Chinese Texts in the World publishes scholarly works on the reception, transmission, assimilation, and reinvention of Chinese texts in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas; as well as critical studies that explore new pathways connecting Chinese texts with today’s world.
Whether Chinese texts were transmitted along the ancient Silk Road, or through modern digital technologies, such well-traveled texts hold great promise for illuminating multiple aspects of China’s cultural relations with the world. The same holds true for the examination how reconfigured Chinese texts made their way back to China, to be reconstituted as culturally polyvalent, hybrid “imports”.
Critical studies explore new ways of engaging Chinese texts with non-Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions. Such studies include, but are not limited to, a traditional textually grounded Sinological work that contains a substantive dialogue with for instance Western texts; a collaborative work by Asia-based and non-Asia-based scholars on the critical issues important to different traditions; and even a work on non-Chinese texts as long as it significantly draws insights from or engages a substantive dialogue with the Chinese traditions.
Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals to the publisher at BRILL, Christa Stevens.
Please advise our Guidelines for a Book Proposal. Manuscripts that are published have been accepted after double-anonymous peer review.
Unlike typical journal articles that deal with specific issues in detail, this article offers a sketchy comprehensive re-description of the Confucian Way of family that serves the purpose of providing a bird’s-eye view to grasp the fact that, for Confucianism, family is not merely a part of the puzzle of human life, nor merely an ontological entity that serves as the foundation of the Confucian theory, but more a “Way” of living or gongfu功夫 (aka kung fu) that comprised of values toward which cultivation of the person is practiced, an art of life to be mastered, and a model of social order to be implemented.
In this article, I discuss parthood status in mereologically interpreted Daoist metaphysics, based on the Daodejing. I depart from the dao and you interrelation, which mereologically overlap by sharing parts. I consider the case of a complete overlap, which (a) challenges proper parthood, according to which a part cannot be identical with the whole that it composes, and (b) entails the question of identity that, while complying with classical mereology, cannot be consistent with Daoist metaphysics. The discussion leads to abandoning proper parthood and antisymmetry axiom from classical axiomatics. It also shows a plausible further direction for mereological reconstruction.
Confucian scholars often reference the Yijing《易經》 (the Classic of Changes), the Liji《禮記》 (Records of Rituals), and other classics in their advocacy for female chastity. Perplexingly, vocabulary that suggests extremism, which often results in self-imposed – or public sanctioned – suicide, starvation, or physical disfigurement of women during the pre-modern China and the early republic, either does not appear or rarely appears in the Yijing or other early Confucian canons. In these early texts, both zhen貞 and jie節 have multiple meanings. Neither term is confined to a specific gender. This fact suggests that the original meanings of zhen and jie in the Yijing, composed around 1046 BCE–771 BCE, had likely been altered and radicalized in later times. I use word frequency analysis, examination of hexagrams, and the method of intertextuality to expose and deconstruct interpretive contradictions and attempt to restore these concepts to their original meaning without distortion.
Weaving and archery are strongly gendered skills, and both occur repeatedly in both Chinese and Greek accounts of skill and ethics. I examine both metaphors and narratives that liken these skills to various aspects of ethics, wisdom and government, with particular interest in how or whether the account of the skill reflects the experience of the gender of its typical expert.
Culturally conditioned differences between women must be seen and theorized about in order to avoid essentialist generalizations about “women’s issues.” In this context, the idea of a universal patriarchal order is questioned, as is the idea of a general, universally equivalent type of feminism. Through analysis of the political philosophy of He Zhen (1884–circa 1920), this paper aims to present a Chinese alternative to liberal feminism based on the assumption that the Western feminist movement might not be a suitable means of abolishing women’s oppression in China, because it is culturally conditioned and rooted in the particulars of Western social history.
I approach Murasaki Shikibu’s marvelous literary pearl The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) as analogous to glistening orbs that “come out of the disease of suffering oysters,” the suffering being the death of her beloved husband Fujiwara no Nobutaka (950?–1001). In addition to drawing evidence from the novel itself, I have relied on Murasaki’s lesser-known Poetic Memoirs and Diary that offer important insights into her state of mind and circumspect literary style. The Lotus Sūtra is the key that unlocks Murasaki’s philosophical intent, with its use of parables and poems to provoke deeper understandings of Buddhism and personal realizations. The Buddhist principle of impermanence (Sanskrit anitya; Japanese mujōkan) serves as both the aesthetic of aware and an unavoidable fact that residents of the Heian court (like those in the Lotus Sūtra’s Burning House) choose to ignore or escape by reveling in superficial pursuits of beauty and political power. Various characters in the novel attempt to follow the path to the epistemological awakening the author Murasaki sought for herself.