Zhu Xi's Reading Of The Analects

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Overview

The Analects is a compendium of the sayings of Confucius (551--479 b.c.e.), transcribed and passed down by his disciples. How it came to be transformed by Zhu Xi (1130--1200) into one of the most philosophically significant texts in the Confucian tradition is the subject of this book.

Scholarly attention in China had long been devoted to the Analects. By the time of Zhu Xi, a rich history of commentary had grown up around it. But Zhu, claiming that the Analects was one of the authoritative texts in the canon and should be read before all others, gave it a still more privileged status in the tradition. He spent decades preparing an extended interlinear commentary on it. Sustained by a newer, more elaborate language of metaphysics, Zhu's commentary on the Analects marked a significant shift in the philosophical orientation of Confucianism -- a shift that redefined the Confucian tradition for the next eight centuries, not only in China, but in Japan and Korea well.

Gardner's translations and analysis of Zhu Xi's commentary on the Analects show one of China's great thinkers in an interesting and complex act of philosophical negotiation. Through an interlinear, line-by-line "dialogue" with Confucius, Zhu effected a reconciliation of the teachings of the Master, commentary by later exegetes, and contemporary philosophical concerns of Song-dynasty scholars. By comparing Zhu's reading of the Analects with the earlier standard reading by He Yan (190--249), Gardner illuminates what is dramatically new in Zhu Xi's interpretation of the Analects.

A pioneering study of Zhu Xi's reading of the Analects, this book demonstrates how commentary is both informed by a text and informs future readings, and highlights the importance of interlinear commentary as a genre in Chinese philosophy.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

China Review International

Gardner's work in this volume is one of the most significant commentaries on the Confucian classics in our time.

Journal of the American Oriental Society
This is a small gem of a book... This is a revealing book, well worth the read.

— Edward Slingerland

School of Oriental & African Studies
An ambitious and wholly admirable new series.

— T. H. Barrett

Journal of Asian Studies - Ari Borrell

Gardner offers a sensitive and sympathetic reading of Zhu Xi's commentary on the Analects... One leaves Gardner's work with a renewed appreciation of how interlinear commentaries functioned to reshape and revitalize the meaning of canonical writings and the tradition to which they belong.

School of Oriental and African Studies - T.H. Barrett
An ambitious and wholly admirable new series.
Journal of the American Oriental Society - Edward Slingerland

This is a small gem of a book... This is a revealing book, well worth the read.

School of Oriental and African Studies - T. H. Barrett

An ambitious and wholly admirable new series.

Journal of Asian Studies
Gardner offers a sensitive and sympathetic reading of Zhu Xi's commentary on the Analects... One leaves Gardner's work with a renewed appreciation of how interlinear commentaries functioned to reshape and revitalize the meaning of canonical writings and the tradition to which they belong.

— Ari Borrell

School of Oriental and African Studies

An ambitious and wholly admirable new series.

— T. H. Barrett

Journal of Asian Studies

Gardner offers a sensitive and sympathetic reading of Zhu Xi's commentary on the Analects... One leaves Gardner's work with a renewed appreciation of how interlinear commentaries functioned to reshape and revitalize the meaning of canonical writings and the tradition to which they belong.

— Ari Borrell

Journal of the American Oriental Society

This is a small gem of a book... This is a revealing book, well worth the read.

— Edward Slingerland

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231128643
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Gardner is professor of history at Smith College. He is the author of Learning to Be a Sage and Chu Hsi and the Ta-hsueh: Neo-Confucian Reflection on the Confucian Canon.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1. Learning2. True Goodness3. Ritual4. Ruling5. The Superior Man and the WayConclusionAppendixIndexi

Columbia University Press

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