Comparative Journeys: Essays on Literature and Religion East by Anthony C. Yu

By Anthony C. Yu

Publish 12 months note: First released October 14, 2008

Throughout his educational profession, Anthony C. Yu has hired a comparative method of literary research that will pay cautious cognizance to the spiritual and philosophical components of chinese language and Western texts. His mastery of either canons continues to be unequalled within the box, and his titanic wisdom of the contexts that gave upward push to every culture provides the principles for excellent comparative scholarship.

In those essays, Yu explores the overlap among literature and faith in chinese language and Western literature. He opens with a central approach for pertaining to texts to faith and follows with numerous essays that follow this method of unmarried texts in discrete traditions: the Greek faith in Prometheus; Christian theology in Milton; historical chinese language philosophical suggestion in Laozi; and chinese language spiritual syncretism in The trip to the West.

Yu's essays juxtapose chinese language and Western texts& mdash; Cratylus subsequent to Xunzi, for example& mdash;and talk about their dating to language and matters, akin to liberal Greek schooling opposed to common schooling in China. He compares a selected Western textual content and faith to a selected chinese language textual content and faith. He considers the Divina Commedia within the context of Catholic theology along the adventure to the West because it pertains to chinese language syncretism, united through the subject of pilgrimage. but Yu's concentration isn't solely tied to the classics. He additionally considers the fight for human rights in China and the way this subject pertains to old chinese language social inspiration and glossy notions of rights within the West.

"In almost each high-cultural system," Yu writes, "be it the Indic, the Islamic, the Sino-Japanese, or the Judeo& mdash;Christian, the literary culture has built in intimate& mdash;indeed, usually intertwining-relation to spiritual idea, perform, establishment, and symbolism." Comparative Journeys is a tremendous step towards unraveling this complexity, revealing in the course of the expert statement of texts the intense intimacy among supposedly disparate languages and cultures.

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Extra info for Comparative Journeys: Essays on Literature and Religion East and West (Masters of Chinese Studies)

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14 Chaucer (as noted by Skeat, Works II:432) is here remembering Jean de Meun’s account of the Golden Age in the Roman de la Rose, based on both Boethius and Ovid: Et de l’aue simple bevoient / Sanz querre piment ne claré [Then simple water satisfied; / They sought no spiced wine clarified]. 15 The notion of the earth as itself vulnerable, seen in the light of modern experience, lends Chaucer’s poem a poignant topicality. 16 In our time, poets like David Jones, Geoffrey Hill and Seamus Heaney; see Chapters XVIII and XIX below.

To deen purpure couthe þei noght beþynke The white flees wyþ venym tyryen; Þe rennyng ryuer yaf hem lusty drynke And holsom sleep þei took vpon þe grene. The pynes þat so full of braunches been, Þat was þaire hous to kepe vnder schade; The see to kerue no schippes were þere seen Þer was no man þat marchaundise made. Thay liked not to sailen vp & doun But kepe hem self where þei weren bred; Tho was ful huscht þe cruel clarioun ffor eger hate þer was no blood Isched, Ne þer with was non armour yit bebled; ffor in þat tyme who durst haue be so wood Suche bitter woundes þat he nold haue dred Wiþ outen reward forto lese his blood?

A perfect antithesis to Chaucer’s love-tragedy Troilus is his love-comedy the Franklin’s Tale, which is based on Boccaccio’s prose romance Il Filocolo of the 1330s. ’ It could have ended tragically in Dorigen’s unwilling adultery with the Squire Aurelius, followed by her suicide (which she actually considers) and a ‘mortel bataille’ between her husband Arveragus and Aurelius, or at best the collapse of her marriage. But such possibilities the tale’s genre precludes, ensuring that Aurelius will, out of gentillesse, release Dorigen from a rash promise made out of sympathy for his desperate state (see Chapter IV, pp.

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