Comparing the tradition of “law” in China and the West

Ph.D candidate and pastor Andrew Hong writes on how Western and Chinese cultures approach the concept of law from very different perspectives:

In Confucianism far from being blind, it is expected that the law will in fact differentiate between persons on the basis of their circumstances and status.
[…]
On the one hand Westerners are appalled by the corruption and nepotism that seems so widespread. It is simply unjust. And on the other hand Easterners cannot imagine not bending the rules to benefit a trusted and respected colleague. It is simply inhumane.

See: Confucianism and the application of the law

2 thoughts on “Comparing the tradition of “law” in China and the West”

    1. I actually wasn’t using the scare quotes to be snarky (not that it wouldn’t be warranted), but to say that attitudes and concepts regarding law vary greatly between cultures. It’s not just about rulers not wanting to retain an inappropriate amount of power (though no doubt that’s a big part of it); China’s cultural heritage favours situational ethics over cold, impersonal rules. Chinese traditionally expect situations to be mediated according to the particular situation and people involved.

Leave a Reply