AuthorWilliam Theodore DE BARY John Mitchell Mason professor emeritus and provost emeritus of Columbia University, William Theodore de Bary began his teaching career at Columbia in 1949, intent on developing the undergraduate general education program in East Asian studies. His compilations of source readings from the Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean traditions have seen wide use in colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad; de Bary has supplemented them with more than 140 other texts and translations.
De Bary’s scholarly work has focused on the major religious and intellectual traditions of East Asia, especially Confucianism in China, Japan, and Korea. He introduced the field of Neo-Confucian studies to the United States and championed a new vision of the place of Asia in general education and the core curriculum. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, de Bary is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards. He continues to teach courses in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia.