Dr. Lee Rainey


Associate Professor


Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1990
M.A. University of Toronto, 1984
B.A. (Hons.), University of Toronto, 1981


Office: AA5008
Telephone: (709) 864-8285
Email: lrainey@mun.ca

Research Interests

Classical Chinese Philosophy, Confucianism and Daoism.

Current Research Projects

Confucian theories of music; the Zhuangzi’s Inner Chapters.

Courses Taught

RELS 1040 Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) I
RELS 1041 Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) II
RELS 2400 Buddhism
RELS 2420 Chinese Philosophy and Religion
RELS 2430 Japanese Religions
RELS 2801 Women in Eastern Religions
RELS 3401 Zen, Buddhist Meditation, and Buddhist Psychology
RELS 3431 Readings in Daoism: The Laozi and the Zhuangzi
RELS 3432 Confucius and Confucianism

I have also offered courses examining Self-transformation in Confucianism and Daoism, Classical Chinese and Modern China.

Student Supervision

M.A. Theses
Gosse, Jennifer (1995). Classical Confucian Ideas of Music.
McGrath, Martha (1996). Emotions in the Zhuangzi.

Recent Publications


  • “Confucianism and Its Texts” in Reading the Sacred Scriptures: From Oral Tradition to Written Documents and their Reception, Siobhan Dowling and Fiachra Long ed.s, Routledge.
  • Soundless Music: the Confucian Defence of the Arts and Humanities.


  • Decoding Dao: Reading the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi. 2014 Wiley-Blackwell Press.


  • Third major revision of the chapter “Women in the Chinese Traditions” in Pamela Dickey Young, ed., Women in World Religions, Oxford University Press, 2013.


  • Confucius and Confucianism: the Essentials. Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2010.


  • Two article reviews for the Journal of Religion, “In Search of a Pneumatology: Chi and Spirit.” March 2008; for the Journal of Religion “Chinese Popular Religion in the Diaspora: A Case Study of Shrines in Toronto’s Chinatowns.” July 2008.


  • Book review: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: A Translation of the Startling New Documents found at Guodian , Robert G. Henricks, trans. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005) in Studies in Religion.
  • An article, “Confucianism and Tradition,” in Steven Engler and Gregory P. Grieve, ed.s, Historicizing “Tradition” in the Study of Religion (Berlin and New York: Walter DeGruyter Press, 2005) pp. 227-244.


  • A chapter, “Women in the Chinese Traditions” in Pamela Dickey Young, ed., Women in World Religions, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 108-137.


  • Book review John Knoblock and Jeffrey Riedel, The Annals of Lu Buwei for The American Journal of Chinese Studies 9.1 (April 2002), pp. 147-50.


  •  An article "Mencius and his Vast, Overflowing Qi (Haoranzhiqi)" in Monumenta Serica 46, 1998, 91-104.


  • An article "The Secret Writing of Chinese Women: Religious Practice and Beliefs" published by the journal The Annual Review of Women in World Religions vol. 4, Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young, ed.s, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996, pp. 130-64.

  • An article, "'Woven as Close as Threads on a Spindle:' Sisterhoods in the Hidden Writing of Chinese Women" published by Asian Profile, vol. 24, #4, August 1996.


  •  An article, "The Concept of Ch'i in the Thought of Wang Ch'ung" published by the Journal of Chinese Philosophy 19 (1992), pp. 263-284.


  • An article "Hsi Wang Mu, an Ancient Chinese Mother Goddess" in Sages and Filial Sons: Studies in Early China, Chinese University Press of Hong Kong, 1991, pp. 80-100.

Recent Funding and Awards

  • June 1996, Chinese Studies: Faculty Research Program for Canadians, administered through the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada from the government of the Republic of China's fund, sabbatical research,  "Music, Dance, and Ritual in Classical Confucianism" (declined).
  • June 1996, Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, $9,000, sabbatical research "Music, Dance, and Ritual in Classical Confucianism."
  • April 1996, SSHRC Research Fund/Vice-President's Grant, sabbatical research, "Music, Dance, and Ritual in Classical Confucianism."
  • April 1992, SSHRC Research Fund/Vice-President's Grant, "Research in China on a secret form of women's writing."



Department of Religious Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000