Imagining Boundaries: Changing Confucian Doctrines, Texts, and Hermeneutics

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Kai-wing Chow, On-cho Ng, John B. Henderson
SUNY Press, May 27, 1999 - History - 269 pages
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Imagining Boundaries explores the mapping of the intellectual tradition of Confucianism in Chinese history. The authors show that the Confucian tradition is not a neatly packaged organic whole in which the constitutive parts fall naturally into place, but rather that it displays the ruptures of all cultural constructions. Accordingly, Confucianism has been configured and reconfigured in time in response to changing intellectual and historical circumstances.

This anthology addresses the constant negotiation of the boundaries of Confucianism within itself and in relation to other intellectual traditions, the fluidity of the Confucian canon, the dialogical relations between text and discourse in establishing boundaries for the Confucian tradition, and the textual and discursive strategies employed in the imagining of boundaries, which expanded or restricted the intellectual space of Confucianism.

Rejecting an interpretation of Confucianism as a homogenous master-narrative and worldview, the book uses the variegated histories of Confucianism to interrogate the tradition itself, unpacking and highlighting its complexity and diversity.

“Imagining Boundaries is an excellent anthology. The time is long overdue to read Confucian texts as historical artifacts, yet still appreciate the philosophical complexity of them.” — Matthew Levey, Birmingham-Southern College

“This work is more than is on the leading edge of the best work being done in the field.” — John Berthrong, author of All Under Heaven: Transforming Paradigms in Confucian-Christian Dialogues

[Contributors include Kai-wing Chow; Kandice Hauf; John B. Henderson; Tze-ki Hon; Hsiung Ping-chen; Yuet Keung Lo; On-cho Ng; Michael Nylan; and Lauren Pfister]

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Introduction Fluidity of the Confucian Canon and Discursive Strategies Oncho Ng Kaiwing Chow
A Problematic Model The Han Orthodox Synthesis Then and Now Michael Nylan
The Formulation of Early Medieval Confucian Metaphysics Huang fCans 488545 Accommodation ofNeoTaoism and Buddhism Yuet Keung Lo
Military Governance versus Civil Governance A Comparison of the Old History and the New History of the Five Dynasties Tzeki Hon
Strategies in NeoConfucian Heresiography John B Henderson
Goodness Unbound Wang Yangming and the Redrawing of the Boundary of Confucianism Kandice Hauf
Between Canonicity and Heterodoxy Henmeneutical Moments of the Great Learning Tahsueh Kaiwing Chow
Negotiating the Boundary between Hermeneutics and Philosophy in Early Ching ChengChu Confucianism Li Kuangtis 16421718 Study of the Doctr...
Treading the Weedy Path TangChen 16301704 and the World of the Confucian Middlebrow Hsiung Pingchen
Discovering Monotheistic Metaphysics The Exegetical Reflections of James Legge 18151897 and ho Chungjan d circa 1850

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About the author (1999)

Kai-wing Chow is Associate Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and is the author of The Rise of Ritualism in Late Imperial China: Ethics, Classics, and Lineage Discourse.

On-cho Ng is Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University.

John B. Henderson is Professor of History and Religious Studies at Louisiana State University. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Construction of Orthodoxy and Heresy: Neo-Confucian, Islamic, Jewish and Early Christian Patterns, also published by SUNY Press.

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