Wilson Co-Authors Book, Lives of Confucius

Professor of History Thomas Wilson has co-authored a book with University of California Berkeley Professor Michael Nylan titled Lives of Confucius: Civilization's Greatest Sage Through the Ages (Doubleday Religion, 4/10).

The book considers the figure of Kongzi (Confucius) through the ages. It is difficult to find a single, convincing portrait of the “authentic” Confucius in history, for Kongzi's life and teachings were just as hotly contested in 100 BCE as they are in China today. As such, Gu Jiegang, the greatest historian of 20th century China, was right to demand that scholars consider “one Kongzi at a time.” The book presents six additional portraits of Kongzi that have proven compelling to successive generations. As with the Buddha and Laozi, one can say with certitude that “there were many.”

Random House Publishers states that “With Michael Nylan and Thomas Wilson’s Lives of Confucius, many mysteries are laid to rest about his historical life, and fascinating details emerge about how his mythic stature evolved over time, right up to the present day.”
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