Space, Time, Myth, and Morals: A Selection of Jao Tsung-i’s Studies on Cosmological Thought in Early China and Beyond


Editor / Translator:
The articles assembled in this volume present an important selection of Professor Jao Tsung-i’s research in the field of the early Chinese intellectual tradition, especially as it concerns the human condition. Whether his focus is on myth, religion, philosophy or morals, Jao consistently aims to describe how the series of developments broadly associated with the Axial Age unfolded in China. He is particularly interested in showing how early China had developed its own notion of transcendence as well as a system of prediction and morals that enabled man to act autonomously, without recourse to divine providence.
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Joern Peter Grundmann is an assistant professor of Chinese Literature at National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. He holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on early Chinese conceptual history.
Collected Works of Jao Tsung-i: Series Introduction
Translator’s Foreword
List of Illustrations
 Part 1

Part 2: The Gods of Time and Space: Cosmogony and Myths of Origin in Ancient China and Beyond


1 A Preliminary Comparison of Creation Myths and the Origins of Man in Epics from China and Beyond
 A Preamble to the Near Eastern Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish)

2 The Dualist Paradigm of Ancient Chinese History
 1  2  3 3 On the Daoist “Genesis”

4 An Investigation into the Chart of Pangu 盤古
 An account of Eastern Han murals from the Shu Region Depicting the Image of “Pangu” as Seen by Renowned Personalities from the Tang and Song Periods
 Supplementary Note

Part 3: Attuning to Time and Space: Hemerology, Astrology and Correlative Thought in Early China


5 On the Meaning of the Chu Silk Manuscript

6 An Explanation of the Phenomena Called ‘Xiang Wei ’ 象緯 and ‘De Ni’ 德匿 in the Chu Silk Manuscript
 1 Chen Wei 晨禕 Reads Chen Wei 辰緯 (Weft of Constellations)
 2 Becoming Confused and Diverting from the [Proper] Movements
 3 “Gaining and Regressing” and the Planet Saturn
 4 Years with Fuzzy Stars
 5 Ni 匿 (Concealment) and De Ni 德匿 (the Concealment of Virtue)

Resolving Doubts: From Divine Providence to Moral Standards and Human Agency


7 The Philosophy of “Zhen” 貞
 1 “Zhen” 貞 as a Means of Communication between Humans and Spirits during the Yin 殷 Period (ca. 1600–1050 BC)
 2 Testing Through Divination and Moral Determination
 3 The “zhen” 貞 of the Wenyan zhuan 文言傳 (Commentary on the Words) on the Hexagram Qian 乾 and the Four Virtues (si de 四德)
 4 Discussing the Concepts “yong zhen” 永貞, “li yong zhen” 利永貞 and “linian de zheng ming” 歷年得正命
 5 Receiving Heaven’s Perpetual Mandate, Fixing Fate, and Employing Virtue
 6 The Meaning of “de yuan” (德元)
 7 Concluding Remarks: A Philological Philosophy

8 Moral Speculation and the Conception of a Sky God
 1 The Beginnings of the Worship of Di 帝 and the Deity of Heaven
 2 The Graph de 德 in Writings from the Yin and Zhou Periods
 3 Standing in Awe of Heaven’s Daunting Authority and the Establishment of the Idea of jing de 經德 (Honoring de)
 4 The Interrelation of Politics and Morals within the Conception of the Heavenly Mandate
 5 The Mental Worries and Anxieties That Led to the Composition of the Changes (Yi 易) and the Establishment of Cultivated de

9 Rationalism and the Idea of Divine Law (Selection)
 1 The Changing Positions of the Gods and of Man
 2 De 德 (Rewards) and xing 刑 (Punishments)
 3 Five Elements Thought and the Cosmological Meaning of de-Propriety (德禮)
 4 Heaven’s Laws and the Laws of de
 5 Conclusion
Post-graduate students and scholars in the field of early China studies, comparative studies of the ancient world and history of scholarship in China.
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