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Series:

Michael Hunter

In Confucius Beyond the Analects, Michael Hunter challenges the standard view of the Analects as the earliest and most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius. Arguing from a comprehensive survey of the thousands of extant sayings and stories from the early period, Hunter situates the compilation and rise of the Analects in the Western Han period (206 BCE–9 CE), roughly three centuries after the death of Confucius. As a study of the growth and development of the Confucius figure over the course of the early period, the book is also meant to serve as a roadmap for those interested in exploring the wealth and diversity of Confucius material beyond the Analects.

Text, History, and Philosophy

Abhidharma across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions

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Edited by Bart Dessein and Weijen Teng

Text, History, and Philosophy. Abhidharma Across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions discusses Abhidhamma / Abhidharma as a specific exegetical method. In the first part of the volume, the development of the Buddhist argumentative technique is discussed. The second part investigates the importance of the Buddhist rational tradition for the development of Buddhist philosophy. The third part focuses on some peculiar doctrinal issues that resulted from rational Abhidharmic reflections. In this way, an outline of the development of the Abhidharma genre and of Abhidharmic notions and concepts in India, Central Asia, China, and Tibet from the life time of the historical Buddha to the tenth century CE is given.
Contributors are: Johannes Bronkhorst, Lance S. Cousins, Bart Dessein, Tamara Ditrich, Bhikkhu Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti, Dylan Esler, Eric Greene, Goran Kardaš, Jowita Kramer, Chen-kuo Lin, Andrea Schlosser, Ingo Strauch, Weijen Teng and Yao-ming Tsai.

Feng Youlan and Twentieth Century China

An Intellectual Biography

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Xiaoqing Diana Lin

This is an intellectual biography of Feng Youlan [Fung Yu-lan] (1895-1990), one of the preeminent Chinese philosophers of the 20th century. Feng’s life very well captured the vicissitudes of twentieth-century Chinese politics and scholarship. He made his name in the 1930s and ’40s with a path-breaking approach to Chinese philosophy. And he was one of the few prominent pre-1949 non-Communist Chinese scholars who attempted to influence Chinese society with prolific publications after 1949. This monograph explores Feng Youlan’s work and the trajectory of changes in Feng’s philosophical outlook against the social and political contexts of Feng’s life from the 1920s to 1990. Feng’s search for a framework of Chinese philosophy that is open and connected to foreign learning, and a framework of self-cultivation that is open to outside ideas, continues to be important goals for Chinese philosophy today.

The Philosophy of Life

A New Reading of the Zhuangzi

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Guying Chen

Chen Guying, one of the leading scholars on Daoism in contemporary China, provides in his book The Philosophy of Life, A New Reading of the Zhuangzi a detailed analysis and a unique interpretation of Zhuangzi’s Inner, Outer and Miscellaneous chapters.
Unlike many other Chinese scholars Chen does not focus on a philological, but on a philosophical reading of the Zhuangzi highlighting the main topics of self-cultivation, aesthetics, and epistemology. Chen’s perspectives on the Zhuangzi range from the historical background of the Warring States Period to his own personal (political) experience. Since Chen is also a specialist on Nietzsche, he elaborates Zhuangzi’s philosophy of life and the idea of regulating one’s heart by drawing a parallel to Nietzsche’s perspectivism.

Imperial-Time-Order

Literature, Intellectual History, and China’s Road to Empire

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Kun Qian

Imperial-Time-Order is an engagingly written critical study on a persistent historical way of thinking in modern China. Defined as normalization of unification and moralization of time, Qian suggests, the imperial-time-order signifies a temporal structure of empire that has continued to shape the way modern China developed itself conceptually. Weaving together intellectual debates with literary and media representations of imperial history since the late Qing period, ranging from novels, stage plays, films, to television series, Qian traces the different temporalities of each period and takes “time” as the analytical node by which issues of empire, nation, family, morality, individual and collective subjectivity are constructed and contested.

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Edited by Yuri Pines, Paul Goldin and Martin Kern

Ideology of Power and Power of Ideology in Early China explores ancient Chinese political thought during the centuries surrounding the formation of the empire in 221 BCE. The individual chapters examine the ideology and practices of legitimation, views of rulership, conceptualizations of ruler-minister relations, economic thought, and the bureaucratic administration of commoners.
The contributors analyze the formation of power relations from various angles, ranging from artistic expression to religious ideas, political rhetoric, and administrative action. They demonstrate the interrelatedness of historiography and political ideology and show how the same text served both to strengthen the ruler’s authority and moderate his excesses. Together, the chapters highlight the immense complexity of ancient Chinese political thought, and the deep tensions running within it.
Contributors include Scott Cook, Joachim Gentz, Paul R. Goldin, Romain Graziani, Martin Kern, Liu Zehua, Luo Xinhui, Yuri Pines, Roel Sterckx, and Charles Sanft.

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Kenneth M. Wells

This outline of Korea’s civilisation is a cultural history that examines the ways the Korean people over the past two millennia understood the world and viewed their place in society. In the traditional era, the interaction between several broad religious and philosophical traditions and social institutions, state interests and, at times, external pressures, provides the framework of the story. In the modern era, the chief concern is with the rapid and momentous cultural changes that have occurred over the past one and a half centuries in the idea and spread of education, the rise in influence of students, the development of mass culture, the redefinition of gender, and the continuing importance of religion.

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George L. Israel

In Doing Good and Ridding Evil in Ming China: The Political Career of Wang Yangming, George Israel offers an account of this influential Neo-Confucian philosopher’s official career and military campaigns. While his contribution to China’s intellectual history and the outlines of his political life are well known, the relation between his thought and what he did in his capacity as a Ming official has been given less attention.
Prior writing on Wang Yangming has passed judgment on his ideas by either idealizing or condemning him for how he treated those he was assigned to govern. Through a detailed reconstruction of his career in the context of issues of empire, ethnicity, and violence, George Israel demonstrates that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Late Works of Mou Zongsan

Selected Essays on Chinese Philosophy

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Edited by Jason Clower

In Late Works of Mou Zongsan, Jason Clower publishes English translations of this most famous and influential of modern Chinese philosophers for the first time. In essays chosen for their clarity and approachability, this leading contemporary Confucian speaks on the topics that best define his career: the future of Chinese culture and philosophy, the unique achievements of Confucianism, the place of Buddhism and Daoism in Chinese culture, and the possibility of a new partnership between Chinese and Western thought.

Religious Discourse in Modern Japan

Religion, State, and Shintō

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Jun'ichi Isomae

Religious Discourse in Modern Japan explores the introduction of the Western concept of “religion” to Japan in the modern era, and the emergence of discourse on Shinto, philosophy, and Buddhism. Taking Anesaki’s founding of religious studies ( shukyogaku) at Tokyo Imperial University as a pivot, Isomae examines the evolution of this academic discipline in the changing context of social conditions from the Meiji era through the present. Special attention is given to the development of Shinto studies/history of Shinto, and the problems of State Shinto and the emperor system are described in relation to the nature of the concept of religion. Isomae also explains how the discourse of religious studies developed in connection with secular discourses on literature and history, including Marxism.