and Culture Review
VOLUME 5 ·Number 4 ·December 2018
4 The Problem Consciousness of New Confucians within the ‘Manifesto on Behalf of Chinese Culture’
------ Gan Chunsong
19 The Foreknowledge of the Sage Confucius: On Liao Ping’s World of Great Unity
------ Yang Shiwen
29 Expressing Immeasurable Meaning through Simple Words: XiongShili on the Great Learning
------ Zhou Zhixiang
Pre-Qin Philosophers and Thinkers·
40 The Way of Centrality in Zhuangzi’s Philosophy
------ Zheng Kai
49 A Critical Reading of the Legend ‘Boyu Divorcing His Wife’
------ Liu Quanzhi
58 Teaching Confucianism to the Emperor: Zhang Juzheng’s Ceremonial Lectures on Confucian Classics
67 Achievements of Zheng Zhen in Traditional Chinese Philology
------ Shi Guanghui
East Asian Confucianism·
73 Confucianism, Gapponshugi, and the Spirit of Japanese Capitalism
------ Song Bin
Translations of Chinese Thought and Culture·
86 Translating Zhuzi Yulei into English: With Special Reference to the Two Latest Translations
------ Wang Xiaonong and Zhao Zengtao
Main Articles Abstract
The Problem Consciousness of New Confucians within the ‘Manifesto on Behalf of Chinese Culture
Abstract: Addressing the limitations of Western research on China, Tang Junyi and his fellow New Confucians signed the “Manifesto on Behalf of Chinese Culture to the People of the World” in 1958. They called for sympathy and respect for Chinese culture, emphasizing Chinese culture’s orientation toward transcendence and the Confucian teaching of mind and nature as its essence. As Confucianism faced the challenges of modernity, its mission became the establishment of a democratic state and the development of scientific thinking. The New Confucian Manifesto established the basic direction for the New Confucians of Hong Kong and Taiwan, in keeping with historical and contemporary factors. Aspects of its analysis of the foundational qualities and tendency of Confucianism deserve a new exploration.
The Foreknowledge of the Sage Confucius: On Liao Ping’s World of Great Unity
Abstract: The introduction of modern Western learning gradually opened up a clear new world to Chinese Confucian scholar Liao Ping. He exerted himself to reveal new meanings from the classics so as to make them accord with the actual world. In his theory of the “world of great unity,” he hoped to re-interpret the Confucian classics and construct a system of thought based on classical learning yet directed at the whole world. This may sound absurd from a purely academic perspective. However, when Liao Ping abandoned Old and New Text Confucianism and elucidated the doctrines of “great and small unity,” he aimed to construct an intellectual system of his own rather than follow traditional scholarship. He attempted to increase the inclusivity of the Confucian classics, expand their scope of use, and seek the contemporary value of the teachings of Confucius. Situated in the general context of transforming Confucianism in the modern era, such attempts deserve our sympathetic understanding.
Expressing Immeasurable Meaning through Simple Words: Xiong Shili on the Great Learning
Abstract: The Great Learning holds an important position in Xiong Shili’s thought. In Xiong’s opinion, this classic serves as a bridge toward the learning of the Six Confucian Classics. From the viewpoint of his time, he analyzed and digested celebrated interpretations of the Great Learning through the ages and reinterpreted several key concepts such as illustrious virtue, renewing the people, investigating things, extending knowledge, making one’s intentions sincere, and regulating conduct by situating them in his contemporary intellectual context. In reinterpreting the Great Learning, Xiong on the one hand inherited its fundamental conception of the inner sageliness and outer kingliness, while on the other he tried to draw on Western scientific theories and socialist thought. His work represents an important achievement of Contemporary Neo-Confucianism in its attempt to reconstruct the Confucian ideological system through re-reading Confucian classics and exploring their significance in a new age.
The Way of Centrality in Zhuangzi’s Philosophy
Abstract: The dialogue and communication between Confucianism and Daoism is an important issue in the history of Chinese philosophy, for the history of early Chinese philosophy in particular. The Zhuangzi has profound ideas on zhongyong (centrality and commonality), zhongdao (the Way of centrality), and zhonghe (centrality and harmony). These ideas carry out a theoretical exploration into nature, the transformation of the world, and the center of the circle of life; moreover, they contain practical wisdom on life, freedom, and order. The Way of centrality in Zhuangzi’s philosophy involves dialectical thinking, metaphysics, ethics (including political philosophy), and a theory of the spiritual sphere of life. It constitutes an interesting complement to the Confucian ideas of holding to centrality, the Way of centrality, and centrality and commonality.
A Critical Reading of the Legend ‘Boyu Divorcing His Wife’
Abstract: Through a critical textual study of the “Tan Gong” chapter of the Book of Rites and the commentaries and annotations by Zheng Xuan and Kong Yingda, as well as the “Postface” of Confucius’s Family Discourse, this paper draws the conclusion that the story of “Boyu divorcing his wife” is based on a misreading and that, instead, Zisi’s widowed mother was remarried to a person in Wei. Moreover, a further conclusion of this research is that the “mother of the Shu family” in historical literature is not a reference to a concubine. The cases of women’s remarriage recorded in Zuo’s Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals show that in the Spring and Autumn period a woman’s remarriage depended on her family of origin rather than her husband’s, and thus it was possible for Zisi’s widowed mother to be remarried. Based on textual research into the two passages in the “Postface” of Confucius’s Family Discourse, the present author contends that the second passage does not withstand evidentiary criticism. In his view, the legend of “Boyu divorcing his wife” might be an anachronism introduced by Ming–Qing scholars and does not tally with the textual evidence from the “Tan Gong” chapter or conform to common marriage practices in pre-Qin Chinese society.
Teaching Confucianism to the Emperor: Zhang Juzheng’s Ceremonial Lectures on Confucian Classics
Abstract: Ming royal family members intensively studied Confucianism by means of jingyan rijiang (the ceremonial lectures on Confucian classics). Zhang Juzheng, the leading minister in the reign of the Wanli Emperor, creatively introduced a performance-oriented methodology to jingyan rijiang. To be specific, Zhang made the goal and principle of the ceremonial lectures clearer, formulated more detailed and applicable programs, and adopted a heuristic, incremental, and participatory method. Most importantly, he applied Confucian theories to guide the lectures and promoted Confucian knowledge and thinking in his teaching. These innovative lectures indeed worked for a time. Nevertheless, his lectures were not adequately flexible and open, and failed to find a solution to the inherent contradictions of Confucianism. Zhang’s efforts to teach the emperor Confucian virtues of diligence and thrift had no consistent effect. But on the other hand, they laid a solid foundation by improving the emperor’s basic ability at reading, handwriting, and thinking.
Achievements of Zheng Zhen in Traditional Chinese Philology
Abstract: Zheng Zhen, a learned Confucian scholar in the southwest of China, made great achievements in traditional Chinese philology, covering studies of the Shuowen Jiezi, paleography, modern Chinese characters, and exegesis. He examined Chinese characters through the combination of their pattern, pronunciation, and meaning, collated ancient works through the use of internal and external materials about their literary style and layout, analyzed the spread of different versions of the Shuowen Jiezi through the study of the inter-relations in ancient books and records, and explored the sources of omitted and added characters in that book. He was strict in distinguishing ancient and odd characters, clarifying the relationship between standard and non-standard characters, revealing the rules for non-standard forms of Chinese characters, and explaining clan and kinship terminology of the past dynasties and their source and evolution. He formed his own style of studies by inheriting and developing the textual criticism by Qing Confucian scholars. His studies had a positive influence on the academic transformation in the late Qing dynasty and he himself promoted the channeling of Qianxue into the mainstream of academic history and opened up the Qian School of textual criticism in his period.
Confucianism, Gapponshugi, and the Spirit of Japanese Capitalism
Abstract: An inability to discover a solid social mechanism transmitting Confucian ideas into capitalist activities has led scholars to disagree on the causal relationship between Confucianism and early industrial development in Asia, as assumed by the so-called post-Confucian hypothesis. A study of the decisive role of independent Confucian businessperson Shibusawa Eiichi in the formation of Japanese capitalism sheds light upon our understanding on both this causal relationship and the features of Confucian religiosity. Through this study, the methodology of Max Weber’s sociology of religion and the meaning of the study of business history for today’s business education can also be reexamined.
Translating Zhuzi Yulei into English: With Special Reference to the Two Latest Translations
Wang Xiaonong and Zhao Zengtao
Abstract: Zhuzi Yulei, a voluminous collection of the recorded conversations between Zhu Xi and his disciples, gives a panorama of Zhu’s system of thought. Selections from Classified Conversations of Zhu Xi (2014), a contribution to the bilingual series Library of Chinese Classics, is the first book-form translation into English of selections from Zhuzi Yulei, followed by Getting to Know Master Zhu: English Translation of Selections from Zhuzi Yulei (2018). In the two translations are nineteen fascicles of Zhuzi Yulei rendered into English, targeted at Western intellectual readers. The translators are in pursuit of consensus at a conceptual, linguistic, and stylistic level. Following the principle of accurately conveying the original thought with appropriately thick translation, they apply a research-based documentary strategy in translating the original terms and sentences and constructing the English texts, without losing sight of reproducing the original stylistic features, so as to render their translation readily accessible to the Western academic community for effective communication.