By Daniel Gardner
The Analects is a compendium of the sayings of Confucius (551–479 b.c.e.), transcribed and handed down via his disciples. the way it got here to be reworked via Zhu Xi (1130–1200) into probably the most philosophically major texts within the Confucian culture is the topic of this book.
Scholarly cognizance in China had lengthy been dedicated to the Analects. by the point of Zhu Xi, a wealthy heritage of statement had grown up round it. yet Zhu, claiming that the Analects was once one of many authoritative texts within the canon and will be learn earlier than all others, gave it a nonetheless extra privileged prestige within the culture. He spent many years getting ready a longer interlinear remark on it. Sustained through a more recent, extra problematic language of metaphysics, Zhu's remark at the Analects marked an important shift within the philosophical orientation of Confucianism―a shift that redefined the Confucian culture for the following 8 centuries, not just in China, yet in Japan and Korea well.
Gardner's translations and research of Zhu Xi's statement at the Analects convey certainly one of China's nice thinkers in an attractive and complicated act of philosophical negotiation. via an interlinear, line-by-line "dialogue" with Confucius, Zhu effected a reconciliation of the lessons of the grasp, observation by means of later exegetes, and modern philosophical issues of Song-dynasty students. via evaluating Zhu's analyzing of the Analects with the sooner commonplace analyzing by way of He Yan (190–249), Gardner illuminates what's dramatically new in Zhu Xi's interpretation of the Analects.
A pioneering learn of Zhu Xi's interpreting of the Analects, this publication demonstrates how observation is either educated by means of a textual content and informs destiny readings, and highlights the significance of interlinear statement as a style in chinese language philosophy.
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The Analects is a compendium of the sayings of Confucius (551–479 b. c. e. ), transcribed and handed down by means of his disciples. the way it got here to be remodeled by means of Zhu Xi (1130–1200) into some of the most philosophically major texts within the Confucian culture is the topic of this publication. Scholarly realization in China had lengthy been dedicated to the Analects.
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Additional resources for Zhu Xi's Reading of the Analects: Canon, Commentary and the Classical Tradition (Asian Studies)
Zhu reads it as exhortatory, intended to motivate disciples and readers of the classic to emulate the Master and devote themselves to a similar life of true learning. Such true learning does not result merely in moral betterment, as frequently asserted elsewhere in the text; sagehood itself also is within reach, attainable through the right sort of learning. He Yan would never suggest to his readers that through learning, they might become the sage that Confucius had been. To Zhu’s readers, emulation of the good, emulation of the behavior manifested by Confucius himself, grants one access to the lofty realm of the sages.
The importance of this text to him and his Confucian vision should be clear. Zhu Xi’s life and thought are richly documented, certainly much more so than He Yan’s. Zhu Xi ﬁgures prominently in the contemporary histories and, unlike He, has a lengthy biography devoted to him in the ofﬁcial dynastic history. More signiﬁcantly, he left behind an enormous corpus of works, whose inﬂuence on the later cultural tradition can hardly be overstated. Included among them are numerous commentaries on the Confucian canon, many of which, such as those on the Four Books, served from the fourteenth century on as the basis of the civil service examinations; a host of editions and anthologies of writings and remarks by venerated predecessors; and historical studies.
Behind this attempt is, of course, the assumption that such coherence does in fact exist. This assumption of coherence, I would argue, is an important and distinguishing characteristic of virtually all of Zhu Xi’s commentarial work. The conclusion will discuss this point at some length. 3 Throughout the Analects, Confucius testiﬁes to his own personal love of learning, suggesting that it is precisely such a love of learning that accounts for what he has become. He believes that it is in the will to learn that he is truly distinguished from others.