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Confucius and the Analects: New Essays 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195133950
ISBN-10: 0195133951
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Editorial Reviews


Providing a collection of sophisticated new essays in various perspectives on the primal father of Chinese thought and values, Confucius and the Analects: New Essays is a highly anticipated and worthwhile contribution to Confucian studies. This text will remain a standard work in the field that belongs on the desk of every dedicated sinologist. At the same time, it manifests an opening sally, and one hopes that this text will stir others in the field to respond to the issues raised in the common quest for a more authentic understanding and deeper appreciation of Confucius and his thought. Journal of the American Academy of Religion ... may be the most important of several books published in this field during the past few years. Bryan W. Van Norden's rich but concise introduction is one of the most important resources available in this anthology. The Journal of Asian Studies ... this volume preserves unity without sacrificing diversity and introduces readers to central issues in the study of early Chinese thought without imposing a uniform or systematic interpretation. The Journal of Asian Studies

About the Author

Bryan W. Van Norden is associate professor in both the philosophy and Chinese and Japanese departments at Vassar College. He has edited and contributed to Confucius and the Analects: New Essays and Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. A Fulbright Fellow, he has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Chiang Ching kuo Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195133951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195133950
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,230,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By P. Nagy on June 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Confucius and the Analects is an important collect of studies on a pivotal figure in world civilization.
Editor excerpt: Imagine a person who has an influenence on his native tradition comparable to the combined influence of Jesus and Socrates on the Western tradition. Such a person was Confucius.
The similarities continue. Although all three were literate, perhaps all highly so, neither Confucius, nor Jesus, nor Socrates left behind any of his own writings. We know each only through the later writings of his admirers and detractors. In addition, each had a distinctive, charismatic, and complex personality. These three common features have made each the object of love, hatred, admiration, denigration, and debate for over two millennia.
Though Confucius is referred to in a variety of early Chinese texts, one of our most important sources of information about him is the Analects, a collection of sayings, brief discussions, and observations by and about Confucius, his disciples, and his contemporaries. Despite its great importance, prior to this volume there has never been a collection of secondary essays in English on the Analects. This volume is a collection of essays on the Analects, and on Confucius as seen (primarily) in that classic.
For the last two millennia, most scholars (whether Eastern or Western) have taken all twenty "books" of the Analects as an accurate record of what Confucius and his disciples have said. But scholarship in recent centuries has become more suspicious, investigating such issues as the historical composition of the text of the Analects and the sectarian motives behind various conceptions of Confucius.
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A great collection of essays. I learned a lot. My favorite essays were: (2) Naturalness revisited: why westerners should study Confucius, (3) Ren and Li in the Analects, (4) "What does Heaven Say?", (6) Whose Confucious? Which Analects? (7) Confucius and the Analects in the Han, (9) Unweaving the "one thread" of the Analects 4:15, and (10) An existentialist reading of book 4 of the Analects. I highly recommend it.

The other book reviewer asked rhetorically, "why does Confucius continute to be a source of fascination?" Confucius had a penetrating view of humanity. The book under review is a stimulating academic book, but it does not bring you in touch with the transforming power of Confucius's lessons. To appreciate the power of Confucian lessons to change lives I recommend the book by Robert Canright: "Achieve Lasting Happiness, Times Secrets to Transform Your Life."
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