This is the first book-length translation to give a comprehensive look at Zhu Xi’s thought and his place in history, literature, philosophy, and religion. It includes Zhu’s writings or lessons on a wide variety of topics, including his ethics, metaphysics, political thought, views on ghosts and spirits, objections to Daoism and Buddhism, selected commentaries, and his thoughts on literature, poetry, and current social conditions. The volume is edited by Philip J. Ivanhoe with contributions from experts in various areas and aspects of Zhu Xi’s writings.
The book has been released directly into paperback and there is a companion website that includes the Chinese text for all translated materials, both of which we hope will appeal to instructors looking to adopt the volume for their courses. The paperback edition is quite affordable, and the easy reference to the Chinese text gives language instructors a way to teach Song dynasty Chinese as applied to a variety of topics and genres.
Yale University press is about to release Michael Harrington’s excellent translation of Cheng Yi’s very important The Yi River Commentary on the Book of Changes, with an introduction by Michael and Robin Wang. More details are here.
Carine Defoort has published a review of Justin’s and my book Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2017) in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 80(3): 591-592. The review is in Dutch, but Google translate (plus a little help from Carine!) did a pretty good job. Here’s one short passage:
Because these thinkers [i.e., the Neo-Confucians] propose a variety of insights that seem somewhat Western, they have never really aroused my interest: fixed order patterns in a changing world seemed to me a diluted variant of an all too familiar dualistic worldview. The careful and broadly varied representation of Angle and Tiwald has changed that.
JeeLoo Liu, Neo-Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018, 316pp., $34.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781118619414.
Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College
This book is clearly one of the greatest accomplishments among English Neo-Confucian philosophical studies in recent decades. JeeLoo Liu uses clear language and rigorous philosophical reasoning to analyze eight pivotal Neo-Confucian figures regarding three major areas: metaphysics, moral theory and moral practice. The book can be aptly used as both an introduction to Neo-Confucianism for beginners and a top reference for researchers, which is itself a rare achievement.
this is to inform you about the international conference “Selfhood, Otherness, and Cultivation. Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy” (March 18-20, at National Chengchi University in Taipei). You can still register on our website which also contains many helpful information (list of speakers, abstracts, etc.). The conference is co-hosted by the philosophy department and the interdisciplinary “Research Center on Chinese Cultural Subjectivity in Taiwan” at National Chengchi University. Our guest of honor is Dan Zahavi (Kopenhagen/Oxford) who, besides participating in our conference, will also give a series of lectures next week (see here).
John Makeham (ed.), The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought, Oxford University Press, 2018, 354pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190878559.
Reviewed by Philip J. Ivanhoe, Sungkyunkwan University
This volume aims at answering important questions about the historical sources of Zhu Xi’s philosophical system; it includes a wealth of information about earlier, Buddhist philosophical writings and makes clear how some of these appear to have informed and influenced the development of Zhu’s philosophical system. I will very briefly describe the contents of the volume, highlighting some of the ways in which the various chapters fill out our understanding of how Chinese Buddhist philosophy provided sources and context for the development of Zhu’s thought. I then will consider what the volume aims to and does achieve.
I used Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introductionas the main textbook in a course on Neo-Confucianism this past semester. Student comments on the book (submitted anonymously as part of the teaching evaluation process) are available here. If any readers have used the book, Justin and I would love any further feedback! (I’d also be happy to share similar information about other course books, for other authors out there.)
I have made another post over at Neo-Confucianism.com, this time describing how I used the role-playing pedagogy “Reacting to the Past” in my recent course on Neo-Confucianism. It was great fun, and I encourage you to check it out!
I’m very happy to announce the publication of John Makeham, ed., The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought (Oxford). This is the culmination of a multi-year collaborative project that it was my good fortune to be a part of; I am very grateful to John and to the group for the opportunity. Details from Oxford are here and from Amazon are here, and I’ll add some brief information below.