Readings in Han Chinese Thought

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Overview

"The intellectual contributions of the Han (206 BCE-CE 220) have for too long received short shrift in introductory anthologies of Chinese thought. It was during the Han's unprecedented centuries-long unification of China that a canon of classical texts emerged, syncretic and scholastic trends transformed the legacy of pre-imperial philosophy, and popular religious movements shook official verities. With Mark Csikszentmihalyi's collection, readers at last have an accessible, eclectic introduction to the key themes of thought during this crucial period. Providing clear introductory essays and elegant, readable translations, Csikszentmihalyi exercises a judicious revisionism by breaking down stereotypes of philosophical orthodoxy and offering a subtler vision of cross-fertilization in thought. His juxtaposition of texts that reflect very different social milieux and their problems gives a more vivid picture of the Han than has ever before been available in an English-language collection. The result is a work that should by rights be required reading in intellectual history courses for years to come."
-David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles


"A judicious selection from primary sources to illustrate the growth of ideas in early imperial times. Teachers and students will welcome these readable translations of passages drawn from Han writings that are not widely known and which add depth to existing views of Chinese ways of thought, religious practices, and means of government."
-Michael Loewe, University of Cambridge

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The intellectual contributions of the Han (206 BCE-CE 220) have for too long received short shrift in introductory anthologies of Chinese thought. It was during the Han's unprecedented centuries-long unification of China that a canon of classical texts emerged, syncretic and scholastic trends transformed the legacy of pre-imperial philosophy, and popular religious movements shook official verities. With Mark Csikszentmihalyi's collection, readers at last have an accessible, eclectic introduction to the key themes of thought during this crucial period. Providing clear introductory essays and elegant, readable translations, Csikszentmihalyi exercises a judicious revisionism by breaking down stereotypes of philosophical orthodoxy and offering a subtler vision of cross-fertilization in thought. His juxtaposition of texts that reflect very different social milieux and their problems gives a more vivid picture of the Han than has ever before been available in an English-language collection. The result is a work that should by rights be required reading in intellectual history courses for years to come. --David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles

A judicious selection from primary sources to illustrate the growth of ideas in early imperial times. Teachers and students will welcome these readable translations of passages drawn from Han writings that are not widely known and which add depth to existing views of Chinese ways of thought, religious practices, and means of government. --Michael Loewe, University of Cambridge

This reader is an incredibly rich resource. It fills a crucial pedagogical gap, and will no doubt become a standard textbook in the teaching of early Chinese thought to non-specialists. The depth of annotation and notes for further reading also make it rich hunting ground for advanced students and specialists in the field, who have much to learn from Csikszentmihalyi's breadth of scholarship and lucid analysis of the world of thought and practice in the Han. --Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872207103
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/30/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Csikszentmihalyi is Associate Professor of Chinese and Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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