Emerson and Neo-Confucianism: Crossing Paths over the Pacific

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9781137332929: Emerson and Neo-Confucianism: Crossing Paths over the Pacific

A comparative investigation of Emerson's Transcendental thought and Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism, this book shows how both thinkers traced the human morality to the same source in the ultimately moral nature of the universe and developed theories of the interrelation of universal law and the human mind.

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About the Author:

Author Yoshio Takanashi: Yoshio Takanashi is Professor of English and American Language and Literature at Nagano Prefectural College, Japan. Foreword by Lawrence Buell: Lawrence Buell is Powell M. Cabot Research Professor Emeritus of American Literature at Harvard University, USA.


"Yoshio Takanashi's excellent comparative study of Emerson and Zhu Xi, the central philosopher of Neo-Confucianism, illuminates the relationship between American Transcendentalism and Asian philosophical traditions. Emerson's influence in Japan arose from the neo-Confucian attributes of his work, which share much with Zhu Xi's concepts of moral sincerity and self-development. Takanashi cogently explains their shared recognition of the interplay of 'cosmic law and human ethics,' and substantiates the growing appreciation of Emerson as an ethical and social philosopher." - David M. Robinson, Distinguished Professor of American Literature, Oregon State University, USA and author of Emerson and the Conduct of Life and Natural Life: Thoreau's Worldly Transcendentalism

"Emerson has long been known for his assimilation of the Hindu and Confucian traditions of spiritual wisdom. But Yoshio Takanashi offers new insight with this in-depth study of Emerson's affinity with Neo-Confucian Zhu Xi, discovering their kindred readings of the ethical self as well as natural universe across time and culture. It is exciting to see contemporary scholars catching up with writers of the past in tracing such paths across the Pacific." - Phyllis Cole, Past President of Ralph Waldo Emerson Society and Professor of English, Women's Studies, and American Studies, Penn State Brandywine, USA

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