Henry Rosemont, Jr.
Personal profile

Henry was born in December, 1934, in Chicago, the eldest son to two significant rank-and-file labor activists, Sally (Janiak) and Henry P. Rosemont. His mother was a jazz musician and his father belonged to the Chicago Typographical Union No. 16, the union shop of Albert Parsons, among the Haymarket martyrs and husband of Lucy Parsons, one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Henry Rosemont, Jr. was a life-changing teacher. He began his teaching career at Oakland University in 1967 and brought his students to study in China for a semester that year. Perhaps guided by his experience in Korea, Henry supported his former student, Michael K. Honey, in his petition to the Boston draft board for alternate service rather than fight in Vietnam in 1969. Sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Association, Honey served for six years in the American south during the Civil Rights Movement, an experience that would greatly inform the Guggenheim Fellow’s celebrated scholarship. Beginning in 1982, Henry began teaching at Fudan University and attained the rank of Senior Professor there. It was during his first years at Fudan that he wrote his “Shanghai Journal” for In These Times. Henry’s reportage from Shanghai is indicative of his commitment to social change as demonstrated by his other writings published in the Resist Newsletter, Anarchist Quarterly, Z Magazine, and Social Anarchism.

At the age of eighteen, after several years of hitchhiking west on Route 66 and with the education that a string of undistinguished jobs provides, Henry volunteered to be sent to the Korean peninsula as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, serving from 1952 until 1955. It was in Korea that he first encountered “East Asia” and learned the insanity of war. He earned an honors AB at the University of Illinois and was awarded in 1967 the PhD in Philosophy at the University of Washington for his dissertation on logic, language, and Zen. He then completed postdoctoral training in Linguistics with Noam Chomsky at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1969 and 1971. Their friendship sustained for more than four decades. Consistently and in the care-full manner of the Confucian sage, Henry sought to emulate what was best in his teachers. From Chomsky he found “living proof that intelligence could serve conscience as well as abstract theory.”Henry, himself, is often described by those who know him as embodying the junzi (君子), which he and Roger Ames translate, in their Philosophical Translation of the Analects (1998) as “exemplary person.” Socially and politically engaged, the Confucian tradition characterizes the junzi as being trustworthy and calm (Analects 8.6), both deferring to others on matters they don't understand and not being careless in their attitude toward what is said (13.3). The junzi are on the side of the needy and the poor, rather than making the rich richer (6.4), they don't associate with the unkind (17.7) and are consummate in their acts and align what they do with what they say they will do (15.19). Henry made good on what he said he would do.

Henry is a model for collegiality, which he demonstrated not only by the admiration of his peers and associates but also by his commitment to celebrating what is excellent in those for whom he cared and with whom he worked. He contributed to a number of volumes celebrating the careers of a range of excellent scholars including: Herbert Fingarette, Huston Smith, Eliot Deutsch, and Nathan Sivin. Henry edited the volume honoring A.C. Graham in 1991 (he also memorialized Graham in the pages of Philosophy East & West in 1992, his memorial serving as a model for mine to Henry). In 2005, with Ewing Chinn, Henry was responsible for the book celebrating David L. Hall. Henry also edited, with significant help from Michael Nylan—although she declined the credit—the recent (2014) collection of David N. Keightley’s writings on Early China.

Henry published his Against Individualism: A Confucian Rethinking of the Foundations of Morality, Politics, Family, and Religion (Lexington Books, 2016) not as a missive against celebrating particularity, but rather to honor and encourage the growth of the relationships that make “us” particularly-us. “Who we are” is the sum of the relationships we perform and are born into, as he would often tell us. Through meaning-generating relationships I become individuated: I am the son of Sally, Steve and Michelle, I am the husband of Karen, father of Pendleton, brother of Stanfield and Jennifer, the student of so many excellent teachers, the neighbor of Jyotsna and of Marvin, the uncle to Nora and Henry, I am now the teacher of my own students. Each of these roles have proscribed how I ought to act at times and, as I have come to demonstrate suitable virtuosity in performing these roles, I have been granted more and more relative autonomy within my lifetime. Now I am in a position to reflect on and model for others how we can best perform our roles.

Roger T· Ames (Roger T.Ames)

Roger T. Ames was born in 1947 in Toronto, Canada. As a professor at the University of Hawaii, an advisor to Nishan Shengyuan Academy, Chairman of the World Association of Confucian Culture Studies and Vice Chairman of the International Confucian Association, he is an internationally famous expert in Sinology. He is a leading figure in Chinese & Western philosophy and is famous in China and abroad for his translation of books such as theAnalects of Confucius,Sun Tzu’s Art of War,Huainan Tzu andTao Te Ching He was the Chief Editor toPhilosophy of the Occident and Orientas well as theInternational Chinese Book Reviewand the author ofConfucian Philosophical Thinking,Thinking from the Han: Self, Truth, and Transcendence in Chinese and Western Culture,Anticipating China: Thinking Through the Narratives of Chinese and Western Culture,the Art of Rulership: A Study into Chinese Political ThoughtandDemocracy if the Dead: Dewey, Confucius and the Hope for Democracy in China. Roger T. Ames once received the guidance of Liu Dianjue and became proficient in classical Chinese, then to one of the most outstanding modern scholars of Classical Studies. In 2013, he was awarded the "Confucius Culture Award" by the 6th World Confucian Congress. Then he won the second "Huilin Prize Award" in 2016.…
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