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
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.