Daily Archives: September 29, 2013

Columbia Neo-Confucianism Seminar this Friday

The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies will convene Friday, October 4, 2013 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Komoda Room of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Our presenter is Gopal Sukhu of the Department of Classical Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures at Queens College, City University of New York.  His paper is titled “Repossessing the Exorcised: Zhu Xi and the Songs of Chu.”  You might also like to consult his new book, The Shaman and the Heresiarch: A New Interpretation of the Li Sao (SUNY, 2012).

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Bard College Admissions and the Analects

An article in today’s New York Times discusses Bard College’s decsion to allow students to apply to Bard via submission of four 2,500 word essays, in lieu of the standard list of test scores and high school grades. My eye was drawn to the first of the questions listed in the article:

In “The Analects,” Confucius identifies the cardinal virtue of ren (variously translated as goodness, humanity, benevolence) with many different attitudes and behaviors. Yet Confucius also says, “There is one thread that runs through my doctrines.” Commentators differ about what that one thread is. What, in your opinion, could that one thread be? How does that one thread tie together the wide range of moral values that Confucius celebrates in “The Analects”? Support your answer by interpreting specific passages from the text.

This is perhaps less surprising, in light of the fact that Bard for several years used the Analects as a key reading in its First-Year Seminar program, and continues to include readings from classical Chinese thought.