Warring States Project

The Project's emphasis on standard philological and historical methodology makes it distinctive in both its fields of endeavor, where, for whatever reason, that methodology has not been systematically applied. The publication program makes the Project's research results readily available to specialists, teachers, students, and the general reading public. The current program comprises a book series and a journal on both the Sinological and New Testament sides.

The Original Analects

This 1998 book, published by Columbia University Press, and available from them in either HB or PB format, was the first to set forth in detail the Project's view of any ancient text. The Analects of Confucius is one of the pivotal texts of the Chinese Classical period. Its 230-year span comprises almost the entire Warring States period, and makes it an ideal platform from which to observe, and coordinate, the writings of the other classical philosophical schools. This book has generated a considerable amount of comment. For some of these comments, and in a few cases the authors' responses, see below. The authors have also made available a Supplement, some further notes on difficult Analects passages, which should be read together with the book itself.

Distribution of later Project publications worldwide is through the University Press of New England, to which all orders placed from these pages are automatically referred. An order link is given for books currently available or in final production; dates and other information for other titles are our best current estimate.

Ancient China

The witnesses for China's classical period are about three dozen texts, many of which are incorrectly dated or otherwise misunderstood. Traditional understanding of the period mythologizes Confucius, overweights the Confucian against the statecraft and military texts, treats the meditational texts as comic relief, and virtually ignores the sub-elite Micians, whose approach is more relevant to modern issues than any of the others. The Project is in the forefront of those seeking a better balanced, methodologically responsible, and chronologically precise view of the period.

Ancient China in Context

The teachings of the classical philosophers and technicians were formative for early China, and are still cogent for modern China. This series brings this important part of the world heritage to the attention of a world readership. It includes an overview and orientation volume, The Emergence of China, plus single volumes giving a more detailed look at the major schools of thought. These works together help to correct the present almost exclusive focus on Confucius, and allow a broader and more representative picture to emerge, one which has far more direct relevance to modern questions than the artificial image of "Confucius" which presently dominates all discussion. These books are meant to form a series with The Original Analects (Columbia 1998), a complete account (translation and commentary) of the Analects of Confucius. The following list is in chronological order of the texts included, and with our survey volume, Emergence, last of all:
Spring and Autumn: The Chinese World Before Confucius
The Original Analects: Sayings of Confucius and His Successors (Columbia University Press, 1998)
Rhymes and Reasons: The Chinese Classic of Poetry
Arts of War: The Classical Chinese Military Tradition
Quiet Ways: The Mystical Statecraft of Laudz (expected 2017)
Waging Peace: The Mician Program for Ancient China
A Usable Past: The Chinese Classic of Documents
Mencius: China's Second Sage
Before the Yi: The First Chinese Divination Manual
The Emergence of China: From Confucius to the Empire (published 2015)

Warring States Papers

In this annual journal, specialists and other interested persons may follow the ongoing research by which the conclusions behind the above books are reached and further developed. Recommended especially for advanced students and for all research libraries.

Warring States Papers v1 (cover date 2010, published 2012)
Warring States Papers v2 (cover date 2011, expected 2017)

Early Christianity

The witnesses for Early Christianity are about three dozen canonical and noncanonical texts, many of which are incorrectly dated or otherwise misunderstood. Recent scholarship has largely failed to take advantage of the traditional historical and philological methods which define the Project's research approach. In addition, the modern Church is largely Pauline in its theology, and exerts a restraining influence on all research. These publications explore the sensitive but vital question of what the Christianity of Jesus and his first followers was like.

The First Christian Century

The emergence of Christianity from Judaism is one of the great events in Western history, but few university history departments devote a course to it, and few Divinity schools permit a historical approach to it. Our publications in this area help to fill the resulting gap. As with texts in ancient China or any other ancient culture, we recognize interpolations and strata in some texts, and interrelations between all the texts. The series begins with the Gospel of Mark, the earliest account of Jesus, and continues with the other Gospels and the letters of Paul and his circle. These texts are formative for later Christianity in all its varieties. Treating them with sympathy and also with philological rigor reveals how the many varieties of Christianity gradually arose. As in the above listing, these titles are given in chronological order of the text which they explore, except that a survey and overview volume, Hymns, is listed last.

Jesus and After: The Gospels of Mark
God's Apostle: Paul and His Circle
Luke the Healer: The Gospel of Poverty
Kingdom of Heaven: The Vision of Matthew
In Me: Mystical Union in the Gospel of John
Hymns and Homilies: Voices from the Early Churches (expected 2017)


In this annual journal, specialists and other interested persons may follow the ongoing research by which the conclusions behind the above books are reached and further developed. Recommended for advanced students and for all church and research university libraries.

Alpha v1 (cover date 2013, expected early 2017)
Alpha v2 (cover date 2014, expected late 2017)

For publications outside the Project's own publishing program, see the Other page.

All Project publications have the same Editors, plus overlapping Advisors for Sinological and New Testament publications. They bring an interdisciplinary perspective to bear on problems which have been treated more narrowly in the past. In all its publications, the Project wishes to affirm, and to carry out in practice, its perception that basic methodology is uniform across all the humanistic sciences, and that our two chosen fields, classical Sinology and Early Christianity, stand to benefit greatly by being approached in terms of that standard methodology.

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15 Oct 2016 / Contact The Publisher / Exit to Home Page