Challenges traditional views to consider Xunzi as a religious thinker.
Xunzi, a founding figure in the Confucian tradition, is one of the world's great philosophers and theorists of religion. For much of the last century, his work has been seen largely as critical of religion, particularly the popular beliefs and invocations of supernatural forces that underpin so many religious rituals. Contributors to this volume challenge this view and offer a more sophisticated picture of Xunzi. He emerges not as critic, but rather as an adherent of religion who seeks to give religious practices meaning even though many religious beliefs are mistaken or self-serving. Each essay offers a powerful illustration of Xunzi as both a religious devotee and as a philosopher of religion, drawing on a wide array of disciplines and methodologies.
T. C. Kline III is an independent scholar and the coeditor (with P. J. Ivanhoe) of Virtue, Nature, and Moral Agency in the Xunzi. Justin Tiwald is Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University and the coeditor (with Chung-ying Cheng) of Confucian Philosophy: Innovations and Transformations.