Though it is a collection of previously published articles, it attains a coherence and concentration such collections seldom achieve...[a] rich and rewarding book.
The Great Civilized Conversation: Education for a World Communityby Wm. Theodore de Bary
Having spent decades teaching and researching the humanities, Wm. Theodore de Bary is well positioned to speak on its merits and reform. Believing a classical liberal education is more necessary than ever, he outlines in these essays a plan to update existing core curricula by incorporating classics from both Eastern and Western traditions, thereby bringing the… See more details below
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Having spent decades teaching and researching the humanities, Wm. Theodore de Bary is well positioned to speak on its merits and reform. Believing a classical liberal education is more necessary than ever, he outlines in these essays a plan to update existing core curricula by incorporating classics from both Eastern and Western traditions, thereby bringing the philosophy and moral values of Asian civilizations to American students and vice versa.
The author establishes a concrete link between teaching the classics of world civilizations and furthering global humanism. Selecting texts that share many of the same values and educational purposes, he joins Islamic, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Western sources into a revised curriculum that privileges humanity and civility. He also explores the tradition of education in China and its reflection of Confucian and Neo-Confucian beliefs. He reflects on history's great scholar-teachers and what their methods can teach us today, and he dedicates three essays to the power of The Analects of Confucius, The Tale of Genji, and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon in the classroom.
Columbia University Press
Perhaps [The Great Civilized Conversation's] most striking feature is the care, and indeed passion, with which core concepts from different epochs of the Confucian educational tradition in East Asia are articulated and interpreted for a wider world community... [A] lifetime of sustained and cumulative effort... is represented in this remarkable volume.Sino Western Journal
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What People are saying about this
Wm. Theodore de Bary has been a tremendous influence on Western understanding of Neo-Confucianism and late-Ming thought, as well as a seminal figure in the creation and implementation of Asian studies programs and other related curricula throughout the United States. This book is, in a real sense, the culmination of his illustrious career.
This is a timely and imaginative set of essays, inviting readers to reconsider education in the classics in a more global fashion and to reconsider the Confucian and East Asian heritage in light of their contribution to liberal education goals. The results are sometimes surprising yet consistently constructive.
Meet the Author
Wm. Theodore de Bary is the John Mitchell Mason Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus of Columbia University and past president of the Association for Asian Studies. He has written extensively on Confucianism in East Asia and is the editor of Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics and coeditor of Sources of East Asian Tradition, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Sources of Japanese Tradition, and Sources of Korean Tradition.
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