Cambridge Chinese Classics
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Chinese Classics

Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, (Chinese: 典籍; pinyin: diǎnjí) today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics (四書五經), a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts were written in classical Chinese. As canons they are collectively referred to as jing (經).

More broadly speaking, Chinese classic texts may refer to texts, be they written in vernacular Chinese or in classical Chinese, that existed before 1912, when the last imperial Chinese dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, fell. These can include shi (史, historical works), zi (子, philosophical works belonging to schools of thought other than the Confucian, but also works of agriculture, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, divination, art criticism, and all sorts of miscellaneous writings) and ji (集, literary works) as well as jing.

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Comments from our members

  • 「意可释,但不尽释」道德经博大精深,用词微妙至极。对于老子文本解释的各种版本与字词运用的争议,可以以一种意可释,但不尽释的态度来面对。 — 罗欢欣
  • 「已今观古,已古观今」以现代的视野来理解经典中的微言大义,和时代的局限;以经典中古人的态度看待,理解现代的一些社会现象。 — 葛洪
  • 把中国的古代经典放到中西文化碰撞和交融的角度来看待——中国的经典和西方经典,和其他宗教文化,有各自怎样的特色,对各自文明有怎样的影响,我们今天该如何对待? — 王一如