University of California Davis Confucian Moral Theory Paper

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Formatting Requirements: All essays must be in 12 point Times or Times New Roman font, double spaced, with one inch margins. Name, class information, and title blocks on the first page must be single spaced. Headers and footers on subsequent pages must be no more than one line.

File Title: File titles must be in the following format: LAST NAME, First Name – Final Exam

Citations and Works Cited: Use parenthetical citations including lecture date or page number as is appropriate (Magagna Lecture DATE; Yao 2002 at 14). Works cited pages are not necessary unless citing material other than lectures or books listed in the syllabus’s required reading section. You may cite one source from outside class a maximum of two times.

Length: Essays shall be no longer than 7 pages. We will stop reading at the 7th page. There is no official minimum length. We do grade, however, on your ability to sustain arguments about complicated topics about which whole books are written so you should really not be surprised if your essay that ends with one word on the sixth page gets positively destroyed by the graders as showing insufficient argument or detail.

Topics: Please choose one of the following topics.

  1. Compare and contrast western and East Asian systems of law and justice
  2. explain Confucian moral theory a practice explain the five constant virtues and the concept of ren
  3. explain Confucian political economy and its lasting legacies
  4. explain Confucian law
  5. explain Confucian ritual theory
  6. explain the characteristics of modernity and apply them to Confucian East Asia

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Taking into account the long history and wide range of Confucian studies, this book introduces Confucianism – initiated in China by Confucius (c. 552–c. 479 bc) – primarily as a philosophical and religious tradition. It pays attention to Confucianism in both the West and the East, focusing not only on the tradition’s doctrines, schools, rituals, sacred places and terminology, but also stressing the adaptations, transformations and new thinking taking place in modern times. While previous introductions have oCered a linear account of Confucian intellectual history, Xinzhong Yao presents Confucianism as a tradition with many dimensions and as an ancient tradition with contemporary appeal. This gives the reader a richer and clearer view of how Confucianism functioned in the past and of what it means in the present. There are important diCerences in the ways Confucianism has been presented in the hands of diCerent scholars. This problem is caused by, and also increases, the gap between western and eastern perceptions of Confucianism. Written by a Chinese scholar based in the West, this book uses both traditional and contemporary scholarship and draws together the many strands of Confucianism in a style accessible to students, teachers, and general readers interested in one of the world’s major religious traditions. xinzhong yao is Senior Lecturer in and Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter. He has doctorates from the People’s University of China, Beijing, and from the University of Wales, Lampeter. Dr Yao has published widely in the area of philosophy and religious studies and is the author of five monographs including Confucianism and Christianity (1996) and Daode Huodong Lun (On Moral Activities; 1990), four translations (from English to Chinese), and about fifty academic papers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. i ii An introduction to Confucianism XINZHONG YAO University of Wales, Lampeter iii    Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge  , United Kingdom Published in the United States by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521643122 © Cambridge University Press 2000 This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published in print format 2000 ISBN-13 ISBN-10 978-0-511-06624-5 eBook (NetLibrary) 0-511-06624-4 eBook (NetLibrary) ISBN-13 978-0-521-64312-2 hardback ISBN-10 0-521-64312-0 hardback ISBN-13 978-0-521-64430-3 paperback ISBN-10 0-521-64430-5 paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of s for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Contents List of illustrations Preface Confucianism in history: chronological table 1 page viii xi xiv Introduction: Confucian studies East and West Stages of the Confucian evolution Methodological focuses Structure and contents Translation and transliteration 1 4 10 12 14 Confucianism, Confucius and Confucian classics ‘Confucianism’ and ru Ru and the ru tradition Confucius Confucianism as a ‘family’ (jia) Confucianism as a cult (jiao) Confucianism as a form of learning (xue) Ethics, politics and religion in the Confucian tradition An ethical system? An oAcial orthodoxy? A religious tradition? Confucian classics Ancient records and the classics Confucius and the Confucian classics 16 16 17 21 26 28 29 30 32 34 38 47 49 52 v List of contents Confucian classics in history The Thirteen Classics The Five Classics The Four Books 2 54 56 57 63 68 68 71 76 81 Evolution and transformation – a historical perspective Confucianism and three options Mengzi and his development of idealistic Confucianism Xunzi: a Great Confucian synthesiser The victory of Confucianism and its syncretism Dong Zhongshu and the establishment of Han Confucianism Classical Learning: controversies and debates The Confucian dimension of ‘Mysterious Learning’ The emergence of Neo-Confucianism Five masters of early Neo-Confucianism Zhu Xi and his systematic Confucianism The Idealistic School: Lu Jiuyuan and Wang Shouren Korea: the second home for Confucianism Japanese Confucianism: transfiguration and application 83 86 89 96 98 105 109 115 125 3 The Way of Confucianism The Way of Heaven Heaven and the Confucian Ultimate Heaven and moral principles Heaven as Nature or Natural Law The Way of Humans Morality as transcendence Good and evil Sacred kingship and humane government The Way of Harmony Harmony: the concept and the theme Oneness of Heaven and Humans Humans and Nature Social conflicts and their solutions 139 141 142 147 149 153 155 160 165 169 170 174 175 178 4 Ritual and religious practice Confucianism: a tradition of ritual Ritual and sacrifice 190 191 191 vi List of contents 5 Sacrifice to Heaven Sacrifice to ancestors and filial piety The cult of Confucius Learning and spiritual cultivation Learning as a spiritual path Spiritual cultivation Confucianism and other religious traditions The unity of three doctrines Confucianism and Daoism Mutual transformation between Confucianism and Buddhism Confucianism and Christianity 196 199 204 209 209 216 223 224 229 Confucianism and its modern relevance Confucianism: survival and renovation Stepping into the modern age The rise of modern Confucianism Unfolding of the Confucian project The themes of modern Confucian studies Confucianism and the fate of China Confucianism and western culture Confucianism and modernisation Confucianism and its modern relevance The revival of Confucian values An ethic of responsibility A comprehensive understanding of education A humanistic meaning of life 245 246 247 251 255 261 263 266 270 273 274 279 280 284 Select bibliography Transliteration table Index 287 309 330 233 237 vii List of illustrations An inscribed portrait of Confucius travelling around to teach, supposedly painted by Wu Daozi, a famous painter in the Tang Dynasty (618–906) frontispiece (Located between pages 138 and 139) 1 The statue of Confucius at the main hall of the Temple of Confucius, Qufu, the home town of Confucius 2 The Apricot Platform where Confucius is said to have taught, in the Temple of Confucius, Qufu, Confucius’ home town 3 The Sacred Path leading to the tomb of Confucius, the number of trees at one side symbolising his seventy-two disciples and at the other his life of seventy-three years 4 The tablet of Confucius in front of his tomb 5 The tablet and tomb of Zisi (483?–402? bce), the grandson of Confucius 6 People meditating in front of the hut at the side of the tomb of Confucius where Zigong (502?–? bce), a disciple of Confucius, is said to have stayed for six years mourning the death of his master 7 The tablet and statue of a Former Worthy (xian xian), Master Yue Zheng (?–?) who is traditionally regarded as a transmitter of the Confucian doctrine of filial piety, in the Temple of Confucius at Qufu viii List of illustrations 8 The Temple of the Second Sage (Mengzi, 372?–289? bce), at Zou, Mengzi’s home town 9 Korean scholars paying homage to Confucius in the ceremonies of sacrifice to Confucius at Songgyun’gwan, the National Academy of Confucius (from: Spencer J. Palmer’s Confucian Rituals in Korea, Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press and Seoul: Po Chi Chai Ltd, 1984, plate 66) 10 Two semicircular pools in front of a hall in the Songyang Confucian Academy, near the famous Chan Buddhist monastery, Shaolin Si, Henan Province 11 The spiritual tablet and statue of Zhu Xi (1130–1200) in White Cloud Temple, a Daoist Temple, Beijing. The inscription on the tablet reads ‘The Spiritual Site of Master Zhu Xi’. His hand gesture is certainly a kind of variation of Buddhist ones 12 The stage of the Global Celebration of Confucius’ 2549th birthday held by the Confucian Academy Hong Kong, 17 October 1998 ix x Preface As a schoolboy I read an Indian story about four blind men and an elephant: each of these men gave a diCerent and highly amusing account of the elephant after touching only a specific part of the animal, and, of course, not one of them was able to describe the animal correctly. To my young mind, they couldn’t do so because they weren’t able to touch the whole of the elephant in one go. In other words, I believed that if any of them had had an opportunity to do this, then he would certainly have been able to generate a correct image of it. As I grew up, and had an opportunity to read more on philosophy and religion, I realised that it was perhaps not as simple as this. Could a blind man, who had never seen or heard about such an animal as an elephant, tell us what it is, even if we suppose that he could have physical contact with all the parts of the animal? Besides the limitation of sense experience, there are many other factors that would hinder us from acquiring full knowledge of such an object, and in addition to intellectual inability, there are many other elements that would distort our image. Having fully understood the problem arising from the intellectual process of knowing things, Zhuangzi, a Daoist philosopher of around the fourth century bce, argues that our vision has been blurred by our own perceptions when coming to grasp things, and that true knowledge is possible only if we take all things and ourselves to be a unity, in which no diCerentiation of ‘this’ and ‘that’ or of ‘I’ and ‘non-I’ is made. Shao Yong, a Confucian scholar of the eleventh century ce, approached this problem from a similar perspective. For him, error in human knowledge xi Preface is due to the fact that we observe things from our own experience. He therefore proposed that we must view things, not with our physical eyes, but with our mind, and not even with our mind, but with the principle inherent in things. When the boundary between subject and object disappears, we will be able to see things as they are. The majority of scholars who have been trained in the West, however, find it diAcult to accept the underlying philosophy of the Chinese methodology proposed above. A much appreciated intellectual tradition in the West maintains that an investigation must start from a separation of subject and object, and that experience along with a critical examination of experience is the only guarantee of the ‘objectivity’ of the investigation. According to this view, a diCerentiation of values from facts is therefore central to any presentation of a religious and philosophical system. Neither of these two seemingly diCerent and even contradictory methodologies alone can assure us of a true knowledge of religion and philosophy. More and more people are coming to appreciate that we would benefit from a combination of these two approaches in our investigation of religious and philosophical traditions. Although this is a topic far beyond the parameters of a short preface, suAce it to say, that the inquiry into religious phenomena should involve empathy to some degree, and that an inquirer should be able to enter into the doctrine and practice of a religion almost as an ‘insider’, as well as to step outside as a critical observer. Indeed this methodology underlies the structure and contents of my introduction to Confucianism, and readers may easily see that the nature and image of the Confucian tradition as revealed in this book have been the result of a ‘double’ investigation, with the author being both a ‘bearer’ of the values examined and a ‘critic’ of the doctrine presented. The formation of the book took place whilst lecturing on Confucianism in the University of Wales, Lampeter. I have run this course for a number of years, and the last time I did it was during the first term of the 1998/9 academic year, when I had just completed the first draft of this book. Conveniently, I took the manuscript as the textbook for the course, and I was pleased to know that it functioned well in this capacity both in and outside the class. Looking back at the writing process, I realise how much I have benefited from teaching and from the questions asked and suggestions made by the students. xii Preface I am grateful to Clare Hall, University of Cambridge for awarding me a Visiting Fellowship in 1998, which, supported also by the Pantyfedwen Fund and the Spalding Trust, made a significant contribution to the completion of the first draft of the book. Intellectually, I benefited from conversations and discussions with colleagues both at Lampeter and at Clare Hall, whose knowledge and insight added much value to the formation and reshaping of my original presentation. A number of colleagues, friends and students read various parts of the book. I would especially like to thank Oliver Davies, Gavin Flood and Todd Thucker, for their comments and advice, which have enabled me to avoid errors and oversights and to correct infelicities of English style throughout the book. Any that remain are, of course, my own responsibility. Various sections of this book originally appeared as papers in academic journals or as part of research projects. Among them, ‘Peace and Reconciliation in the Confucian Tradition’ (Reconciliation Project, Gresham College) becomes the basis of the third section in chapter 3, and ‘Confucianism and its Modern Values’ (Journal of Beliefs and Values, no. 1, 1999) has been incorporated into the third section of chapter 5. I wish to thank the editors for allowing me to reuse the materials in this book. I would also like to thank the editors of Cambridge University Press, especially Mr Kevin Taylor, for their eCorts in nurturing the project and bringing this book to the readers. xiii Confucianism in history: chronological table In the world xiv Chinese history Confucianism Legendary ages Sage–kings: Yao, Shun, Yu the Great Xia Dynasty (2205?–1600? bce) Jie, the last king, a condemned tyrant Shang or Yin Dynasty (1600?–1100? bce) Tang, the founding father Zhou, the last king, a condemned tyrant Zhou Dynasty (1100?–249 bce) Western Zhou (1100?–771 bce) Eastern Zhou (770–256 bce) Spring and Autumn period (770–476 bce) Warring States period (475–221 bce) King Wen, King Wu, Duke of Zhou, the three Zhou sages; Confucius (551–479 bce) The Confucian classics School of Zisi (483?–402 bce) The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean Mengzi (372–289 bce) Xunzi (313?–238? bce) Confucianism in history: chronological table In the world Chinese history Confucianism Qin Dynasty (221–206 bce) First emperor (r. 221–210 bce) Burning of books and the killing of Confucian scholars Han Dynasty (206 bce–220 ce) Former Han (206 bce–8 ce) Liu Bang (r. 206–195) Emperor Wu (r. 140–87) Xin Dynasty (9–23) Later Han (25–220) Confucianism became the state orthodoxy Classics annotated Grand Academy established Old Text School Dong Zhongshu (179?–104 bce) New Text School Yang Xiong (53 bce–18ce) Liu Xin (?–23 ce) Huan Tan (23 bce–50 ce) Wang Chong (27–100?) Ma Rong (79–166) Zheng Xuan (127–200) Chenwei Literature Wei–Jin Dynasties (220–420) Wei (220–265) Western Jin (265–316) Eastern Jin (317–420) Mysterious Learning Wang Bi (226–249) He Yan (d. 249) Xiang Xiu (223–300) ‘Pure Conversation’ Ruan Ji (210–263) Ji Kang (223–262) Daoist Religion incorporated Confucian ethics Southern and Northern Dynasties (386–581) Buddhism flourished and debates between Confucianism and Buddhism intensified Confucianism was introduced to Vietnam, Korea and Japan Indian Buddhism was introduced to China and interacted with Confucianism National Academy in Korea established (372) The Analects were brought to Japan in 405(?) by a Korean scholar Wang In. xv Confucianism in history: chronological table In the world Chinese history Confucianism Nestorians came to Sui-Tang Dynasties China (635) (581–907) Korean Silla Kingdom Sui (581–618) (365–935) established Tang (618–906) Confucian Studies First Japanese Constitution (604) incorporated Confucian ideas Confucianism gradually regained its prestige; civil service examination system established Han Yu (768–824) Li Ao (772–841) Liu Zongyuan (733–819) Korean Koryo Dynasty Song Dynasties (918–1392): civil service (960–1279) examination system; Northern Song national university (960–1126) Southern Song (127–1279) Renaissance of Neo-Confucianism Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073) Zhang Zai (1020–1077) Rationalistic School Zhu Xi (1130–1200) Idealistic School Lu Jiuyuan (1139–1193) Practical School Chen Liang (1143–1194) Yuan Dynasty (1260–1368) xvi Harmonising Rationalism and Idealism Wu Cheng (1249–1333) Zhu Xi’s annotated Four Books as standard version for civil service examinations (1313) Confucianism in history: chronological table In the world Chinese history Confucianism Korean Yi Dynasty (1392–1910): Neo-Confucianism Yi Hwang (1501–1570) Yi I (1536–1584) Japanese bakufu system Fujiwara Seika (1561–1619) Hayashi Razan (1583–1657) Japanese Shushigaku Yamazaki Ansai (1618–1682) Kaibara Ekken (1630–1714) Japanese Yômeigaku Nakae Tôju (1608–1648) Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) Chen Xianzhang (1428–1500) Wang Yangming (1472–1529) Schools of Wang Yangming Li Zhi (1527–1602) Donglin School Gao Panlong (1562–1626) Liu Zongzhou (1578–1654) Korean Practical Learning Korean Eastern Learning Japanese Kogaku Itô Jinsai (1627–1705) Ogyû Sorai (1666–1728) James Legge (1815– 1897) translated the Confucian classics into English Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) Learning of the Han School of Evidential Research Gu Yanwu (1613–1682) Wang Fuzhi (1619–1692) Huang Zongxi (1610–1695) Dai Zhen (1724–1777) New Learning Kang Youwei (1858–1927) xvii Confucianism in history: chronological table In the world Chinese history Confucianism Wing-tsit Chan (1901–1994) W. T. de Bary Okada Takehiko Cheng Chung-yin Tu Wei-ming Republic of China (1911– ) People’s Republic of China (1949– ) Modern New Confucianism Xiong Shili (1885–1968) Fung Yu-lan (1895–1990) Tang Junyi (1909–1978) Mou Zongsan (1909–1995) xviii Introduction: Confucian studies East and West Introduction Confucian studies East and West If we were to characterize in one word the Chinese way of life for the last two thousand years, the word could be ‘Confucian’. No other individual in Chinese history has so deeply influenced the life and thought of his people, as a transmitter, teacher and creative interpreter of the ancient culture and literature and as a moulder of the Chinese mind and character. (de Bary, et al., 1960, vol. 1: 15) At the end of the sixteenth century, an Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552– 1610) arrived in China. Ricci soon realised that the first task for him should not be to win over a great number of people to conversion and baptism, but instead to try to secure a stable and respectable position for himself within Chinese society. So Ricci and his fellow missionaries strenuously attempted to integrate themselves into the community. The Jesuits saw a similarity between Christianity and Buddhism – both were religions from the West – and therefore they presented themselves as ‘Monks from the West’, shaving their heads and changing their clothes to Buddhist robes in order to win the support from the Chinese, just as they thought the Buddhists had done a thousand years …
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