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Zhu Xi and Meister Eckhart: Two Intellectual Profiles

Authors:  Zheng S.

Year: 2016
ISBN: 978-90-429-3213-5
Pages: X-364 p.
Price: 84 EURO

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This book attempts a comparative study between Zhu Xi (1130-1200), a Neo-Confucian master of the Song dynasty in China, and Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), a scholastic and mystic in the medieval West. With a focus on the theme of human intellect as presented in the works of the two thinkers, this study also explores the massive hermeneutical framework in which that concept is unfolded in Zhu Xi and in Eckhart. Thus, the complexity of each thinker's understanding of the human intellect is demonstrated in its own context, and the common themes between them are discussed in their own terms. Based on a systematic study of the original texts, the comparison between Zhu Xi and Meister Eckhart goes much deeper than a general dialogue between East and West. The comparative model of this book, based strictly on textual study, aims to develop an in-depth communication between a scholastic Confucian mind and his equally sophisticated counterpart in Christendom, in the hope that the intellectual brilliance and spiritual splendour of one thinker will be illuminated by the light of the other. Probably only when one encounters a like-minded counterpart brought up in a totally different tradition will such a mutual illumination become meaningful.

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