Academic year
2017/2018 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM014I (AF:252460 AR:138222)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The human condition: rites and practices of spiritual and bodily self-cultivation

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to read and analyse excerpts from classical philosophical and ritual texts on the subject of self-cultivation either according to the Taoist perspective, which emphasizes dietary and physiological practices and techniques, or according to the Confucian perspective, stressing moral education.
Fengshanshu dello Shiji, Liji, Guanzi and their commentaries. The texts will be provided in the original version and with their commentaries in classical and modern Chinese. The students will prepare translations for class discussion, and chose a subject for further development in a final essay.
By the end of the course students will have read and discussed sample writings from various sources, they will develop analytical and research skills and become familiar with the sources consulted.
Knowledge of classical chinese
Selected readings from miscellaneous works on the following subject: “The human condition: The human condition: rites and moral and bodily self-cultivation practices


Chen Shengxi 陈生玺, ed., Zhang Juzheng jiangping. Daxue, Zhongyong 张居正讲评。大学,中庸, Shanghai, Cishu chubanshe, Shanghai 2007.
Li Jingde 黎靖德, ed., Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類, Zhonghua Shuju, Beijing 1986.
Li Xiangfeng 黎翔鳳, Liang Yunhua 梁運華, eds., Guanzi jiaozhu 管子校注, Zhonghua shuju, Beijing, 2004.
Li Zehou 李泽厚, Lunyu jinyi 论语今读 (Reading the Analects today), Sanlian shudian, Beijing 2004
Zhu Xi 朱喜, Sishu zhangzhu jizhu 四書章句集註, Zhonghua shuju, Beijing, 1996.

A. Andreini, “The meaning of qing in texts from Guodian tomb. No.1, in P. Santangelo, D. Guida, eds., Love, Hatred and Other Passions. Questions and Themes on Emotions in Chinese Civilization, Brill, Leiden, 2006, pp. 149-165.
Confucio, Dialoghi, a cura di T. Lippiello, testo a fronte, Einaudi, Torino 2003 (rist. 2006)
M. Csikszentmihàlyi, “Ethics and Self-cultivation Practice in Early China”, in J. Lagerwey, M.
Kalinowski, Early Chinese Religion. Part One: Shang through Han (1250 BC-220 AD), Brill, Leiden, 2009, pp. 519-542.

T. Lippiello, “Pensiero e religion in epoca Zhou”, in T. Lippiello e M. Scarpari, a cura di, La Cina. Dall’età del Bronzo all’impero Han, Einaudi, Torino 2013, pp. 573-532.

Idem, “Self-cultivation and Longevity Techniques: Towards the Xian Cult of Qin and Han Times”, Asian and African Studies, volume XI, 1-2, 2007, pp. 99-115.
Idem, “A Confucian Adage for Life: Empathy (shu) in the Analects”, in R. Malek, G. Criveller, ed. by, Light a Candle. Encounters and Friendship with China. Festschrift in Honour of Angelo S. Lazzarotto P.I.M.E., pp. 73-98.
Idem, Le droghe dell’immortalità nell’antichità cinese e il Taishang lingbao zhicao pin, Venezia, Cafoscarina 2007.
Idem, a cura di, La costante pratica del giusto mezzo, Marsilio, Venezia 2010
D. S. Nivison, “The Classical Philosophical Writings”, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1999.
Poo Mu-chou, “Ritual and Ritual Texts in Early China”, in J. Lagerwey, M. Kalinowski,, Early Chinese Religion. Part One: Shang through Han (1250 BC-220 AD), Brill, Leiden, 2009, pp. 281-314.

M. Scarpari, “The Debate on Human Nature in Early Chinese Confucian Literature”, Philosophy East and West, 53/3, 2003, pp. 323-339.

Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la langue chinoise, Instituts Ricci, Paris-Taipei, 2001.
Gudai hanyu cidian 古代汉语词典, Shangwu yinshuguan, Beijing, 2007.
Hanyu da cidian, Hanyu dacidian chubanshe, Shanghai 1994.
P. Kroll, A student’s dictionary of classical and medieval chinese, Brill, Leiden 2014.
Le Grand Ricci numèrique: dictionnaire encyclopédique de la langue chinoise, (versione informatica e aggiornata del Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la langue chinoise, Association Ricci e Descléè de Brouwer, Paris, 2001, 6 voll.), Association Ricci, Paris, 2010.
Zhongwen da cidian, Zhongguo wenhua daxue chubanbu, Taipei 1973.

Research tools

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) ( )
China Academic Journals full text database (CAJ) ( )
A. Cua, ed., Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, Routledge, New York 2003;
M. Loewe, Early Chinese Texts: a Bibliographical Guide, Berkeley, The Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1993.
F. Pregadio, Encyclopedia of Taoism, Routledge, New York 2008;
K. Schipper, F. Verellen, The Taoist Canon, A Historical Companion to the Daozang, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 2004

The Classical Chinese texts and further bibliographical references will be provided during the course and will be available online.
written and oral
Ex-cathedra teaching, discussion and presentation PPT
The course will be held in english if necessary
  • Lecture notes, material for reference or for self-assessment available online or as e-book