Cambridge Chinese Classics

To study, practice and promote Chinese classics

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English Reading Group

Recognising that the attraction of Chinese Classics transcends cultural, ethnical, linguistic boundaries, the English Reading Group (ERG) began its first session in Lent 2013 as part of an effort to engage non-Mandarian speaking individuals who are interested to learn and explore the wisdoms of Chinese Classics. We seek to create an easy going environment for studying and discussing classical Chinese texts. Come Michaelmas 2013, join us as we begin an intellectual journey into Laozi’s Dao De Jing (Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Jing). Contact us at Hong Ge (hg344) or Yi Ren (ty269) for more information!

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Term Card - 2013 Michaelmas

"Dao De Jing - Chap 1 and 2"

3-4 pm, Saturday 19th Oct, by Yi Ren and Hong
Location: The Girdlers' Room of the Taylor Library, Corpus Christi College.

[Chinese Text] 道可道,非常道。名可名,非 常名。無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。
[English Text] The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name. (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things.


"Dao De Jing - Chap 3 and 4"

Saturday 2nd November, by TBA
Location: TBA

[Chinese Text] 故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。此兩者,同出而異名, 同謂之玄。玄又玄,衆妙之門。
[English Text] Always without desire we must be found, if its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, its outer fringe is all that we shall see. Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful.


  1. To be updated.

"Dao De Jing - Chap 5 and 6"

Saturday 16th November, by TBA
Location: TBA

[Chinese Text] 天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。皆知善之為善,斯不善已。故有無相生,難易相成, 長短相較, 高下相傾, 音聲相和, 前後相隨。
[English Text] All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing this they know what ugliness is; they all know the skill of the skilful, and in doing this they know what the want of skill is. So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to know the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another.


"Dao De Jing - Chap 7 and 8"

Saturday 30 November, by TBA
Location: TBA

[Chinese Text] 是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教;萬物作焉而不辭,生而不有。為而不恃,功成而弗居。夫唯弗居,是以不去。
[English Text] The sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his instructions without the use of speech. All things spring up, and there is not one which declines to show itself; they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership; they go through their processes, and there is no expectation (of a reward for the results). The work is accomplished, and there is no resting in it (as an achievement). The work is done, but how no one can see; Tis this that makes the power not cease to be.


  1. To be updated.