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An Introduction to Confucianism (Introduction to Religion) Paperback – February 13, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Introduction to Religion
  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521644305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521644303
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...solid and well-organized book..." Religious Studies Review

Book Description

Taking into account the history and range of Confucian Studies, this book introduces Confucianism - initiated in China by Confucius (551 BC-479 BC) - primarily as a philosophical and religious tradition. It draws together the many strands of Confucianism in a style accessible to students, teachers, and general readers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yao's introduction to Confucianism may be unbeatable.

The first two chapters--"Confucianism, Confucius and Confucian classics" and "Evolution and transformation - a historical perspective"--introduce the history of Confucianism about as well as could be done in ~130 pages. Good background is given on the Confucian tradition as it is viewed in the West and in Asia. The history is told with full awareness and acknowledgment of modern academic criticism, but without devaluing the texts. (If it were to be longer, I'd want better introduction to the Classic of Changes and the Analects, but Yao chose to keep the book short.) The second chapter includes Mengzi, Xunzi, Dong Zhongshu, Mysterious Learning, Neo-Confucianism and brief introductions to Korean and Japanese Confucianism.

The third chapter presents Confucianism kind of ahistorically, generalizing on the traditional worldview of Confucianism. Honestly, I prefer to approach things historically, and parts of this chapter were hard for me to read; parts even seemed more like preaching than scholarship. However, its explication of the concept of Heaven is very, very informative. It also covers harmony and the nature of conflict resolution very well.

The fouth chapter is about ritual, with a few details as to the actual practice but focusing on the theory of ritual. The history of the basic sacrifices and cults is very nice. But the meat of this chapter may be the information on Confucianism's interaction with Daoism, Buddhism and Christianity. The author does a very good job of presenting both the influence that Confucianism has had on Daoism and Chinese Buddhism, and the influence they've had on Confucianism.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is not a small achievement to introduce the Confucian tradition of 2500 years and of multi-facets. The author has done this brilliantly. I believe that the book will be of help to those who are not familiar to Confucianism as well as to those who have started their studies in the area of Chinese religion, philosophy and history.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
The presentation shows how Confucianism bridges both religion and
philosophy. Heaven is the ultimate authority. It determines the course
of the human world. Transcendental power guarantees harmony between
the metaphysics of the physical, spiritual, secular humanism, nature
and destiny. Heaven represents the Supreme Being and the embodiment
of moral virtue. The ideal is to lead a virtuous life. Heavenly
traits are sincerity & the humane; wherein, human norms are position,
rank etc. Heaven is the epitome of the natural law. Harmony seeks
to compromise opposition in order to emulate natural order and resolve
conflict constructively. The principles are timeless. They apply today
and probably far into the future.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Sanders on August 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in Confucianism, this is the book for you! It has so much information in it and covers everything. I have this book and am glad I bought it....it is excellent to keep in your library.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. R. MCCARTHY on August 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good read.Covers most of the basics of Con. and Neo Con. even small sections on how it was introduced and received through out the rest of asia. Worth the money in my humble opinion.
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