+ Bibliography
+ About the Speakers


Confucius and the "Confucian Tradition"
The Confucian tradition has been a central force in Chinese culture and society since the fifth century BCE.

[Excerpt from the Analects of Confucius]

Confucius said: "Having only coarse food to eat, plain water to drink, and a bent arm for a pillow, one can still find happiness therein. Riches and honor acquired by unrighteous means are to me as drifting clouds."


Robert Oxnam :: Anyone seeking to understand the Chinese tradition inevitably meets with the term "Confucian." And when people today talk about the rapid economic rise of East Asian nations, from Singapore to Japan and Korea, they refer to the "Confucian tradition." What is this tradition? To learn more about it, we must begin with the man, Confucius — a man committed to improving the human condition — and the times in which he lived.

Excerpt from Sources of Chinese Tradition, Wm. Theodore de Bary, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), Analects 7:15.