Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/145309
Title: 从《史记》看汉初“儒“义的转变 = The Changing Meanings of Ru in Early Han Times Based on the Records of the Grand Historian
Authors: 林奎斌
LIN KUIBIN
Keywords: 《史记》, 官方认可的经师之儒,  衣儒服冠儒冠之儒 ,  模糊之儒                                                                                                                                          
Issue Date: 9-Apr-2018
Citation: 林奎斌, LIN KUIBIN (2018-04-09). 从《史记》看汉初“儒“义的转变 = The Changing Meanings of Ru in Early Han Times Based on the Records of the Grand Historian. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Throughout the history of Confucianism in China, Confucianism in the early Han Dynasty was a critical period, as Confucianism was elevated to the state level during this period and became a dominant state philosophy. This continued for the next two thousand years of China’s history. Previous studies on the topic of Confucianism neglect the fact that the definition of “ru” might shift as times change. This thesis provides a different perspective from previous studies on Confucianism in early Han times. Therefore, the issue of the shift in defining “ru” in the early Han Dynasty is significant and worthy of discussion. Through analysing the Records of the Grand Historian, this paper points out that in the period from Emperor Gaozu of Han to Emperor Wu of Han, there was a clear shift of how people of Han Dynasty defined “ru”. The transition is particularly clear after Emperor Wu of Han, officially endorsed Confucian thought as the state philosophy. At the point when Han Dynasty was established, people defined “ru” as a person wearing a particular sort of clothing. However, this definition slowly changed as time went by. During the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, Sima Qian, the author of the Records of the Grand Historian, defined “Confucian” as a scholar who knows at least one of the Five Classics in the chapter “The biographies of Confucian Scholars” of his book. The Five Classics, allegedly edited by Confucius, were recognised by the Han Court by the fifth year of Jianyuan. However, the definition of “ru” seems to be limited to a certain meaning by the Han Court after the fifth year of Jianyuan when Confucian thought was recognised as the dominant national philosophy, and the Five Classics as the text book of this philosophy. This paper also provides a few interpretations for the shift in defining “ru” in the early Han Dynasty. Firstly, “ru” has been through hundreds of years of development, thus is a complicated word to define. Secondly, the incident of burning books and burying scholars in the Qin Shi Huang’s era resulted in an inheritance gap of Confucianism. When Confucians in the Han Dynasty were trying to recover Confucianism, the process of reconstructing it led to the shift in definition of “ru” in the early Han Dynasty. Thirdly, people in the Han court tend to define “ru” based on their different experiences, which led to the confusion of the “Confucian” definition. Throughout the history of Confucianism in China, Confucianism in the early Han Dynasty was a critical period, as Confucianism was elevated to the state level during this period and became a dominant state philosophy. This continued for the next two thousand years of China’s history. Previous studies on the topic of Confucianism neglect the fact that the definition of “ru” might shift as times change. This thesis provides a different perspective from previous studies on Confucianism in early Han times. Therefore, the issue of the shift in defining “ru” in the early Han Dynasty is significant and worthy of discussion. Through analysing the Records of the Grand Historian, this paper points out that in the period from Emperor Gaozu of Han to Emperor Wu of Han, there was a clear shift of how people of Han Dynasty defined “ru”. The transition is particularly clear after Emperor Wu of Han, officially endorsed Confucian thought as the state philosophy. At the point when Han Dynasty was established, people defined “ru” as a person wearing a particular sort of clothing. However, this definition slowly changed as time went by. During the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, Sima Qian, the author of the Records of the Grand Historian, defined “Confucian” as a scholar who knows at least one of the Five Classics in the chapter “The biographies of Confucian Scholars” of his book. The Five Classics, allegedly edited by Confucius, were recognised by the Han Court by the fifth year of Jianyuan. However, the definition of “ru” seems to be limited to a certain meaning by the Han Court after the fifth year of Jianyuan when Confucian thought was recognised as the dominant national philosophy, and the Five Classics as the text book of this philosophy. This paper also provides a few interpretations for the shift in defining “ru” in the early Han Dynasty. Firstly, “ru” has been through hundreds of years of development, thus is a complicated word to define. Secondly, the incident of burning books and burying scholars in the Qin Shi Huang’s era resulted in an inheritance gap of Confucianism. When Confucians in the Han Dynasty were trying to recover Confucianism, the process of reconstructing it led to the shift in definition of “ru” in the early Han Dynasty. Thirdly, people in the Han court tend to define “ru” based on their different experiences, which led to the confusion of the “Confucian” definition.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/145309
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