Wisdom in Early Confucian and Israelite Traditions: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Wisdom in Early Confucian and Israelite Traditions

1st Edition

By Xinzhong Yao


256 pages

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Wisdom is an integratal part of all philosophical and religious traditions in the world. Focusing on the concept of wisdom, this book examines the difficulties and problems facing comparative studies of the early Confucian and Israelite traditions by exploring the cosmological and ethical implications of wisdom in the older layers of Christian and Confucian texts. Presenting a detailed discussion of how wisdom was understood in philosophical, religious and social contexts by the writers of the so-called early Confucian and Israelite wisdom texts, this book offers an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the significance of wisdom in the East and West, and to our knowledge of different and yet related ways of life as understood in their literature.


’This volume is by a much respected scholar who is bringing the richness of an important culture and language to our attention.’ Interreligious Insight ’The author is to be congratulated on this fine work. One would wish more comparative studies of this kind.’ International Review of Biblical Studies ’… [Xinzhong Yao's] work is a true masterpiece and not only accomplishes all that he himself set out as his task, but offers a superb model of how two religious/philosophical traditions can be read in light of each other in such a way that both are not only treated with equal breadth and depth but that their investigation uncovers riches in each in a way that an intramural study would likely miss… a book that deserves to be widely read and closely studied, not just by experts in the respective fields of Confucianism and Old Testament studies, but all those involved in virtually any area of religious studies…’ Journal of Chinese Religions

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Wisdom in a comparative perspective; Confucian and Israelite sources; Knowledge and wisdom; Wisdom as the way of life; Virtue, moral training and wise man images; Family, politics and the sage-king paradigm; Secularity and sacredness of wisdom; Conclusion: Wisdom as breaking through human finitude; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.

About the Series

Ashgate World Philosophies Series

Ashgate World Philosophies Series
The Ashgate World Philosophies series responds to the remarkable growth of interest among English-language readers in recent years in philosophical traditions outside those of 'the West'. The traditions of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese thought, as well as those of the Islamic world, Latin America, Africa, Aboriginal Australian, Pacific and American Indian peoples, are all attracting lively attention from professional philosophers and students alike, and this Ashgate series provides introductions to these traditions as well as in-depth research into central issues and themes within those traditions. The series is particularly designed for readers whose interests are not adequately addressed by general surveys of 'World Philosophy', and it includes accessible, yet research-led, texts for wider readership and upper-level student use, as well as research monographs. The series embraces a wide variety of titles ranging from introductions on particular world philosophies and informed surveys of the philosophical contributions of geographical regions, to in-depth discussion of a theme, topic, problem or movement and critical appraisals of individual thinkers or schools of thinkers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General