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Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary Paperback – April 3, 1998
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From Library Journal
- Donald J. Pearce, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Duluth
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...a thorough, generally well-balanced, and highly informative work of scholarship."--Journal of Ecumenical Studies
"In this timely reinterpretation, Chen sketches the ecological relationship ‘conducive to establishing peace on earth among all creatures' and stresses the lesson that the text has for our current imperiled world situation."--Choice
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Top Customer Reviews
Although I must have collected upwards of twenty different editions of the Tao Te Ching over the years, Ellen M. Chen's has always stood at the top of my list and it's a shame this truly wonderful edition isn't better known.
Chen, who is a Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University in Jamaica, New York, is not your usual sort of scholar, the type who views ancient wisdom texts as a mere quarry for materials. In contrast to the sterile type of academic who pride themselves on a purely illusory 'scientific objectivity,' Chen is a dynamic and concerned personality who seems utterly committed to trying to get the world to see the fantastic importance and value of the Tao Te Ching.
For her, in fact, the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching is a wisdom that could save us from the utter ruin the human race is heading for, if only we would start to take that wisdom seriously. Hers is a wise, well-written, thoroughly researched work which rises way above the usual run of scholarship, and it is far too rich for me to be able to do justice to it here.
Briefly the work falls into three parts. First we are given a full and quite unique 48-page Introduction in three chapters: 1. Date and Authorship of the Tao Te Ching; 2. The Tao Te Ching as a Religious Treatise; and 3. Use and Translation of the Text. Chapter 2, which is divided into six sections, is a minor masterpiece, and even if you don't intend to acquire the book, you should certainly read her 'Humans Become Gods on Earth,' 'Two Pseudo-Religions of the Twentieth Century,' and 'Religion For or Against Life' (pages 31-39).Read more ›
I first compiled my favored, composite translation of the Tao Te Ching 23 years ago. At that time I relied mostly on the translations (and commentary) of Wing-Tsit Chan and Lin Yutang, although I used about 8 references altogether. I recently checked out of the library three new translations, including the one by Chen, in order to compare them with the earlier works. As I delved into Chen's book I became more and more impressed by her translation, and especially by her commentary. Although for me, Wing-Tsit Chan still has the more consistently preferred translation, I am learning much more from Chen's commentary than I ever learned from other works. I think it is a shame that her book is seldom cited in lists of "best translations" of the Tao Te Ching. Her work is far more penetrating and lucid than all the favorites.
Even if you finally decide of a particular section that you prefer another translation to Chen's, you will learn much from her explanations. I'm going to buy my own copy when I return the one I have to the library!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this because among the Tao Te Ching scholars it was always being mentioned as an essential version. Read morePublished 6 months ago by scott latham
The Tao that needs this much analysis and explanation is certainly not the eternal Tao.
What a convoluted and overly complicated attempt to explain the inexplicable. Read more
apparently this author taught my friend , for whom I purchased book ,something I didn't know ...fast shipping thank youPublished 11 months ago by irini
I can't believe I paid $10 for this piece of trash. She does not even attempt to look at the original texts that have been found, she just picks and chooses from other translations... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Elyse McDermott
I was looking for a simpler book (Tao is all about simplicity). Instead I found a very scholarly fantastic book about the ancient book. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Magical Dragon
I suspect the problem I'm having is specific to the kindle version. This book as many misspellings and typos, it becomes difficult to read and I am not sure I am reading it... Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Frank M. Schwieterman
Aside from being recommended as the best translation of the Dao De Jing by a master of the subject (Professor Zhao at Carleton College), this was excellent. Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Andrew Schneider-Adams