From June 7 to 8, the First International Forum of Classical Education was held in Hua Jia Shan Resort in Hangzhou. The forum was co-organised by Wenli Academy and Accademia Vivarium Novum, and jointly held by Institute for Chinese Classics Studies, Tsinghua University and Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies. Around 300 people attended the Forum, including scholars of Chinese, Western and Indian classical education and other enthusiasts about culture and education from various circles. The Forum is till now the first grand gathering with the thesis of classical education and cultural exchange of Chinese, Western and Indian civilisations. Wenli Academy, as one of the organiser, will take this occasion to carry out more cooperation extensively in the field of culture and education with the participating universities and institutes, and looks forward to promoting hand in hand the global revival of classical culture and education. The studies of Buddhist literature and Indian classics in Japan have a history of over 100 years, wherefore they have already progressed to a stage of high refinement, which also hope for high-level international exchange in the future. Classical education, which is the traditional education about a hundred years ago. And China and western countries both have their own, as it is called, traditional education. The reflexion of such education and also that, if there is something of value in such education, could it be applied in our age, or if it is of value to the education of our age, might we restore it properly, are thus the questions for the whole world. Per saecula et hominum aetates,
Over the centuries, apud occidentales gentes, sicut apud orientales,
for the western nations, as for the eastern ones, institutio, humanitatis, studia humanitatis, eo tendebant, ut
the education and studies of humanities thus intended virtutes et philosophiam moralem colerent in hominum animis.
to cultivate virtues and moral philosophy in the human mind. Pro dolor, recentibus hisce temporibus et hac nostra aetate,
Unfortunately, in recent times and in our age, talis istitutio declinavit, et paene degeneravit,
such education has declined, and almost degenerated, adeo ut nunc temporis sit paene extincta, apud nos sicut apud vos.
so that at this time it has become nearly extinct, among us and similarly among you. Et nunc tamen multi homines sentiunt nos non posse tantummodo provehere
But now many people feel that we cannot promote genus humanum per machinas et per lucrum, quod pertinet ad corpora tantum,
the humankind only through machines and profits, which only pertain to the body, quod pertinet tamtum ad progressum materialem, ut ita dicam,
and which only pertain to the material progress, so to say, nostrae societatis homanae.
of our human society. Et ergo velint iterum excitare in hominum animis illam humanitatem,
Therefore they would like to excite again that humanity in human mind, qua quidem nos disterminamur et distinguimur a ceteris bestiis,
by which we are separated and distinguished by other beasts, nostra enim natura est natura et socialis et rationalis:
for our nature is the nature both social and rational: homo est animal rationale, animal sociale,
Human beings are rational animals, social animals, et potest hoc perfici praesertim per orationem,
and that can be achieved especially through speech, per illam facultatem colloquendi cum aliis hominibus
through that faculty of conversation with other people et rationem universalem quae in hominibus habitat colendi et provehendi.
and of cultivation and promotion of the universal reason which dwells inside us. For any great nation there are classics of its own, and classics are, so to speak, the highest form of the culture of a nation, for it could permanently and deeply condition the cogitation and the direction of its development. So if we are to understand a nation, the best way is to read its classics.