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From Chronicle to Canon
The Hermeneutics of the Spring and Autumn according to Tung Chung-shu


Part of Cambridge Studies in Chinese History, Literature and Institutions

  • Date Published: April 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521612135

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About the Authors
  • Every general account of the development of Chinese thought makes mention of Tung Chung-shu (c. 195–105 bce) as one of the pivotal philosophers of the Han. Professor Queen's accomplishment is a meticulous dissection of Tung Chung-shu's major work. The Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn Annals (Ch'un-ch'iu fan lu) established the first state-sponsored Confucian Canon, and created an ideal of the ruler and his role in government that was central to political discussion for two thousand years. The author has carefully scrutinised this text for authenticity, and has concluded that it was compiled several centuries after Tung's death, but was mostly compiled from Tung's authentic writings. By historicising this important text, Queen allows a new view of Tung's relation to the political and doctrinal discourses of his day, and also addresses the role of scriptures in Confucian spirituality.

    • Analyses the work and life of the founder of Han Confucianism
    • Wider aim is to place Confucianism in the context of religious studies, more generally
    • Careful analysis of the text's authenticity and its role as scripture
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this meticulous work of scholarship, Sarah Queen shows convincingly that there was more complexity in Han political thought than suggested by a dichotomy into Confucians and others.' Asian Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521612135
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.457kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Three Perspectives on the Authenticity of the Ch'un-ch'iu fan-lu:
    2. A biography of Tung Chung-shu
    3. A history of Tung Chung-shu's literary corpus
    4. The authorship of the Ch'un-ch'iu fan-lu
    Part II. Exegesis and Canonization:
    5. The Spring and Autumn and Kung-yang tradition
    6. Reforming the Ch'in laws
    7. The wider circle of Han jurisprudence
    8. Refashioning the imperial rites
    9. Canon, cosmos, and court patronage
    10. Conclusion
    Part III. Appendices: Appendix 1. The birth and death dates of Tung Chung-shu
    Appendix 2. The dates of the Han-shu 56 memorials
    Appendix 3. Han transmission of Kung-yang learning
    Appendix 4. Han dynasty disciples of Tung Chung-shu
    Appendix 5. Citations and titles attributed to Tung Chung-shu
    Appendix 6. Transmission of Ch'un-ch'iu fan-lu editions.

  • Author

    Sarah A. Queen, Connecticut College

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