Written by the most important scholars in contemporary Confucian studies, these approachable essays focus on the relevance of Confucius’s ideas to modern living, with special attention given to the Analects, his seminal text. Topics covered include tradition and creativity, grief and mourning, the doctrine of correcting names, Confucian kungfu, and moral cultivation.
The First Complete Translation of the Lunyu (1687) Published in the West
Author: Thierry Meynard
Thierry Meynard examines how the Jesuits in China came to understand the Confucian tradition, and how they offered the first complete translation of the Lunyu in the West, in the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (Confucius, the Philosopher of China, 1687).
Confucius is perhaps the most important philosopher in history. Today, his teachings shape the daily lives of more than 1.6 billion people. Throughout East Asia, Confucius's influence can be seen in everything from business practices and family relationships to educational standards and government policies. Even as western ideas from Christianity to Communism have bombarded the region, Confucius's doctrine has endured as the foundation of East Asian culture. It is impossible to understand East Asia, journalist Michael Schuman demonstrates, without first engaging with Confucius and his vast legacy. Confucius created a worldview that is in many respects distinct from, and in conflict with, Western culture. As Schuman shows, the way that East Asian companies are managed, how family members interact with each other, and how governments see their role in society all differ from the norm in the West due to Confucius's lasting impact. Confucius has been credited with giving East Asia an advantage in today's world, by instilling its people with a devotion to learning, and propelling the region's economic progress. Still, the sage has also been highly controversial. For the past 100 years, East Asians have questioned if the region can become truly modern while Confucius remains so entrenched in society. He has been criticized for causing the inequality of women, promoting authoritarian regimes, and suppressing human rights. Despite these debates, East Asians today are turning to Confucius to help them solve the ills of modern life more than they have in a century. As a wealthy and increasingly powerful Asia rises on the world stage, Confucius, too, will command a more prominent place in global culture. Touching on philosophy, history, and current affairs, Confucius tells the vivid, dramatic story of the enigmatic philosopher whose ideas remain at the heart of East Asian civilization.
A new translation and commentary of the Analects for contemporary audiences. The Analects of Confucius is arguably the single most influential work of China’s cultural heritage. In this new English translation, Peimin Ni accomplishes the rare feat of simultaneously providing a faithful translation of the text, offering his own reading based on gongfu (practice) perspective, and presenting major alternative readings to help the reader understand how diverse interpretations and controversies arise. In addition to the inclusion of the original Chinese text, Ni adds a comprehensive introduction, a discussion of key terms, annotations, and extensive cross-references. In doing so, Ni makes the text accessible and engaging for today’s audience. “Understanding the Analects of Confucius is an outstanding work of sinological scholarship.” — Henry Rosemont Jr., author of A Reader’s Companion to the Confucian Analects “Peimin Ni’s translation of the Analects has many virtues that make it stand out as an exemplary version of this most important Chinese text. Ni has chosen to present the text as a living document, embedded in two thousand years of commentarial conversation over its meaning, with today’s readers very much part of that ongoing conversation.” — Stephen C. Angle, author of Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy