The Shifting Center: The Original "Great Plan" and Later Readings

1st Edition

Michael Nylan

Routledge
Published June 30, 1992
Reference - 211 Pages
ISBN 9783805002936 - CAT# Y317364
Series: Monumenta Serica Monograph Series

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Summary

The "Great Plan" ("Hung fan") chapter of the Book of Documents (Shu ching) is a major source of Confucian political, cosmological, and social theory in early China. In her study of the "Great Plan" and its major commentaries, Michael Nylan explores the exegetical tradition of this significant text, thus following the "shifting center" of Chinese orthodoxy. The first chapter attempts to reconstruct the original message of the "Plan," its concern with the unification of the state and its focus on techniques for maximizing the ruler s power. The second chapter examines the interpretive changes which accompanied the elevation of the "Plan" from administrative manual to canonical status in the Western Han (206 B.C. - A.D. 8), when it became one of the cornerstones of the Yin-yang Five Agents theory. The third chapter demonstrates still another shift in the center of Chinese orthodoxy in eleventh century Sung China. The appendix reviews scholarly efforts to date the "Plan," concluding with the author s own tentative proposal of the date for the work. The book includes the Chinese text of the "Plan" according to Karlgren and, in addition, a reproduction of the Chinese text and its translation by Legge, a bibliography, and an index.

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