A new translation by Martin Palmer brings ancient Chinese history and wisdom to life in the 21st century.
August 19, 2014:
’And remember: Heaven's blessing will cease forever if there's despair and poverty in your lands.’
(Confucius, The Most Venerable Book)
A wonderfully enjoyable storehouse of ancient Chinese history and legends, which also has an important role in understanding 21st century China, has just been published in a fresh translation by Martin Palmer (Secretary General of ARC)
The Most Venerable Book (also known as The Book of History) is one of the Five Classics. It is a key work of Chinese literature which preserves some of the most ancient and dramatic chronicles of the history, both real and mythological, of the Chinese state.
For many centuries it was a central work for anyone wishing to work for the Imperial administration, preserving as it does a fascinating mixture of key Confucian concepts as well as page after page of heroes, benevolent rulers, sagacious ministers, and struggles against flood, corruption and vicious, despotic rulers. The First Emperor tried in 213 BC to have all copies of the book destroyed because of its subversive implication that 'the Mandate of Heaven' could be withdrawn from rulers who failed their people. For similar reasons it was also banned by Chairman Mao.
Confucius rediscoveredBut, extraordinarily, the values of The Most Venerable Book have now been revived by the Chinese government . This rediscovery reflects an official reappraisal of Confucianism and the potential it may have to provide solutions to the social and environmental problems facing contemporary Chinese society. In 2013 several major Chinese Confucian organisations formed the International Confucian Ecological Alliance, a partnership working with ARC to promote environmental action inside China consistent with the teachings of Confucius. These remarkable developments make the issue of this new translation of Confucian thoughts both timely and useful.
||This new statue of Confucius was recently unveiled in the grounds of Shenzhen Polytechnic
Useful links Penguin Books
International Confucian Ecological Alliance