the 17th, including Dingxin Zhao,  the Max Palevsky Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. As the first speaker of the online session, he opened the day’s discussion with a fruitful lecture on the legacy of Legalism.

This two-day event was broadcast live on the WeChat platform and attracted hundreds of participants from various parts of China.