and Culture Review
VOLUME 7 ·Number 1 ·March 2020
4 Spiritual Humanism: Its Meaning and Expansion
------ Yang Guorong
13 On Zhu Daosheng’s Buddhist Ecological Thought
------ Chen Hongbing
24 The Journey of Guizhou Self-Consciousness: From Consciousness of Geographical Space to Consciousness of Humanistic Values
------ Zhou Zhixiang
32 Zhang Zai’s Neo-Confucian Guiding Principle and the Positioning of His Material Force Theory
40 Zhang Taiyan on Neo-Confucianism: A Review with a Focus on the Difference between the Cheng–Zhu and Lu–Wang Schools
------ Zhang Tianjie
49 Ming–Qing Ritual-Based Society under the Influence of Zhu Xi’s Doctrine of Ritual: The Dimension of Outer Kingliness in Neo-Confucianism
------ Liu Yiping
61 Nationalism and Spirit of Freedom: Basic Characteristics of Carsun Chang’s New Confucian Thought
------ Chen Hanming
69 Early Modern Guangdong Academies and Their Academic Ethos: A Case Study of Zhu Ciqi’s Early Education Experience
------ Li Chen
76 Serving Heaven and Emulating the Ancients: Western Han Confucians’ Movement to Reform Regulations and Improve Governance
85 QianHai: The Modern Value of Traditional Chinese Culture
------ Guo Qiyong and Liao Xiaowei
89 Xu Qi: The Imprint of Thoughts: Philosophical Thinking on Cultural Issues
------ Ding Weixiang
Main Articles Abstract
Spiritual Humanism: Its Meaning and Expansion
Abstract: Spiritual humanism defines “humanism” as “spiritual,” in that it both emphasizes the spiritual dimensions of humanism, and manifests an integrated conceptual system, the latter of which can be expanded into four aspects: self, community, nature, and the dao of Heaven. Specifically, “spiritual” refers primarily to the pursuit of transcendence, and thus in this dimension, spiritual humanism implies religiosity. At the same time however, spiritual humanism also includes the connotation of “humanism.” Thus, on the one hand, it differs from dissolving the self and going into reclusion, while on the other, it avoids the dualism caused by conflicts between the reality of this world and the transcendence of another world. Furthermore, as a combination of “humanism” and “spirit,” spiritual humanism limits the spiritual orientation with humanistic concern and thus avoids the transcendent path, as well as directing the humanistic orientation by spiritual pursuit and avoiding secularism degenerating into utilitarianism and the materialization of humanity. As for the development of spiritual humanism, what matters most is to introduce the vision of “affairs.” There is an intrinsic correlation between the pursuit of spiritual humanism and the expansion of the “affairs” of reality. To view the world from the perspective of “affairs” is not only the prerequisite for extending the meaning of spiritual humanism, but also provides a potential space for deepening its meaning.
Keywords: spirit, humanism, viewing the world through affairs
On Zhu Daosheng’s Buddhist Ecological Thought
Abstract: Zhu Daosheng’s Li-Ti theory is based on the doctrine of emptiness and dependent origination, with more focus on the point that all dharmas arise in dependence upon other dharmas. His thought that all phenomena are interconnected, process-based, and integrated as a whole is consistent with the worldview of contemporary ecological philosophy. His exposition of the view that every being is equal insofar as “all sentient beings possess Buddha-nature,” helps establish the idea of respect for life. The holistic contemplation of emptiness and dependent origination through praj？āpāramitā as expressed in Daosheng’s thought of the “attainment of Buddha hood by sudden enlightenment” has the edifying implication of exhorting us to form the view of ecological holism today. Furthermore, his exposition of the doctrine that “when the mind is pure, the land is also pure” highlights the decisive significance of purifying people’s mind for the construction of the pure land. And it also affirms that the pure land is co-created by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and sentient beings, helping us realize that it is necessary to overcome our greed and transform our way of thinking when creating an ideal ecological environment. Daosheng’s Buddhist ecological thought was a product of the early sinicization of Buddhism, but played a key role in guiding the subsequent development of Chinese Buddhist ecological thought.
Keywords: (Zhu) Daosheng, ecological thought, emptiness and dependent origination, philosophy of Buddha-nature, attainment of Buddha hood by sudden enlightenment
The Journey of Guizhou Self-Consciousness: From Consciousness of Geographical Space to Consciousness of Humanistic Values
Abstract: Over more than six hundred years of reflection and awakening, Guizhou self-consciousness has developed a profound sense of self-awareness, ranging from the shaping and awakening of geographic consciousness in the Ming dynasty, the Qian people’s sense of identity when they compiled local annals in the Qing dynasty, the Qian people’s cultural consciousness when they established the Association for Qian Learning in the late Qing dynasty and the early Republic of China, and the cultural subjectivity entailed in the contemporary slogan “Colorful Guizhou,” to its recent humanistic values as advocated in the “humanistic spirit of Guizhou.” Such a humanistic spirit reveals the spiritual essence and value of Guizhou’s regional culture, thus providing spiritual guidance and methodology for constructing the discipline of Qian Learning.
Keywords: Qian Learning, Guizhou awareness, humanistic spirit of Guizhou, disciplinary construction, self-consciousness
Zhang Zai’s Neo-Confucian Guiding Principle and the Positioning of His Material Force Theory
Abstract: Academic studies of Zhang Zai’s material force theory once tended to put the theory at the top of his series of concepts, as the topmost category of his Neo-Confucian philosophy. Thus, Zhang’s philosophy was characterized by material force as the substance or as a theory pertaining to materialism. This represents a qualitative perspective in the study of his philosophy. Nowadays it is necessary to explore Zhang’s philosophy from a new perspective oriented to his guiding principle. This paper examines various understandings of Zhang’s Neo-Confucian guiding principle on the basis of corroborating documents, provides a holistic interpretation of the significance of his guiding principle, and finally proposes, from the guiding principle-oriented perspective, a new positioning of Zhang’s material force theory.
Keywords: Zhang Zai, positioning of the material force theory, material force as the substance, qualitative perspective, guiding principle-oriented perspective
Zhang Taiyan on Neo-Confucianism:
A Review with a Focus on the Difference between the Cheng–Zhu and Lu–Wang Schools
Abstract: Zhang Taiyan’s academic career can be divided into two periods. In his early years he seldom discussed the Neo-Confucianism of the Song and Ming dynasties, about which he rarely gave positive comments, owing perhaps to his educational background in Old Text classical studies and the influence of Buddhism and Daoism. In his later years, however, he made a relatively more positive assessment of the Neo-Confucians, including the Cheng brothers, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming. Regarding the divergences between the Cheng–Zhu and Lu–Wang schools, he seemed to be in favor of Lu Jiuyuan and Wang Yangming, approving of Wang’s Final Conclusions of Zhu Xi in His Twilight Years, endorsing the Old Text of the Great Learning, and criticizing Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi’s theories of gewu and xinmin in their exegesis. Nonetheless, he never let this factional difference interfere with his academic pursuits. His attempt to reconstruct the “New Four Books” system, his arguments on the difference between Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming, and his own interpretation of the Great Learning, all point to “self-cultivation and personal discipline” during a national crisis.
Keywords: Zhang Taiyan, Zhu Xi studies, Yangming studies, comparison between Zhu Xi and Lu Jiuyuan, views on Confucianism
Ming–Qing Ritual-Based Society under the Influence of Zhu Xi’s Doctrine of Ritual: The Dimension of Outer Kingliness in Neo-Confucianis
Abstract: Pre-modern Chinese ritual education was modeled on Zhu Xi’s doctrine of ritual. Zhu’s doctrine was a practical system oriented toward ordinary people, and it shaped Ming and Qing ritual-based society along two different tracks: social functioning and personal practice. Zhu’s Familial Rites, the Revised Lü’s Village Conventions, and variations on these texts constructed a whole set of social etiquette and norms for conduct, serving as the principal basis for the organization of ordinary society. His Primary Learning and What Children Must Know occupied the highest position of etiquette and self-cultivation in elementary education, promoting the integrative development of education of both the elite and ordinary folk. The key role played by Zhu’s doctrine of ritual in both organizing society and educating the populace represents the extension of the idea of Confucian “outer kingliness” from the political to the social dimension. This finding poses a challenge to such popular opinions that Song–Ming Neo-Confucianism valued inner more than outer cultivation, and that there was a marked inward turn of Chinese culture in the Song dynasty.
Keywords: Zhu Xi, doctrine of ritual, ritual-based society, internalization
Nationalism and Spirit of Freedom:
Basic Characteristics of Carsun Chang’s New Confucian Thought
Abstract: Among the modern New Confucians, Carsun Chang is primarily characterized by his nationalism and spirit of freedom and in particular by the organic combination of the two in his thought, including his political thought. Although Chang the political activist eventually gave up his failing political endeavors to focus on scholarship in both Chinese and Western learning, he produced a style of New Confucian thought that remains valuable and worthwhile.
Keywords: New Confucianism, Carsun Chang, nationalism, spirit of freedom, political thought, Confucian tradition
Early Modern Guangdong Academies and Their Academic Ethos: A Case Study of
Zhu Ciqi’s Early Education Experience
Abstract: In the early Qing dynasty, the academies in Guangdong were still under the influence of Baisha xinxue and Yangming xinxue. During the Kangxi and Yongzheng period, when Cheng–Zhu lixue became the orthodoxy, the Xuehai Academy was established by govern or Ruan Yuan, and Han Learning was introduced, creating a new situation where Han Learning prevailed over Song Learning. In his early youth, Zhu Ciqi studied in the Yangcheng Academy and the Yuehua Academy under the tutorship of Chen Jichang, a Cheng–Zhu scholar, and Xie Lansheng, a Han–Song Learning scholar. He also enrolled at the Xuehai Academy as one of the first batch of students under the guidance of Ruan Yuan and Zeng Zhao, two Han Learning scholars. As a result of this educational background, Zhu Ciqi was well-versed in both Han and Song Learning, and his intellectual transitions reflect the complicated connections between the academic ethos and the zeitgeist in the early modern period.
Keywords: Qing dynasty scholarship, academies, Han and Song Learning, Zhu Ciqi
Serving Heaven and Emulating the Ancients: Western Han Confucians’ Movement to Reform Regulations and Improve Governance
Abstract: In the early years of the Western Han, Confucian scholars, led by Jia Yi and Dong Zhongshu, launched a movement of reforming and improving governance, flying the banner of serving Heaven and emulating the ancients. Due to their different orientations, the Confucians could be divided into two groups: the “serving-Heaven” group, who liked to discuss portents; and the “emulating-the-ancients” group, who advocated establishing the ritual system. In the later years of the Western Han, Wang Mang exploited the first group’s theory of portents to usurp the throne and founded the Xin dynasty, and then put into practice the second group’s theory of establishing ritual, pushing the movement to its climax. However, Wang Mang’s government overused portents, and mechanically established ritual, all of these factors contributed to the quick collapse of the Xin dynasty, and the proclamation of the failure of the movement to restore the ancient system. Nevertheless, the movement is of profound historical significance to Chinese politics of later generations.
Keywords: serving Heaven, emulating the ancients, Western Han Confucians, reforming regulations, improving governance, portents, ritual system