Detail from the Jade Record showing an assistant in scholar's clothes presenting a sinner's record to Biang-Cheng Copyrighted image Credit: AxelBoldt via Wikimedia

Only marginally better––and still completely dumbed-down by the standards of previous Reiths. Why the Wikipedia history approach? Why the skating over complexity? In his answer to a question, JS expressed regret that 19th century China-Europe interactions were too often refracted through the Opium Wars, to the exclusion of much more vibrant forms of intercultural contact and exchange. But his lecture dealt with almost none of these on its dreary narrative of 'this happened then that happened' history.

A real wasted opportunity here.