REL223 Book Review

The first Book Review is based upon required course readings that offer contemporary accounts of the lived experience of Confucianism.  The review calls for you to consider the contemporary expression of Confucianism and to reflect upon its relevance to your own and our collective societal experience. The Book Review should consider how central teachings, principles and practices of Confucianism could be introduced and implemented into your own life, experience and American culture so as to lend to your personal and our collective edification.

In light of the description above, your review of T. R. Reid’s book Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living In The East Teaches Us About Living In the West ought to consider the following:

  1. Reid and his family’s experience of Confucianism/the Confucian ethos during their residency in Japan in the 1990’s – An experience which he describes as East Asia’s Social Miracle.
  2. How the Confucian ethos is expressed in contemporary Japanese culture – including, when relevant/pertinent, consideration and assessment of central Confucian tenets operative in and experienced by the Reid’s during their residency in contemporary Japan i.e.:
    1. Evidence of the 5 Confucian Virtues (jen, yi, li, chih and hsin);
    2. The 5 Confucian Key Relationships and corresponding 10 Appropriate Attitudes;
    3. The Confucian Doctrine of the Mean; Rectification etc.
  3. What lessons we can take from the Confucian/Japanese experience that might contribute to a better social experience in our culture and to the improvement of ourselves as individuals.
  4. In addition, allow the review to be an occasion by which you reflect upon and consider aspects, anecdotes and aspects of the book and the experience of the Reid’s which particularly struck you in some way (positively and/or negatively) and critically engage and assess why this was the case. This may lead you to gravitate on issues relevant to education or crime or social analysis or economics or cultural rites of passage or interpersonal relationships. There is freedom for you to pursue points of particular interest to you and/or relevant to your major.

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