Now in paperback, An illuminating portrait of Confucius’s life and philosophical teachings.
Confucius is one of the most important figures in Chinese history, a man whose philosophies have shaped world culture. Often overlooked outside his native country, Confucius himself was a fascinating figure. A contemporary of Buddha, Confucius was an outspoken and uncompromising man who revolutionized Chinese society nearly 2,500 years ago, when the country was merely a loose web of feudal provinces. No small feat for the illegitimate son of a retired soldier and a teenage concubine, who once received a prophecy from the local fortune-teller that she would give birth to a “throneless king.”
Perhaps because of these humble beginnings, Confucius had a passionate belief in respect for others and this belief underpinned his life and teachings. He advised the emperors and kings of his day, gaining their respect and undying enmity along the way. He was equally proud of both achievements, saying that if the evil people of the world liked him, he was doing something wrong.
In this enlightening portrait of a great man, the reader will discover how Confucius’s theories became the foundation of social structures throughout Asia that still exist today.
Meher McArthur is an art historian and the former curator of East Asian Art at the Pacific Asian Museum in California. She is the author of Reading Buddist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols, The Arts of Asia: Materials, Techniques, Styles, and Confucius: A Throneless King. She lives in Pasadena, CA.