CHINA: In the Shadow of Mr Kong. 5 X 50 mins The general introduction is followed by the Unit breakdown then details of Part 1 (each part has chapter points to locate sections.):
Mr Kong, known as Kong Fu to the Chinese and as Confucius to the outside world, was a sort of philosophical government advisor around 500 bc - 200 years or so before the Chinese Empire was founded and about a hundred and thirty years before the Greek philosopher Aristotle
He tried to persuade the rulers of the time that for a harmonious and orderly society the rulers had to behave honourably. "Treat others as you would have them treat you." If the rulers are honourable and trustworthy, he argued, then there is a better chance that the people will be too.
Astonishingly, this simple idea was taken up and put into effect by a long succession of capable rulers and administrators. It had a profound effect on Chinese life over many centuries and still does today.
From a failed communist state in 1979, China has risen to be the world's second largest economy today, a situation of which few of us can be unaware. Who doesn't own a gadget "Made in China"? It's little short of a miracle.
But what would Mr Kong make of the current government? Is it honourable? Can it produce a harmonious society? Will it all end in grief? Given all the problems, what will happen next?
We can't say. However, the more we appreciate the astonishing Chinese story revealed in these 5 programmes and the contributions it has already made to human society under the benign influence of Mr Kong, the more sympathetic we will be towards its current rise and hopefully the more confident that the Chinese will somehow find a peaceful way forward.
CHINA IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG: UNIT CONTENTS
Pt 1. The Middle Kingdom: The Democratic Viewpoint, Geography, The Dynasties, Confucius, China Today.
Pt 2. Matters of the Mind: Superstition, Confucian Commentators, Taoism, Buddhism, Tibet, Sung Education.
Pt 3. Heart and Soul: Bronzes, Ceramics, the Character Script, Poetry, Literature.
Pt 4. From Harmony to Discord: Music, Gardens, Painting, Science, The Descent into Chaos.
Pt 5. The Rough Road to Freedom: Japan, The End of the Empire, Communism, Overseas Chinese, the current Dilemma.
CHINA IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 3: HEART AND SOUL
1.Art and the Bronzes - After trying to establish what art is we look at the wonderful bronze work of early times in China.
2.Ceramics - Fine ceramics from many different ages have come down to us; in particular the Tang, Sung and Ming dynasty ware.
3.Song Dynasty ceramics. 960 – 1276 ad
4.The Chinese Character Script - The Chinese character script is difficult to learn but beautiful to see and writing it is regarded as an art form.
5.Poetry - Poets have always been held in high regard in China. Even in translation their particular beauties shine through.
6.Literature - Literature in the form of plays and novels developed in later centuries just as they did in other parts of the world.
7.Epilogue - After their early brilliance, under a deeply conservative leadership, the talents of the Chinese in all fields began to be stifled and consequently to decay.
AM052HD10 China PT 3 2010 dur: 49'27"