Professor Alan K.L. Chan

J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture

Professor Alan K.L. Chan

Education & CUHK Employment


B.A., University of Winnipeg, Canada
M.A., University of Manitoba, Canada
Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada

CUHK Employment

J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture

Research Interests

Chinese Philosophy and Religion
Hermeneutics and Critical Theory
Comparative Philosophy and Religion

Selected Fellowships and Awards

ASEAN University Network Distinguished Visiting Professorship
Fulbright Visiting Fellowship
Komai Fellowship, Hitachi Foundation
Teaching Excellence Award, National University of Singapore
Canadian Research Fellowship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship
Connaught Scholarship, University of Toronto
Junior Fellowship, Massey College, University of Toronto
University Gold Medal, University of Winnipeg

Selected Publications

"Laozi," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Zalta,, Revised edition, September 2018.
"From Uncrowned King to the Sage of Profound Greatness: Confucius and the Analects in Early Medieval China," in Companion to Confucius, edited by Paul Goldin. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017, 249–267.
"The Art of Hearing and the Promise of Harmony in Confucian Self-Cultivation," in New Directions in Chinese Philosophy, edited by Chung-yi Cheng. New Asia Academic Bulletin 21. Hong Kong: New Asia College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2014, 103–115.
"Embodying Nothingness and the Ideal of the Affectless Sage in Daoist Philosophy," in Nothingness in Asian Philosophy, edited by JeeLoo Liu and Douglas L. Berger. New York and London: Routledge, 2014, 213–229.
"Neo-Daoism," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Zalta,, Revised edition, 2013.
"Harmony as a Contested Metaphor and Conceptions of Rightness (Yi) in Early Confucian Ethics," in How Should One Live? Comparing Ethics in Ancient China and Greco-Roman Antiquity, edited by R.A.H. King and Dennis Schilling. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011, 37–62.
"Interpretations of Virtue (De) in Early China," Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38.1 (2011): 158–174.
Philosophy and Religion in Early Medieval China (Lead editor; with Y.K. Lo). Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010. 375 pp.
Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China (Lead editor; with Y.K. Lo). Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010. 288 pp.
"Affectivity and the Nature of the Sage: Gleanings from a Tang Daoist Master," Journal of Daoist Studies 3, (2010) 1–27.
"Wuqing yu changkuang: lun Zhuangzi zhong 'qing' de liangzhong quanshi" 無情與猖狂──論《莊子》中「情」的兩種詮釋, Zhongguo zhexue yu wenhua 中國哲學與文化 6 (2010): 243–258 (in Chinese).
"Zhong Hui Laozi zhu yu Wei chu caixing zhi bian" 鍾會《老子注》與魏初才性之辯, in Zhongguo wenhua de chuancheng yu kaito: Xianggang Zhongwen daxue sishi zhounian xiaoqing guoji yantaohui lunwenji 中國文化的傳承與開拓—香港中文大學四十周年校慶國際研討會論文集 (Transmission and New Development of Chinese Culture: Papers from the International Conference Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Chinese University of Hong Kong), edited by Wang Hongzhi 王宏志, Liang Yuansheng 梁元生, and Luo Bingliang 羅炳良. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2009, 181–221 (in Chinese).
Filial Piety in Chinese Thought and History (Lead editor; with Sor-hoon Tan). London: Routledge, 2004, 245pp.
Historical Perspectives on East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine (Lead editor; with G. Clancey and H.C. Loy). Singapore: Singapore University Press and World Scientific Publishing Company, 2002. 585pp.
Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations (Editor). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002. 328pp.
Taoism: Outlines of a Chinese Religious Tradition (in Chinese and English; co-authored with C.Y. Lee and T. Tsu). Singapore: Taoist Federation, 1994. 167pp.
Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-tzu. New York: State University of New York Press, 1991. 314pp.

Other Professional Activities (Selected)

Member, Social Science Research Council of Singapore, 2019 – present
Member, Governing Council, International Confucian Association, China, 2014 – present
Member of the Board of Directors, Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (an international consortium of 200+ members headquartered at Duke University), 2012 – 2019
Director, NTUV International Private Limited, 2011 – 2020
Member of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI) of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore, 2011 – present
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Daoist Studies (USA), 2009 – present
Co-Chair, Governing Council, Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, 2014 – 2018
Member of the Founding Editorial Board, Oxford Bibliographies of Chinese Studies, 2012 – 2016
Member, Board of Directors, Singapore Examination and Assessment Board, 2007 – 2010