The perfect companion to courses in Asian civilization and culture, Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics provides nonspecialists with essential background on frequently assigned texts. With essays addressing foundational materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, and early modern fictional classics up to the seventeenth century, this guide works in any classroom and with readers at all levels. It demonstrates the particular link between each text and its tradition and proves the global relevance of Asian classics to the humanities at large.
Wm. Theodore de Bary combines reprinted and original essays on texts that have survived for centuries, if not millennia, through avid questioning and contestation. Recognized as perennial reflections on life and society, these works represent diverse historical periods and cultures and include the Laozi, the Xunxi, the Lotus Sutra, Tang poetry, the Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and the writings of Mencius, Chikamatsu, and Kaibara Ekken. Contributors explain the central and most commonly understood aspects of these works and how they operate within their traditions. They trace their reach and reinvention over the centuries and identify their ongoing value to modern life. With fresh interpretations of familiar readings, these essays inspire renewed appreciation and examination. In the case of some classics open to multiple interpretation, the guide features two complementary essays from different contributors. Expanding on debates concerning the challenges of teaching classics in the twenty-first century, several pieces speak to the value of Asia in the core curriculum and the necessity of reinforcing the significance of such works as the Analects. Indispensable for early scholarship on Asia and the development of global civilization, Finding Wisdom helps readers master the major texts of human thought.
Contributors: Paul Anderer, Columbia University · Irene Bloom ·Wm Theodore de Bary, Columbia University · Wing-tsit Chan · Rachel E. Chung, Columbia University · JaHyun Haboush, Columbia University · C. T. Hsia, Columbia University · Michael C. Kalton, University of Washington · Donald Keene, Columbia University · James Mirollo, Columbia University · Haruo Shirane, Columbia University · Robert A. F. Thurman, American Institute of Buddhist Studies · Conrad Schirokauer, City University of New York · Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University · Paul Varley, Columbia University · Franciscus Verellen, École française d'Extrême-Orient · Burton Watson · Philip Yampolsky, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign