Bio


Lee Yearley works in comparative religious ethics and poetics, focusing on materials from China and the West. He is the author of The Ideas of Newman: Christianity and Human Religiosity and Mencius and Aquinas: Theories of Virtue and Conceptions of Courage (recently translated into Chinese), as well as numerous journal articles and essays in edited volumes.

Professor Yearley holds a Ph.D. from University of Chicago.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Religious Studies

Administrative Appointments


  • Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor of Oriental Philosophies, Religions, and Ethics, Stanford University (1993 - Present)
  • Luce Fellow, Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago (1991 - 1992)
  • Henry Luce Professor of Comparative Religious Ethics, Amherst and the Five Colleges (1987 - 1988)
  • Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University (1968 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Honors in Philosophy, Haverford College (1962)
  • Rockefeller Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation (1962-1963)
  • Mabelle McLeod Lewis Fellowship, Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund (1972-1973)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities (1974)
  • University Fellow, Stanford University (1974-1977)
  • Fellowship, The National Humanities Institute at the University of Chicago (1978-1979)
  • Fellowship for University Teachers, National Endowment for the Humanities (1984-1985)
  • Peter S. Bing Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (1992)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Ad Hoc Tenure Review Committee, Harvard University (2005 - 2005)
  • Member, Final Selection Committee, Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowships, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2001 - 2003)
  • Member, External Review Committee, Department of Religious Studies, Brown University (2000 - 2000)
  • Member, Editorial Board, The Journal of Religious Ethics (1994 - 1994)
  • Member, Board of Consultants, The Journal of Religion (1993 - 1993)
  • Instructor, National Endowment of Humanites Summer Institutes, Chicago (1986 - 1986)
  • Instructor, National Endowment of Humanites Summer Institutes, Berkeley (1987 - 1987)
  • President, Council on Graduate Studies in Religion (1983 - 1986)
  • Vice President, Council on Graduate Studies in Religion (1981 - 1983)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Comparative Religion Section, American Academy of Religion (1981 - 1984)
  • Faculty Advisor, Confucian Life and Study Group, Stanford University (2010 - 2012)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Program in Philosophy and Literature, Stanford University (2007 - 2012)
  • Member, Ethical Reasoning Advisory Board, Stanford University (2005 - 2012)
  • Member, Mellon Postdoctoral Selection Committee, Stanford University (2010 - 2011)
  • Member, Awards Committee, Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University (2002 - 2007)
  • Member, Ethics and Society Board, Stanford University (2002 - 2008)
  • Member, Judicial Board, Stanford University (2001 - 2002)
  • Member, Judicial Board, Stanford University (2006 - 2008)
  • Member, Search Committee, Philosophy Department, Stanford University (1998 - 1999)
  • Member, OSAC Committee, Stanford University (1997 - 1999)
  • Member, Search Committee, Program in Ethics and Society, Stanford University (1993 - 1996)
  • Member, Faculty Grants Committee, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (1994 - 1995)
  • Member, Faculty Committee, Program in Ethics and Society, Stanford University (1993 - 1996)
  • Member, Committee on Undergraduate Studies, Stanford University (1988 - 1991)
  • Member, Review Committee on Extradepartmental Education, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Member, Admissions Committee, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Member, Selection Committee, Mellon Fellows, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Member, Committee on Faculty Seminars, Stanford University (1980 - 1984)
  • Member, Executive Committee and Advisory Board, Stanford Humanities Center (1980 - 1983)
  • Leader, Humanities Seminar for Professional Journalism Fellows, Stanford University (1976 - 1978)
  • Leader, Humanities Seminar for Professional Journalism Fellows, Stanford University (1980 - 1982)
  • Member, Committee on Interdepartmental Majors, Stanford University (1982 - 1983)
  • Member, Fellowship Committee, East Asian Studies, Stanford University (1980 - 1981)
  • Chair, Subcommittee on the Distribution Requirements, Stanford University (1980 - 1981)
  • Chair, Committee on a Possible Humanities Center at Staford, Stanford University (1979 - 1980)
  • Chair, Faculty Committee to Select Courses for Distribution Area IV, Stanford University (1979 - 1980)
  • Member, Committee on International Relations, Stanford University (1974 - 1978)
  • Member, Graduate Program in Humanities Committee, Stanford University (1968 - 1970)
  • Member, Graduate Program in Humanities Committee, Stanford University (1971 - 1972)
  • Member, Graduate Program in Humanities Committee, Stanford University (1976 - 1977)
  • Member, Awards Committee, Committee on Research in International Studies, Stanford University (1977 - 1978)
  • Director, Danforth Summer Workshop on the Teaching of Religion, Stanford University (1976 - 1976)
  • Chair, Committee on the Reform and Renewal of Liberal Education at Stanford, Stanford University (1974 - 1976)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Medieval Studies Program, Stanford University (1973 - 1976)
  • Member, Campus Judicial Panel, Stanford University (1973 - 1975)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Values, Technology, and Society Program, Stanford University (1971 - 1972)
  • Member, Committee of Fifteen, Stanford University (1970 - 1972)
  • Chair, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1990 - 1996)
  • Acting Chair, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1988 - 1989)
  • Graduate Director, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1977 - 1978)
  • Graduate Director, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1979 - 1982)
  • Graduate Director, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1972 - 1973)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1974 - 1974)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1975 - 1975)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1979 - 1980)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1981 - 1982)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1986 - 1986)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1987 - 1987)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1997 - 1998)
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee in Religious Studies, Stanford University (1998 - 1999)
  • Undergraduate Director, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1973 - 1977)
  • Undergraduate Director, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1985 - 1987)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Divinity School, University of Chicago (1969)
  • M.A., Divinity School, University of Chicago (1966)
  • B.A., Haverford College (1962)

2019-20 Courses


All Publications


  • Freud and China: The Pursuit of the Self and Other Fugitive Notions China and Freud Yearley, L. H. edited by Jiang, T., Ivanhoe, P. J. New York: Routledge. 2012: 310–363
  • Freud and Zhuangzi: Resonances and Contrasts in Their Pursuit of the Self and Other Fugitive Notions China and Freud Yearley, L. H. edited by Jiang, T., Ivanhoe, P. J. New York: Routledge. 2012: 404–474
  • Poetic Language: Zhuangzi and Du Fu's Poetic Ideals Ethics in Early China Yearley, L. H. edited by Frasier, C., O'Leary, T., Robins, D. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press. 2011: 209–228
  • Mengzi yu Akuina: meide lilun yu yonggan gainian Yearley, L. H., Translated by Zhonglian, S. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe. 2011
  • Virtue Ethics in Ancient China: Light Shed and Shadows Cast How Should One Live? Comparing Ethics in Ancient China and Greco-Roman Antiquity Yearley, L. H. edited by King, R., Schilling, D. Berlin: De Gruyter Verlag. 2011: 121–151
  • ETHICS OF BEWILDERMENT JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS ETHICS Yearley, L. H. 2010; 38 (3): 436-460
  • The Perfected Person in the Radical Zhuangzi Experimental Essays on Zhuangzi Yearley, L. H. edited by Mair, V. Dunedin, FL: Three Pines Press. 2010: 126–136
  • Two Strands of Confucianism Confucian Political Ethics Yearley, L. H. edited by Bell, D. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2007: 84–89
  • Chinese Philosophy: Religion The Encyclopedia of Philosophy Yearley, L. H. edited by Borchard, D. New York: Macmillan. 2006; Second Edition
  • Daoist presentation and persuasion - Wandering among Zhuangzi's kinds of language JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS ETHICS Yearley, L. H. 2005; 33 (3): 503-535
  • Ideas of Ethical Excellence The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics Yearley, L. H. edited by Schweiker, W. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005: 45–52
  • Genre and the attempt to render pride: Dante and Aquinas JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION Yearley, L. H. 2004; 72 (2): 313-339
  • Presentation and Persuasion in the Classical Confucian Tradition Confucianism in Dialogue Today: The Modern West, Christianity, and Judaism Yearley, L. H. edited by Shu-Hsien, L., Berthrong, J., Swidler, L. Philadelphia: The Ecumenical Press. 2004: 137–152
  • Pride's Place in Picturing Persons Ching Feng, A Journal of Christianity and Chinese Religion and Culture Yearley, L. H. 2004; 5 (2): 191-202
  • Virtues and Religious Virtues in the Confucian Tradition Confucian Spirituality Yearley, L. H. edited by Weiming, T., Tucker, E. New York: The Crossroads Publishing Co.. 2003: 134–162
  • Two Strands of Confucianism The Many and the One: Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World Yearley, L. H. edited by Madsen, R., Strong, T. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2003: 154–158
  • An Existentialist Reading of Book Four of the Analects Confucius and the Analects, New Essays Yearley, L. H. edited by Norden, B. V. New York: Oxford University Press. 2002: 237–274
  • New Religious Virtues and the Study of Religion Eastern Ways of Being Religious Yearley, L. H. edited by Kessler, G. E. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Press. 2000: 1–18
  • The ascetic grounds of goodness - William James's case for the virtue of voluntary poverty JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS ETHICS Yearley, L. H. 1998; 26 (1): 105-135
  • Selves, virtues, odd genres, and alien guides - An approach to religious ethics JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS ETHICS Yearley, L. H. 1998; 25 (3): 127-155
  • Three Western Views on Ethics In the United States Healing Emotions: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotion, and Health Yearley, L. H. edited by Goleman, D. Boston: Shambhala. 1997
  • Death, Knowledge, and the Sacred Space of the American University: the Case of Stanford University Vivens Homo, Rivista Teologica Fiorentina Yearley, L. H. 1997; 8 (2): 275-290
  • Heroic Virtue in America: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Melville's Billy Budd The Greeks and Us: Essays in Honor of Arthur W.H. Adkins Yearley, L. H. edited by Louden, R., Schollmeier, P. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1996: 66–92
  • Zhuangzi’s Understanding of Skillfulness and the Ultimate Spiritual State Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhunangzi Yearley, L. H. edited by Kjellberg, P., Ivanhoe, P. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1996: 152–182
  • Facing Our Frailty: Comparative Religious Ethics and the Confucian Death Rituals The Gross Memorial Lecture Yearley, L. H. Valparaiso, IN: Valparaiso University Press. 1995: 1–22
  • Taoist Wandering and the Adventure of Religious Ethics Harvard Divinity Bulletin Yearley, L. H. 1995; 24 (2): 11-15
  • THEORIES, VIRTUES, AND THE COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN FLOURISHINGS - A RESPONSE TO ALLAN,GEORGE PHILOSOPHY EAST & WEST Yearley, L. H. 1994; 44 (4): 711-720
  • New Religious Virtues and the Study of Religion Fifteenth Annual University Lecture in Religion at Arizona State University Yearley, L. H. 1994: 1–26
  • MENCIUS AND AQUINAS - THEORIES OF VIRTUE AND CONCEPTIONS OF COURAGE - REPLIES JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS ETHICS YEARLEY, L. 1993; 21 (2): 385-395
  • Virtue A New Handbook of Christian Theology Yearley, L. H. edited by Musser, D., Price, J. Nashville: Abingdon. 1992: 508–510
  • Conflicts Among Ideals of Human Excellence Prospects for a Common Morality Yearley, L. H. edited by Reeder, J., Outka, G. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1992: 233–253
  • Bourgeois Relativism and the Comparative Study of the Self Tracing Common Themes, Comparative Courses in the Study of Religion Yearley, L. H. edited by Carman, J., Hopkins, S. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. 1991: 165–178
  • Mencius and Aquinas: Theories of Virtue and Conceptions of Courage Yearley, L. H. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1990
  • Recent Work on Virtue Religious Studies Review Yearley, L. H. 1990; 16 (1): 1-9
  • Education and the Intellectual Virtues Beyond the Classics? Essays on Religious Studies and Liberal Education Yearley, L. H. edited by Reynolds, F., Burkhalter, S. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. 1990: 89–105
  • Classical Confucians and Thomistic Christians: Contrasts That Arise From The Presence and Absence of Deity Dialogue and Alliance Yearley, L. H. 1987; 1 (3): 23-26
  • TEACHERS AND SAVIORS + MODELS FOR UNDERSTANDING RELIGIOUS-EXPERIENCE JOURNAL OF RELIGION YEARLEY, L. 1985; 65 (2): 225-243
  • A Confucian Crisis: Mencius’ Two Cosmogonies and Their Ethics Cosmogony and Ethical Order: New Studies in Comparative Ethics Yearley, L. H. edited by Lovin, R., Reynolds, F. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1985: 310–327
  • Freud as Critic and Creator of Cosmogonies and Their Ethics Cosmogonoy and Ethical Order: New Studies in Comparative Ethics Yearley, L. H. edited by Lovin, R., Reynolds, F. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1985: 381–413
  • A COMPARISON BETWEEN CLASSICAL CHINESE THOUGHT AND THOMISTIC CHRISTIAN THOUGHT JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION Yearley, L. H. 1983; 51 (3): 427-458
  • The Perfected Person in the Radical Chuangt-tzu Experimental Essays in Chuang-tzu Yearley, L. H. edited by Mair, V. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii. 1983: 125–139
  • 3 WAYS OF BEING RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY EAST & WEST Yearley, L. H. 1982; 32 (4): 439-451
  • HSUNTZU ON THE MIND - HIS ATTEMPTED SYNTHESIS OF CONFUCIANISM AND TAOISM JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES Yearley, L. H. 1980; 39 (3): 465-480
  • The Ideas of Newman: Christianity and Human Religiosity Yearley, L. H. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. 1978
  • The Liberal Arts: A Critical Survival Discipline in Modern Society The Stanford Observer Yearley, L. H. 1976: 3
  • MENCIUS ON HUMAN NATURE - FORMS OF HIS RELIGIOUS THOUGHT JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION Yearley, L. H. 1975; 43 (2): 185-198
  • Toward a Typology of Religious Thought: A Chinese Example The Journal of Religion Yearley, L. H. 1975; 55 (4): 426-443
  • Newman’s Concrete Specification of the Distinction Between Christianity and Liberalism The Downside Review Yearley, L. H. 1975; 93 (310): 43-57
  • The Nature-Grace Question in the Context of Fortitude The Thomist Yearley, L. H. 1971; XXXV (4): 557-580
  • Karl Rahner on the Relation of Nature and Grace Canadian Journal of Theology Yearley, L. H. 1970; XVI (3-4): 219-231
  • St. Thomas Aquinas on Providence and Predestination Anglican Theological Review Yearley, L. H. 1967; XLIX: 409-423