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Thierry Meynard

Liang Shuming (1895-1988) is one of the most important Chinese philosophers in twentieth century China. Generally considered to be a Confucian, and even the last Confucian, the author argues that he was in fact a Buddhist. Liang’s thoughts are analysed within the background of the intellectual debates on religion in republican China. He reshaped the Western concept of religion from the standpoint of Yogācāra Buddhism. Yet, he advocated for the present time Confucianism as the ethical religion that would lead ultimately to the Buddhist liberation. Examining Liang’s religious belief sheds new light on his fascinating life, particularly his involvement in the Rural Reconstruction movement of the nineteen-thirties. It also explains why Liang was the only intellectual who dared to publically oppose Mao in the nineteen-sixties and seventies.

The Jesuit Reading of Confucius

The First Complete Translation of the Lunyu (1687) Published in the West

Series:

Thierry Meynard

The very name of Confucius is a constant reminder that the “foremost sage” in China was first known in the West through Latin works. The most influential of these was the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (Confucius, the Philosopher of China), published in Paris in 1687. For more than two hundred years, Western intellectuals like Leibniz and Voltaire read and meditated on the sayings of Confucius from this Latin version.
Thierry Meynard examines the intellectual background of the Jesuits in China and their thought processes in coming to understand the Confucian tradition. He presents a trilingual edition of the Lunyu, including the Chinese text, the Latin translation of the Lunyu and its commentaries, and their rendition in modern English, with notes.