GREAT PERFECTION: Religion and Ethnicity in a Chinese
Millennial Kingdom by Terry F. Kleeman ($48.00, Hardcover, 248 pages University of Hawaii Press; ISBN: 0824818008)
This study provides the first sustained account of the social and political dimensions of Daoism as illustrated in the Great perfection kingdom and its history in China. This study should contribute significantly in the reshaping the western image of the history of Daoism in China.
GREAT PERFECTION tells the story of the Ba people and of the Li family in particular. Engaging the most recent scholarship in Western, Chinese, and Japanese languages (including archaeological and ethnological publications), the study begins in the mists of prehistory, traces the early history of the Ba, chronicles the rise of the Daoist faith and their role in it, then sets forth in detail a chronicle of the state of Great Perfection. Central to the work is a translation of all surviving historical records concerning the state, which have been conflated here in an attempt to reconstruct the lost Book of the Lis of Sichuan, a contemporary first-hand source by the state's historian. As the first study in any Western language devoted to the Ba or to the Great Perfection kingdom, this volume breaks new ground in Chinese ethnography and history. As the first book-length treatment of a Daoist millennial kingdom, it is a major contribution to the history of early Daoism and a significant addition to scholarship on apocalyptic thought worldwide.
Confucius translation and notes by David Hinton ($24.00, hardcover, 252 pages,
Counterpoint, ISBN: 1887178635)
MENCIUS translation and notes by David Hinton ($24.00, hardcover, 288 pages, Counterpoint, ISBN: 1887178627)
CHANG TZU: The Inner Chapters translation and notes by David Hinton ($12.50, hardcover, 144 pages, Counterpoint Press; ISBN: 1887178791)
TAO TE CHING
Hinton approach to translation is a poetic rendering well grounded in meticulous scholarship and a good ear for idiomatic English. These handsome volumes offer contemporary renderings of this axle works of Chinese classic civilization in a sensitive nuanced English that is faithful to a spiritual reading of the texts.
MORAL VISION AND TRADITION: Essays in Chinese Ethics by A. S. Cua ($66.95, hardcover, 350 pages, Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, Vol 31, Catholic University of America Press; ISBN: 0813208904)
This volume offers a comprehensive philosophical study of Confucian ethics-its basic insights and its relevance to contemporary Western moral philosophy. Distinguished writer and philosopher A. S. Cua presents fourteen essays which deal with various problems arising in the philosophical explication of the nature of Chinese ethical thought.
Offering a unique analytical approach, Cua focuses on the conceptual and dialectical aspects of Confucian ethics. Among the topics discussed are: the nature and significance of the Chinese Confucian moral vision of tao; the complementary insights of Classical Taoism, namely of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu; and the logical and rhetorical aspects of Confucian ethics.
Perhaps more relevant to contemporary East-West ethical discourse, several essays present an introduction to a systematic Confucian moral philosophy. Cua explains the idea of a living, Confucian, ethical tradition and highlights the problem of interpreting the cardinal concepts of Confucian ethics as an ethics of virtue. Much of the effort is spent in shaping concepts such as jen (humanity), i (rightness), and li (ritual propriety) in the light of the Confucian ideal or vision of tao. Among the topics discussed are: the nature and significance of the Chinese Confucian moral vision of tao; the complementary insights of Classical Taoism, namely, of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu; and the logical and rhetorical aspects of Confucian ethics. Perhaps more relevant to contemporary East-West ethical discourse, several essays introduce a systematic Confucian moral philosophy. Cua concludes with a discussion of the possibility of reasoned discourse, aiming at a resolution of intercultural, ethical conflict.
This book will appeal to a broad spectrum of scholars interested in ethics, Chinese philosophy, comparative Chinese and Western ethical thought, and Confucianism.
1. Reasonable Action and Confucian Argumentation |br> 2. Confucian Vision and Experience of the World
3. Forgetting Morality: Reflections on a Theme in Chuang Tzu
4. Chinese Moral Vision, Responsive Agency, and Factual Beliefs
5. Opposites as Complements: Reflections on the Significance of Tao
6. Morality and Human Nature
7. Harmony and the Neo-Confucian Sage
8. Competence, Concern, and the Role of Paradigmatic Individuals (Chun tzu) in Moral Education
9. Between Commitment and Realization: Wang Yang-ming's Vision of the
Universe as a Moral Community
10. The Possibility of a Confucian Theory of Rhetoric
11. A Confucian Perspective on Self-Deception
12. The Confucian Tradition (Tao-t'ung)
13. Basic Concepts of Confucian Ethics
14. Principles as Preconditions of Adjudication
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
A. S. Cua, professor emeritus of philosophy at The Catholic University of America, is the author of numerous articles and books, including Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsun Tzu's Moral Epistemology (1985), The Unity of Knowledge and Action: A Study in Wang Yang-ming's Moral Psychology (1982), and Dimensions of Moral Creativity (1978). He also serves as coeditor of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, associate editor of the International Journal of Philosophy of Religion, and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy.
IN SEARCH OF PERSONAL WELFARE: A View of Ancient Chinese Religion by Mu-chou Poo ($21.95, PAPERBACK, a volume in the SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture, David L. Hall and Roger T. Ames, editors, State University of New York press, SUNY) HARDCOVER
This book is the first major reassessment of ancient Chinese religion to appear in recent years. It provides a historical investigation of broadly shared religious beliefs and goals in ancient China from the earliest period to the end of the Han Dynasty. The author makes use of recently acquired archeological data, traditional texts, and modern scholarly work from China, Japan, and the West. The overall concern of this book is to try to reach the religious mentality of the ancient Chinese in the context of personal and daily experiences. Poo deals with such problems as the definition of religion, the popular/elite controversy in methodology, and the use of "elite" documents in the study of ordinary life.
This emphasis upon the religious mentality and everyday practice of religion brings into focus new ways of appreciating the documentary evidence of archaic Chinese religion. In many ways, this is a immoderate thesis in terms of its focus on the common religion of everyday life and its discussion of the overlap and interaction between the elite and common levels of religion in early imperial China and will be controversial in the best sense of the expression. There is nothing on ancient Chinese religion (in any language) that is quite like Poos book. It is truly pioneering in this respect to its analysis of fundamental documents.
"One of the most illuminating studies on early Chinese religion I have read in a long time, it is well written, cogently argued, and based upon impeccable research. Poo has been able to make use of the great mass of new archaeological material that has been accumulating through the last two or three decades in China and Japan, and he has also mastered the best Western scholarship on Chinese religion. His grasp of both sets of materials is pertinent, accurate, and fascinating. I frankly think that anyone interested in Chinese religion would want to buy this book. I believe it will become something of a standard reference." John Berthrong, author of All Under Heaven: Transforming Paradigms in Confucian-Christian Dialogue
Mu-chou Poo is Research Fellow and Professor at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He is the author of several works, including Wine and Wine Offering in the Religion of Ancient Egypt (Kegan Paul International); Literature by the Nile: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Literature; and Burial Styles and Ideas of Life and Death.
COMPASSION AND BENEVOLENCE: A Comparative Study of Early Buddhist and Classical Confucian Ethics by Ok-Sun An ($42.94, HARDCOVER, PAPERBACK, bibliographical references, Asian thought and culture,Vol. 31 Peter Lang, ISBN 0820438014)
COMPASSION AND BENEVOLENCE reveals the heart of early Buddhist and classical Confucian ethics in a comparative way. It explores compassion (karuna) and benevolence (jen) by analyzing their mechanisms, their moral ground-works, their applications, and their meta-ethical nature. Compassion and benevolence are taken as self-transformative virtues on the way to becoming an enlightened one and a sage. This exploration intends to reject the popular theses: early Buddhism is only self-liberation concerned soteriology and classical Confucianism is only society-concerned thought requiring self-effacement.
Ok-Sun An studied comparative ethics and received a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Currently she is concerned with interpreting Buddhist and Confucian ethics from a feminist perspective. She teaches philosophy in Korea.
There maybe a more dialogical relationship between the ethics of Buddhism and Chinese thought, especially Confucianism. A daughter of a professor of Chinese philosophy in Korea, Ok-Sun An, is well equipped with the knowledge of classical Chinese and who studied Sanskrit and Pali at the University of Hawaii. She has worked out in great detail the philosophical relationship between early Confucianism and early Buddhism, the Pali Nikayas as being her sources for the latter. She focuses on their ethical theories by beginning to redefine what is meant by self-transformation in Buddhism and Confucianism. She distinguishes it from the popular Western conceptions, for self-transformation is the foundation of any reasonable ethical theory. Then she undertakes a detailed analysis of the Buddhist and Confucian virtues and follows it up with a comparison of the Buddhas concept of compassion and the Confucian notion of benevolence, which is the meat of her thesis.
The realization of these virtues in early Buddhism and early Confucianism draws her attention next. Finally, she deals with the philosophical problem of the objectivity of virtues, so important for both traditions that she was dealing with, placing them in the context of the materialistic and emotivistic schools of the East and the West.
An is not attempting to present an exaggerated identity between Buddhism and Confucianism. She faces directly some of the important differences between them and presents a sympathetic, but not apologetic, analysis of the thoughts of two remarkable philosophers of the world. Her work should eliminate any doubts as to the philosophical appeal of Buddhism to the Chinese mind.
The present volume aims to interpret and compare early Buddhist ethics with classical Confucian ethics from the perspective of self transformation. The early Buddhist philosophical and moral tradition is strikingly different from that of classical Confucianism. Since early Buddhism and classical Confucianism developed their own unique traditions in different cultural settings, philosophical and moral differences are inevitable. However, we also find significant similarities in these different paradigms of thought. These similarities are revealed when one focuses on the conceptions of self transformation.
The similarities originate in a shared position. The major concern of both systems is the cultivation and development of a desirable character through the process of transforming oneself. One may call this "character building ethics."
In both ethical systems, self-transformation is perceived as a constant and challenging task. It is constant because it is achieved not at one moment, but through gradually accumulated effort. It is challenging because changes of the situation of the transforming person, and interactions with others are involved. The core task of self-transformation embodying compassion or benevolence is to follow the path toward realization of the highest moral goal which is freedom or happiness (nibbana tao) of the self and others. This virtue cannot be perfectly accomplished by pursuing it for oneself. This means that an emphasis on transformation only of oneself will involve misinterpretation of both systems of ethics. In this way, the following common interpretations will not be found: (1) Early Buddhist ethics is concerned with liberating the self alone and is less concerned with others. (2) Classical Confucian ethics is concerned with the happiness of the collective group and is less concerned with individual happiness.
In comparison, we might discuss all and sundry similarities and differences indiscriminately. Focusing on self transformation will allow us to limit the scope of comparison. From this perspective, similarities between the two systems will emerge regarding self-transformative ideas, methods, and modes of realization. However, a consideration of the reasons for self transformation and of the metaphysical backgrounds of the two moral systems will reveal differences between the two traditions. In this context, the main goals of this study can be addressed: From the perspective of self-transformation, early Buddhist ethics are similar to classical Confucian ethics in spite of some major differences between the groundwork of their respective metaphysics of morals. This study will also show that compassion (karuna) is the core virtue of early Buddhist ethics and that it is very similar to the core virtue of classical Confucianism, benevolence. I will refer to these two terms together in this study as "the virtue." I maintain that the realization of compassion/benevolence is indispensable for the highest moral achievement of the self and others.
To sum up: Chapter one will be a preliminary study. In order to fully understand the two ethical traditions, their social milieu and views on human nature need to be sketched. In chapter two, the frameworks of the metaphysics of morals of the two traditions will be discussed in order to show the theoretical foundations of self-transformative morals in both systems. In chapter three, I will discuss the main moral virtue necessary for the transformation of the self. Following my claim that a realization of the main moral virtue, that is, of compassion/benevolence, is a way of self-transformation, I will analyze its functional mechanism through a consideration of modem theoretical perspectives. In chapter four, I will discuss how the main virtue is applied to educational and political institutions. In the last chapter, I will examine the virtue in light of the problem of moral objectivity. In this chapter, we will come to an understanding of the nature of this virtue, and of the characteristics of the two ethical systems as well. In conclusion, I will briefly summarize the results of this study. In addition, I will interpret the moral goal, nibbana tao, in the framework of the two ethical systems and consider the life pattern of the self-transformed person.
As long as we consider the clarification of human thought, and especially ethical thought as one of the tasks of philosophy, the method of comparison suggests itself as an effective tool. The method of comparison taken in this study will help us to clarify the ethical ideas of early Buddhism, and also of classical Confucianism. Furthermore, the comparative method will help us to identify some hidden assumptions, and enable us to understand certain concepts. I will adopt the method of reviewing early Buddhist texts in a direct comparison with classical Confucian texts. For the purpose of these comparisons, it win be useful to identify and to analyze equivalent concepts in both systems. Finally, in interpreting the ethics of both systems, I will apply modem ethical perspectives and modem legal thoughts.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
B. PHILOSOPHICAL JUSTIFICATION OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION
CHAPTER I. PRELIMINARY REFLECTION: SOCIAL SETTINGS AND VIEWS OF HUMAN NATURE
A. THE SOCIAL SETTINGS AND ITS CRITICAL EXAMINERS
B. THE VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE
CHAPTER II. METAPHYSICAL GROUNDWORK OF VIRTUE
A. EARLY BUDDHISM
B. CLASSICAL CONFUCIANISM
C. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
CHAPTER III. DEVELOPMENT OF COMPASSION AND BENEVOLENCE
A. SELF-RESTRAINT AND COMPASSION IN EARLY BUDDHISM (1) Self-restraint (2) Development of Compassion
B. SELF-OVERCOMING AND BENEVOLENCE IN CLASSICAL CONFUCIANISM (1) Self-overcoming (2) Development of Benevolence C. A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
CHAPTER IV. REALIZATION OF COMPASSION AND BENEVOLENCE
A. EARLY BUDDHISM (1) An Educational Activity (2) Politics a. Politics by Righteousness, b. The Way to Maintain Righteousness, c. The Principles of Politics, d. Politics and Nature, A Compassionate Action of Lay People
B. CLASSICAL CONFUCIANISM (1) An Educational Activity (2) Governing a. The Quality of a King 8. A Proposition of Politics: Rectification of Names c. The Principles of Governing d. Governing and Nature 98 e. Governing and Wealth
C. A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
CHAPTER V. THE OBJECTIVITY OF COMPASSION AND BENEVOLENCE
A. A RECENT ARGUMENT CONCERNING MORAL OBJECTIVITY
B. THE NON-SEPARABILITY OF FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND MORAL PRACTICE
C. THE OBJECTIVITY OF THE VIRTUE IN TERMS OF ITS UNIVERSAL ACCEPTABILITY
D. THE OBJECTIVITY OF THE VIRTUE IN PRACTICE
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