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Liberation As Affirmation: The Religiosity of Zhuangzi And Nietzsche (S U N Y Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture) Hardcover – March 9, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this book, author Ge Ling Shang provides a systematic comparison of original texts by Zhuangzi (fourth century BCE) and Nietzsche (1846–1900), under the rubric of religiosity, to challenge those who have customarily relegated both thinkers to relativism, nihilism, escapism, pessimism, or anti-religion. Shang closely examines Zhuangzi’s and Nietzsche’s respective critiques of metaphysics, morals, language, knowledge, and humanity in general and proposes a conception of the philosophical outlooks of Zhuangzi and Nietzsche as complementary. In the creative and vital spirit of Nietzsche, as in the tranquil and inward spirit of Zhuangzi, Shang argues that a surprisingly similar vision and aspiration toward human liberation and freedom exists—one in which spiritual transformation is possible by religiously affirming life in this world as sacred and divine.

"This book makes a strong case not only for reading Zhuangzi and Nietzsche as religious thinkers, but also for seeing their religious visions as similarly oriented. The suggestion that thinkers with some affinity for the goals of poststructuralism could have a less purely negative approach is significant and interesting." - Kathleen M. Higgins, coeditor of From Africa to Zen: An Invitation to World Philosophy, Second Edition

"This book brings these two thinkers into the most extended dialogue ever attempted. It fills a need and highlights the significance of this encounter." - Brook Ziporyn, author of The Penumbra Unbound: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang

About the Author

Ge Ling Shang is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University.


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Product Details

  • Series: S U N Y Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr (March 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791466671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791466674
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,002,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Cassard on December 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Now I am a bit biased since I had the writer as a professor, but he was an incredible teacher who changed my life.

He has a better understanding of Chuang-Tsu than anyone I've ever met.

His Perspectives on Nietsche are fantastic. It's such a fresh and interesting view of one of the most "pessemistic" figures in history.

This book is a must have for those delving into the realm of theological/philosophical oneness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Wellman on April 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have also had the experience of taking Professor Shang's Philosophy class. His perspective on life is truly unique and quite inspiring! One can not explain his perspective; it is something you just have to understand.

This book "Liberation as Affirmation" took the author years to write. Not only did he study the texts very carefully and completely, but he also has expanded his understanding to those opinions around him. Some how, he mediated through everything and created a new thought about the two normally "conflicting ideas" and found untouched ground of the academic studies being similar. Truly an amazing read with such vivid color, that one should take time to reflect on afterwards.

Professor Shang's insight is one that should not be missed by any who is interested in philosophy, life, and great thinkers.
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