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Book Title: Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage|
Format files: PDF
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The author of the book: William Theodore de Bary
Edition: University of California Press
Date of issue: July 7th 1989
ISBN 13: 9780520063938
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In the early days of the modernization of East Asia, Neo-Confucianism was often held responsible for the purported intellectual, political, and social failings of traditional societies in the nineteenth century. Today, with frequent comparisons between the rapid success at modernization of many of these societies and the slowness of other underdeveloped countries, Neo-Confucianism has come to be seen under a very different light; analysts now point to the common Confucian culture of China, Japan, Korea, and overseas Chinese communities as a driving force in the East Asian peoples' receptivity to new learning, disciplined industriousness, and capacity for both cultural and economic development.
Central to this remarkable capacity for development, these essays argue, lies the influence of the great twelfth-century thinker Chu Hsi. He has been considered responsible for providing much of the intellectual mortar that preserved the established order for centuries. However, when viewed in their historical setting, many of Chu's views can be seen as liberal—indeed, progressive.
This is the first comprehensive study of Chu as an educator and of the propagation of his teachings throughout East Asia. Covering a wide spectrum of intellectual and social developments, the contributors address the ways in which Neo-Confucian thought and ethics were adapted to changes in Chinese society that anticipate many features and problems of modern society today.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Theodore de Bary (born 1919) is an East Asian studies expert at Columbia University, with the title John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost Emeritus.
De Bary graduated from Columbia College in 1941, where he was a student in the first iteration of Columbia's famed Literature Humanities course. He then briefly took up graduate studies at Harvard before the US entered the Second World War. De Bary left the academy to serve in American military intelligence in the Pacific Theatre. Upon his return, he resumed his studies at Columbia, where he earned his PhD.
He has edited numerous books of original source material relating to East Asian (primarily Japanese and Chinese) literature, history, and culture, as well as making the case, in his book Nobility and Civility, for the universality of Asian values. He is recognized as essentially creating the field of Neo-Confucian studies.
Additionally, DeBary was active in faculty intervention during the Columbia University protests of 1968 and served as the university's provost from 1971 to 1978. He has attempted to reshape the Core Curriculum of Columbia College to include Great Books classes devoted to non-Western civilizations. DeBary is additionally famous for rarely missing a Columbia Lions football game since he began teaching at the university in 1953. A recognized educator, he won Columbia's Great Teacher Award in 1969, its Lionel Trilling Book Award in 1983 and its Mark Van Doren Award for Great Teaching in 1987.
Now the director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities and still teaching, De Bary lives in Rockland County, New York.
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