Books, Scholars, Tradition, and Society:
Learning and Studying in Song Dynasty
(960-1279 AD)
by Liqing Tao

[April 7, 2006]


Song China was a unique time in China’s history. It witnessed spectacular developments in philosophy, literature, education, urbanization, commerce, government, and sciences and technology. However, national crises abounded, too. Humiliating encounters with its neighbors both literally and figuratively dwarfed this otherwise cultural giant.

Scholars took upon themselves the responsibility of upkeeping and safeguarding the culture and society. Thus, various social, cultural, technological factors of the time interacted more immediately but also intricately with the tradition of scholarship and constituted the context in which scholars learned and grew.

The presentation will outline the patterns of interactions among these various factors as learning context and focus on the prominent scholars of the time to illustrate both the uniqueness and diversity. Linguistic features will also be highlighted in the discussion. In sum, Song scholars found themselves consciously examining their own growth and developing, through synthesis, systematic ways of learning and studying, thus set the general pace for the generations of scholars to come.






Lecture Archive

Fall 2009 - Spring 2010

Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

Fall 2007 - Spring 2008


Fall 2006 - Spring 2007

Fall 2005 - Spring 2006

Fall 2004 - Spring 2005

Fall 2003 - Spring 2004

Fall 2002 - Spring 2003

Fall 2001 - Spring 2002


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2017

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: