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An Introduction to Confucianism (Introduction to Religion) [Kindle Edition]

Xinzhong Yao
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Taking into account the long history and wide range of Confucian Studies, this book introduces Confucianism - initiated in China by Confucius (551 BC–479 BC) - primarily as a philosophical and religious tradition. It pays attention to Confucianism in both the West and the East, focussing on the tradition's doctrines, schools, rituals, sacred places and terminology, but also stressing the adaptations, transformations and new thinking taking place in modern times. Xinzhong Yao presents Confucianism as a tradition with many dimensions and as an ancient tradition with contemporary appeal. This gives the reader a richer and clearer view of how Confucianism functioned in the past and of what it means in the present. A Chinese scholar based in the West, he draws together the many strands of Confucianism in a style accessible to students, teachers, and general readers interested in one of the world's major religious traditions.


Product Description

Review

'… an excellent introduction to the Chinese sage and those who have continued to develop his ideas … valuable for students of social sciences, politics, international relations, philosophy and religion, as well as general readers interested in China'. The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description

Taking into account the history and range of Confucian Studies, this book introduces Confucianism - initiated in China by Confucius (551 BC–479 BC) - primarily as a philosophical and religious tradition. It draws together the many strands of Confucianism in a style accessible to students, teachers, and general readers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4098 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (13 Feb. 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E3URIKS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #725,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much need introdution to Chinese Culture 5 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to a vast and complex subject. The Confucian tradition has a long and important influence on many countries in East Asia and without an understanding of this tradition we are unable to fully realise the ways in which East Asian culture has developed. The influence of Confucianism has ebbed and flowed within China, but as Dr. Yao shows, it has never become simply an historic tradition. The basic teaching of Confucianism is used as the foundation for many current developments in Chinese culture as China once again looks to its own history and traditions.
In the comprehensive introduction, Dr. Yao writes, 'What is intended throughout the book is to present a phenomenological investigation as to what Confucianism is, and to generate a seamless interpretation and presentation of its religious and philosophic doctrines.' If we examine the focus of each chapter we can see that this intention is realised.
The first chapter concentrates on the origin and nature of what in the west, is called Confucianism. The focus is on Confucius and his contribution to the tradition. This chapter enables the reader to fully understand the notion of Confucius as the transmitter of an established tradition, rather than the innovator of a new one.
Chapter Two has an historical focus and shows how the major Confucian schools developed from a common heritage. The distinctiveness of each school is noted and the reader begins to appreciate how the tradition evolved and developed from the time of Confucius to the present.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Confucius is one of China's most influential and representative thinkers. For most of the past two thousand years Confucianism received state recognition, being accepted as the orthodox way of life both by scholars and officials throughout the vast Chinese empire. While, as Lin Yu-tang said in The wisdom of Confucius, to western readers, Confucius is chiefly regarded as a wise man speaking in aphorisms or moral maxims, which hardly suffices to explain the depth of the influence of Confucianism. Without a deeper unity of belief or system of thought, no mere collection of aphorisms could dominate a nation's history as Confucianism has dominated China. It would be impossible, therefore, to arrive at a full appreciation of the influence and the prestige of Confucius without an understanding the systems of Confucian ideas as a system. Dr. Yao's An Introduction to Confucianism is a book that takes Confucianism as a system and gives us a thoroughgoing introduction to Confucianism.
It is impossible for me to go into any details in my discussion of a book of such size. Therefore, I propose to talk only about those features which may distinguish the book from any other books on Confucianism. First of all, its comprehensive understanding of Confucianism. Instead of a lineal or one-sided account of Confucianism like previous introductions, Dr. Yao presents Confucianism as a tradition with many forms: Confucianism as a 'family' (jia); Confucianism as a cult (jiao); Confucianism as a 'form of learning (xue). At the same time, he also introduces Confucianism as a tradition with many dimensions which contains a socio-political programme, an ethical system, and a religious tradition and functions as an underlying ideology and a guiding principle permeating the way of life in China.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Introductions Available 18 Sept. 2000
Format:Paperback
For anyone even remotely interested in Confucianism, this book is a true must. Dr. Yao's concise, well written style presents the philosophy in all its facets, with well resourced arguments and points of view. Furthermore, even for those who know more than a little about Confucius, this book is invaluable in its presentation of the contemporary Modern New Confucian movement currently growing in Hong Kong and China. I would recommend this book to anyone, whatever their philosophical persuasion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a much needed textbook for Confucian Studies 17 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is no small achievement to have presented Confucianism in a clear style yet with theoretical depth. Yao's main was to do so in a manner which would make Confucian doctrines and practices accessible to readers from different cultural backgrounds, and he has done so brilliantly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looks nice. 13 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't read the whole book, but the writing style seems decent.
The information is nicely categorised in chapters & sub-chapters.
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