Gu Hongming – the forgotten sage of the East
The article discusses the biography and thought of Gu Hongming. Gu Hongming was a Chinese thinker who won recognition in European academic circles. Still, he was not popular in China. When he lived and studied in Europe on his young years, he acquired broad knowledge on European culture and literature. Afterwards, he became the adviser to Zhang Zhidong, an eminent Chinese politician during the late Qing dynasty who was the promoter of moderate reforms. After his death and the birth of the republican China, Gu Hongming was active as a publicist and teacher in Beijing University. During that time he was often labelled as backward and conservative by his Chinese contemporaries.
The article provides the analysis of complexity of his views that cannot be easily labelled as it was done by many from his contemporary thinkers. His attitude towards China and Western civilization was quite complicated and it should be understood in the background of European conservative thought, romanticism, and the Confucian worldview.