Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. He is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China and To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China, as well as the coauthor of Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity. In 2013, he was awarded a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Ancient teachings from the western tradition have impressed on us the importance of authenticity and being true to one's self. But what if those teachings set us on the wrong path?
Doing ritual, whether it's a religious ceremony or a simple greeting on the street, is a powerful way to break bad habits and improve our lives, says Harvard historian Michael Puett.
Asian philosophies have proven extremely influential in the United States, but are they being interpreted correctly? Frequently not, says Harvard China historian Michael Puett.