Book Reviews / Uncategorized

Confucian Analects

The Confucian Analects were easy to read, yet tough to understand in my opinion. It is easy to simply skim over the words and understand the general subject, but when trying to understand the meaning and direction behind the words is when headaches are caused. Many of the quotes seemed repetitive, or similar while a few seemed to go in circles as the actual advice was completely vague. It seems that many followers of Confucianism could easily become confused as they could interpret a few of the quotes in the wrong way. I almost think that his advice could make more sense if the readers knew more about the context in which the quote comes from. Several quotes are parts of conversations, which help to explain Confucius’ vague quotes, yet knowing more information on where the conversation took place and who exactly Confucius is speaking to could be viable to followers. This would especially help to decipher the short statements that can leave readers wondering “what would cause him to say this? who was he teaching this to? was this a private quote or from teaching a group of people?” and other such ideas.

This could be avoided if there were explanations included between the chapters or the books to help decipher the meaning of whether the quotes are direct advice that people over-think about or have the deeper meaning to follow. An explanation here and there from one of Confucius’ followers would help readers understand how the books and chapters are divided up, and how followers adhere to these guidelines in everyday life (in the past and modern societies). Also, an introduction would help to remind readers about how these quotes from the great teacher were collected, what the titles of each book mean, and why these recorded ones were chosen to be greatly important when Confucius probably said countless insightful things.

Overall this reminded me of the Bible in certain aspects as there are several quotes of obeying and respecting parents, having a valuable character, building strong communities and searching to become a virtuous man.

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