Professor puts Confucius back in vogue

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Confucius famously considered a good woman to be an illiterate woman. The ancient sage might want to eat his words: More than 2-1/2 millenniums after his death, he's back in vogue, thanks in no small part to a Chinese woman with a PhD...

Since the publication of her enormously popular book on the teachings of Confucius late last year, Yu [Dan] has been racing from college lectures to book signings, TV appearances and speaking engagements. The public can't seem to get enough of this overnight sensation who has turned dusty old Confucian teachings into a Chinese version of "Chicken Soup for the Soul."

"I never expected this," [she said]..."In the 21st century, our value system is changing; people are faced with a lot of confusion and choices. The classics are not just fossils. They are a value system that can help us find answers to modern-day problems."

For more than 2,500 years, the Confucian doctrines of filial piety, moral righteousness and hierarchical relationships were the guiding principles of life and government in China and most of East Asia. Then the Communists came to power and Chairman Mao declared Confucianism counter-revolutionary and his Red Guards ransacked temples dedicated to the philosopher.

Today, China is charging ahead with dizzying economic growth and breathtaking social change. But many believe the world's most populous nation has lost its moral and spiritual anchor. Enter the wisdom of Kong Fuzi, or Master Kong, as Confucius is known in China —- interpreted by a woman.

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