The Confucian Four Books for Women

A New Translation of the Nü Sishu and the Commentary for Wang Xiang

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Ann A. Pang-White
Ann A. Pang-White
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , May
     328 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Sarah A. Mattice forthcoming.


This volume presents the first English translation of the Confucian classics, Four Books for Women, with extensive commentary by the compiler, Wang Xiang, and introductions and annotations by translator Ann A. Pang-White. Written by women for women's education, the Confucian Four Books for Women spanned the 1st to the 16th centuries, and encompass Ban Zhao's Lessons for Women, Song Ruoxin's and Song Ruozhao's Analects for Women, Empress Renxiaowen's Teachings for the Inner Court, and Madame Liu's (Chaste Widow Wang's) Short Records of Models for Women. A female counterpart to the famous Sishu(Four Books) compiled by Zhu Xi, Wang Xiang's Nü sishu provides an invaluable look at the long-standing history and evolution of Chinese women's writing, education, identity, and philosophical discourse, along with their struggles and triumphs, across the millennia and numerous Chinese dynasties. Pang-White's new translation brings the authors of the Four Books for Women to life as real, living people, and illustrates why they wrote and how their work empowered women.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Ann A. Pang-White is Professor of Philosophy and Founding Director of Asian Studies at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She is the editor of Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender (2016) and the author of over a dozen articles on Chinese and comparative philosophy as well as medieval philosophy.


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.