World Scriptures I: East Asia

Instructor:  Arlin Larson

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Class Limit 30
  • Required Texts

“The Analects of Confucius” and the “Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu” have provided spiritual, ethical, and cultural foundations for China, Japan, and Korea for over two thousand years. We will explore these texts as paradigms of certain attitudes toward human fulfillment, both temporal and eternal. Seemingly more philosophical than religious, the background for each is the way and will of Heaven. “The Analects” puts sociability at the heart of reality, while the “Tao Te Ching” eschews human artifice in favor of the spontaneity of nature, (the Tao). Rather than contradictory, they have in most times been seen as complementary. Confucius fell out of favor in revolutionary China because of his bias towards conformity and the past but is now staging a comeback. The “Tao Te Ching” was prominent in the United States during the 60’s and 70’s as it seemed to support flouting convention and “doing your own thing.”

Class limit 30

Required texts: “Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu” (Author), Stephen Addiss (Author), Stanley Lombardo (Author), Burton Watson (Author). Paperback 128 pages. Hackett Publishers, Oct. 1993. ISBN- 10:0872202321 (or ISBN-13: 978-0872202321) AND “The Analects of Confusius” by Confucius (Author); Simon Leys (Translator). ISBN-10: 0393316998 (or ISBN-13: 978-0393316995

Rev. Dr. Arlin T. Larson has taught Senior College courses on a variety of topics in philosophy and religion. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is now retired after a career in parish ministry, college chaplaincy, and college teaching, most recently serving First Congregational Church of Searsport, Maine.