Great Minds of China


This course is usually offered once a year, or every other year.


The course will be composed of three segments--one deals with Confucianism, one with Daoism, and the final segment with Buddhism. In the first segment on Confucianism, basic texts, including the Analects and Mencius, will be studied with relevant commentaries. Particular attention to their wide-ranging and profound implications for Chinese culture, especially in the ethical and socio-political dimensions. In the second segment on Daoism, basic texts on Daoism, including the Laozi and Zhuangzi, will be studied with some of the most influential commentaries. Their indelible impact on Chinese aesthetics and mode of thinking will be emphasized. The final segment on Buddhism will concentrate on representative sutras of the tradition (e.g. the Diamond Sutra) as well as important texts from the Chan (Zen) masters, along with the key commentaries. Although a foreign import from India, Buddhism was so thoroughly sinicized that it has become part of Chinese culture. Furthermore, the common threads that link these main three thought systems as well as the interaction among them will also be studied in order to demonstrate how together they have contributed to the evolution of Chinese culture.


No recitation

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Course prerequisites