Thursday, May 12, 2016

448. The Beginning of American Interest in Chinese Thought

In his widely circulated book (first published by Columbia University Press in New York, 1932, and it was republished in 1960, 1969 and 1972.), The Orient in American transcendentalism; a study of Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott, Arthur Christy, told his readers that his book "is a study of the beginning of American interest in Oriental thought." He pointed out that American traffic with China started when the Empress of China "entered the China trade, but for decades the traffic was almost alone in economic values. It was not until about Emerson time that the Oriental was more than a heathen and his religious literature more than foolishness. " 

Readers, who are familiar with Dr. Dave Wang's research on American founding fathers' fondness of Confucian moral thoughts, know that Christy's conclusion was not correct. American interest in Chinese thought started long before Emerson was born. During the the founding era of the United States, the founders sought to use some Confucius moral principles to help start new virtue for the new nation.  

With this link one can read a brief bio of Dr. Arthur Christy.

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