Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Manhattanville's Theresa Kelleher’s “The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood,” Gets Published

M. Theresa KelleherManhattanville College Professor  and Alumna M. Theresa Kelleher ’71, has been researching the works of Wu Yubi, a Confucian scholar from the 1400s, since her dissertation at Columbia, and now some 30 years later has published a book, “The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood.”

The diary and personal letters of Wu (the last name goes first in Chinese culture) details his life from age 33 until his death at 77, and all of his struggles trying to achieve sagehood and living up to the Confucian ideals. The journal is also one of the few firsthand accounts of what it was like following Confucianism, Kelleher said.

“I find him to be a modern figure in a way,” she said, “We can identify with some of the trouble he had.” The Chinese believed it was impolite to talk about yourself, unlike today where many people use blogs or other mediums to express what they are thinking and feeling.

Kelleher describes Wu as a highly emotional person struggling to live up to the Confucian ideals and uses a diary to help him deal with his problems. Throughout the journal he explains different interactions with people, and how he believes his life should be easier because of the way he is living it.

“It’s all of the things we struggle with,” she said.

In addition to Wu’s own personal writings, which Kelleher translated, she also provides readers with descriptions of Confucianism, the Ming dynasty and other supplementary pieces needed to understand Wu and the world he was living in.

Kelleher began teaching full-time at Manhattanville in 1984 and serves as the department chair for Asian studies. She also is a professor in the Department of World Religions.

“The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood,” is probably best for Asian studies courses and students, Kelleher said, also wrote it for general audiences as well. She believes that people will be able to make connections to the past, and that it is a part of our heritage as humans.

The book was released in September, and can be purchased on Amazon