Friday, September 27, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former German Minister of Justice

PEKING - Ms. Däubler-Gmelin was the German Minister of Justice from 1998-2002; so, technically, she was my boss (my Minister, so to speak) during my employment at the Court of Law in Munster, NRW. Now we met in China - It's a small world. She is one of the few, very few Germans - during my long years at PKU - who is not intimidated by the Chinese Communist Party's megalomania and hubris, and she feels free to exercise criticism against any authoritarian regime where needed. She would not betray her principles. This is called integrity. That's what you learn when you work in the German judiciary. It is precisely for her outspokenness and sense for justice and the rule of law, I think, that she is respected (or feared) among democrats, human rights activists, and politicians on the left and the right, here and abroad. Just saying. [BACK TO MAIN]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Wang Jisi, China’s most respected expert on the United States


Wang Jisi is Professor and the Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University. In 2012, he was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers and “China’s most respected expert on the United States” by Foreign Policy magazine. He is or was also the supervisor of quite a few of my friends here, so it was good to see him in public at ThinkInChina in Bridge Cafe in Beijing today. Go to Wang’s TalkGo to ThinkInChinaGo to Foreign Policy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shengren is ”Mordantly humorous study of misunderstanding of Confucius” (Wordpixelsblog)

Thorsten Pattberg, author of 'Shengren'
Mordantly humorous study of misunderstanding of Confucius” (by Wordpixelsblog)

Extract from Linda Colman’s Misunderstanding Laozi through the Discourse of Modernity:

“In a mordantly humorous study of misunderstandings of Confucius as a thinker, based on the perpetuation of an error in translation, Thorsten Pattberg demonstrates the pitfalls of using dogmatic language––whether religious or philosophical––when translating a classic work such as Confucius’ Analects. The historic error of mistranslating “sheng(ren)” as ‘saint(s)’ or ‘philosopher(s)’ rather than the more appropriate ‘sage(s)’ has compounded the initial error of construing Confucius as a saint or a philosopher, and has compounded misunderstandings of Confucius’ work.
Scholar Beware!

Pattberg’s analysis of the misunderstandings that have resulted from mistranslation of this one very important word includes a discussion of cultural assumptions underlying the Western, especially German, philosophical tradition, which make the use of such language ill-suited to the exegesis of classical Chinese literature. [See especially Ch. 11: “Nonsensical Philosophical Reading,” and Ch. 15: “The Great Man Theory.”]”

Linda Colman is a culture critic and writer at The Booklist Lady

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Somewhat Eccentric German Philologist Calls For New “Global Language” --Empower Lingua

For A More Colorful Global Language - The Color Run Beijing 2013

BEIJING - “A somewhat eccentric German philologist and research fellow at The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University named Thorsten Pattberg, is calling for the construction of a new “global language”. This somewhat absurd declaration is mired in the rhetoric of cosmopolitan utopianism but is also enforced by an intriguing argument about Chinese translation.

Pattberg wrote an article for Chinese website English people daily in which he argued that much Chinese translation relies on the assumption that a suitable equivalent exists in the English language. The English language already has loads of loan words including jungle which comes from Hindi and alcohol which comes from Arabic, so he argues, why don’t we just incorporate the non-translatable Chinese words into English and make a “global language”. [READ AT EMPOWER LINGUA] [READ AT PEOPLE’S DAILY] [READ AT STRAITS TIMES] [GO TO EAST-WEST DICHOTOMY]

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Ashis Nandy, Famed Indian Sociologist and Public Intellectual

Thorsten Pattberg with Ashis Nandy, famed Indian sociologist and public intellectual
BEIJING - Described as the champion of India’s lower classes and promoter of human rights, justice, and equality in an India that is notoriously plagued by corruption, caste, and almost unbearable income inequality, letting alone political chaos. Ashis Nandy is one of the leading figures of post-colonial studies in India, and known for his bold, controversial, and fearless critique of the establishment. Recently, Nandy is engaging in the Dialogue among Civilizations with China, and joined the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies of Peking University at the Deng Feng Forum in Henan province entitled: Chinese Civilization and World Civilization.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

China Is Hoarding Gold Like Smaug the Dragon - It's About Prestige

BEIJING - It is obvious that China is up to something hoarding gold like a dragon. In fact, it is taking a leap forward to control the world currency and to replace it with the yuan, Dr. Thorsten Pattberg, China expert at the Peking University, told RT.
China is vowing to make more reforms, among them cutting red tape and establishing the yuan as a world currency. The 7th Annual Meeting of the New Champions is opening in the Chinese city of Dalian, the gathering has become known as a 'summer Davos'. RT has talked to Dr. Pattberg about China's prospects for introducing a new world currency.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Public Intellectual and the Marketing of World History

The Public Intellectual and the Marketing of World History 2013 - Thorsten Pattberg
THERE IS a current trend in the way world history is manufactured that deserves closer scrutiny: It is the complete surrender of the humanities to marketing mechanisms and branding strategies.
CAMBRIDGE - We don’t have to leave England to find the revolution. Niall Ferguson, the British historian – and now Harvard professor -, recently published an opinion article in the German Times in which he ruminates about ’6 Killer applications’ that the West invented to undo its competitors.
Ferguson goes on to say that, after having dominated world history for centuries, someone pushed the “wrong buttons” and we lost our pristine vantage. Meanwhile, the “new players in Asia” have picked up the rules of the game.
I dread to think it isn't quite as dramatic as the philosopher would have it: World history is still written by the Fergusons – and Harvardians – of this world. Social climbers from the east are rare in this sport. I agree, though, that indeed everyone seems to be talking about the rise of Asia these days.
What’s also new is the trending of fashionable internet fads or business allusions toward world historical events. Public intellectuals these days enjoy “the mass media” effect and have fully emerged, and have they ever, into the world of blogging, vlogging, and social media. [...]

Sunday, September 8, 2013

American Buddhism: Thorsten Pattberg with Heng Sure, famed American Buddhist and Public Intellectual

Heng Sure (USA), Thorsten Pattberg (Germany) [Shaolin, Dengfeng, 2013]
ZHENGZHOU, CHINA - Renowned for his contribution to American Buddhism and known throughout the world for his eloquence, passion, and vision of bringing the Dharma to the tables where the dialogue among civilizations takes place, Heng Sure (born Christopher R. Clowery) has dedicated his life to the Buddhist cause. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk at the City of then Thousand Buddhas as early as 1976, and since then has ministered to the needs of the global community and, along the way, became one of the most visible American Buddhists today, and teacher of hundreds of accomplished disciples spread all over the world.

Master Heng Sure’s talks are amplified by his confident use of countless Sanskrit/Buddhist original terms that, I think, best reflect the inventiveness and creativity of the Buddhism founders. Your author has the vision that a similar approach using Chinese terms can be achieved for Confucianism (using original Chinese terms instead of European translations).

It is no coincidence that Buddhism is relatively well known in the West, while the Western understanding of Confucianism is still a murky confusion – there are still too few scholars interested in introducing Chinese categories to the West. [That is about to change.] [View Article on Chinese Terminologies and World History]. [Back to Main]
P.S. By the way, Heng Sure singsand plays the guitar masterfully.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Tampalawela Dhammaratana, UNESCO Consultant, Division for Philosophy and Ethics

Dr. Tampalawela Dhammaratana, a Buddhist grandmaster and Frenchand Sri Lankan national, lives in Paris and embarked on a life-long journey for the promotion of Buddhism in the world. He is currently the Director of Buddhist Links at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.