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Full-Text Articles in Chinese Studies

Míng (名) As “Names” Rather Than “Words:” Disabled Bodies Speaking Without Acting In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Mar 2018

Míng (名) As “Names” Rather Than “Words:” Disabled Bodies Speaking Without Acting In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

My first scholarly article was about the work of A. C. Graham. Unfortunately, I never met him but my copies of his books became so worn from over-use that I had to replace them. My second, now equally worn, copy of Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Science opens to a statement that inspires my work:

A consistent nominalism has to extend its principle to the particular utterances of the name itself; I pronounce the sound ‘stone’ over X and afterwards convey that Y is like X by pronouncing a similar sound.

This claim has two important implications. First, in early ...


The Role Of Qing 情In The Huainanzi’S Ethics, Matthew L. Duperon Sep 2015

The Role Of Qing 情In The Huainanzi’S Ethics, Matthew L. Duperon

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Through an analysis of every instance of the term qing 情 in the text, this article explores the role of this concept in the ethical thought of the second-century b.c.e. text Huainanzi. The Huainanzi authors draw on several features of the semantic range of qing in the early Han dynasty to help support their overall argument that the text provides an exhaustive and authoritative account of how to effectively govern an empire. As part of this project, I argue that the authors also use qing to articulate the meta-ethical features of the cosmos and human beings that make ...


早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Jan 2013

早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Many studies have explored conceptualizations of heaven (tian 天) in early Chinese thought, but few if any have explored understandings of heaven's later cosmological counterpart, earth (di 地). This article examines Chinese understandings of earth and land (tu 土) in pre-Qin 先秦sources. In ancient texts such as the Book of Odes (Shi jing詩經) and Book of Documents (Shang shu尚書), the earth is not yet the paired counterpart to heaven that it will become in later Warring States (fifth-third centuries BCE) texts. Older works often depict earth and land as passive recipients of heaven's forces or human ...


《庄子》中关于身体的诸概念" (Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Jan 2013

《庄子》中关于身体的诸概念" (Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

In this essay Sommer explores how the Zhuangzi uses such terms for the body as gong 躬, a sanctimonious ritualized body; shen 身, a site of familial and social personhood; xing 形, an elemental form that experiences mutations and mutilations; and ti 體, a complex, multilayered corpus whose center can be anywhere but whose boundaries are nowhere. The Zhuangzi is one of the richest early Chinese sources for exploring conceptualizations of the visceral human form. Zhuangzi presents the human frame as a corpus of flesh, organs, limbs, and bone; he dissects it before the reader's eyes, turning it inside ...


The Ji Self In Early Chinese Texts, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Jan 2012

The Ji Self In Early Chinese Texts, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

In much recent scholarship on notions of self in Chinese studies, the term "self" is usually used in a general sense. In this essay, however, Sommer focuses specifically on unraveling the fields of meaning of one Chinese character: ji 己, which may often be rendered as "self." She compares this ji self with other terms for body and person current in classical times. This ji self is strongly individuated, but it exists primarily in relation to other human beings (ren 人 ). These "others" are almost never one's own kind and are usually people who fall outside one's ascribed ...


The Sounds Of Zhèngmíng: Setting Names Straight In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Jan 2011

The Sounds Of Zhèngmíng: Setting Names Straight In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

In early Chinese texts, straightness often indicates correctness, hence many things are said to be zhèng .1 But among them, only zhèngmíng 正名 emerged as a rhetorical slogan promising the production of order and elimination of human confusion and fakeness.2 In scholarship on Chinese ethics, the slogan is usually understood as working toward these goals by making behavior accord with names or by making “names” (norms or social roles) accord with behavior. By contrast, on the assumption that uses of the term “míng” (name/title/fame) involved what something is called or what is heard ...


Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Mar 2010

Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

In this essay Sommer explores how the Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosophical text that dates to the third or fourth centuries BCE, uses different terms for the human body. She explores each term's different fields of meaning: the body might appear as gong 躬, a sanctimonious ritualized body; shen 身, a site of familial and social personhood; xing 形, an elemental form that experiences mutations and mutilations; or ti 體, a complex, multilayered corpus whose center can be anywhere but whose boundaries are nowhere. The Zhuangzi is one of the richest early Chinese sources for exploring conceptualizations of the visceral ...


Grounding "Language" In The Senses: What The Eyes And Ears Reveal About Ming 名 (Names) In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Jan 2010

Grounding "Language" In The Senses: What The Eyes And Ears Reveal About Ming 名 (Names) In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Scholarship on early Chinese theories of “language” regularly treats the term ming 名 (name) as the equivalent of “word.” But there is a significant difference between a “word” and a “name.”1 Moreover, while a “word” is often understood to mean a unit of language that is identifiable in its sameness across speech and writing, there is reason to believe that a ming was mainly used to mean a unit of meaningful sound.2 Analyzing the function of ming is a prerequisite for understanding early Chinese theories of “language”—if such a term is even appropriate. Such an analysis will ...


Images For Iconoclasts: Images Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Jan 2007

Images For Iconoclasts: Images Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Confucius died and was buried in 479 B.C.E., and he was never seen again. Or so one would think. “You may forget me as I once was,” Confucius reminds us in the Zhuangzi, "but there is something unforgettable about me that will still live on." Confucius’s physical frame was concealed from sight below ground, but his body and face were not forgotten either by his followers or his detractors, each of whom remembered him (or remembered him) in different ways. People created semblances of Confucius that reflected their own visions of the past, and constructions of his ...


Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Aug 2006

Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Hsieh Liang-tso is the first volume to explore Chinese traditions in the Academy Series sponsored by Oxford and the American Academy of Religion. Most previous titles in the series focus on Christianity, which perhaps explains Selover’s attention to the perspectives of comparative religions and comparative theology in his introduction. There he briefly traces the history of the issues concerning the religious dimensions of the Chinese literati tradition and outlines a comparative framework for approaching eleventh-century Chinese thought. Inspired by Robert Neville’s Beyond the Masks of God, Selover focuses in the introduction on four themes—scripture, tradition, reason, and ...


Guarding Moral Boundaries: Shame In Early Confucianism, Jane Geaney Jan 2004

Guarding Moral Boundaries: Shame In Early Confucianism, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Claims that China is a ‘‘shame culture’’ tend to presume that guilt is the superior moral motivation. Such claims characterize guilt as internally motivated and operative even if no outsider is aware of any wrongdoing. By contrast, they assume that shame occurs only when someone is observed. The observer represents the moral opinion of an outsider, and, as a result, shame is said to be externally motivated. In this view, genuinely moral motivation is internal. Internality is seen as a requirement for moral autonomy (the ability to make decisions independent of particular social norms), and only guilt cultures are thought ...


The Art And Politics Of Painting Qianlong At Chengde, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Jan 2004

The Art And Politics Of Painting Qianlong At Chengde, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

New Qing Imperial History uses the Manchu summer capital of Chengde and associated architecture, art and ritual activity as the focus for an exploration of the importance of Inner Asia and Tibet to the Qing Empire (1636-1911). Well-known contributors argue that the Qing was not simply another Chinese dynasty, but was deeply engaged in Inner Asia not only militarily, but culturally, politically and ideologically.

Emphasizing the diverse range of peoples in the Qing empire, it analyzes the importance to Chinese history of Manchu relations with Tibetan prelates, Mongolian chieftains, and the Turkic elites of Xinjiang. In offering a new appreciation ...


Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2001

Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought, a volume of eleven essays written in honor of Wing-tsit Chan and William Theodore de Bary, proposes to explore how Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions have responded to and have influenced other traditions (Buddhist, Taoist, folk, Japanese nativist, and so on) in China and Japan. The essays are arranged first geographically (seven articles on China precede four on Japan) and then roughly chronologically. All essays, save one, describe Sung or post-Sung developments. A few sentences per essay must suffice in this review. [excerpt]


Sharing The Light: Representations Of Women And Virtue In Early China, By Lisa Raphals (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 2000

Sharing The Light: Representations Of Women And Virtue In Early China, By Lisa Raphals (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Lisa Raphals' Sharing the Light is a useful collection of the latest available information regarding the role of women in early Chinese history. In contrast to conventional interpretations, Raphals aims to demonstrate that in early China women were not as socially constrained as later periods portrayed them. The focus and the main virtue of her work lies in collating and interpreting a significant amount of information on this topic.


The Way Of Water And Sprouts Of Virtue, By Sarah Allan (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 2000

The Way Of Water And Sprouts Of Virtue, By Sarah Allan (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Sarah Allan, in The Way of Water and Sprouts of Virtue, explores the premise that linguistic concepts are rooted in culturally specific imagery. Allan argues that in the process of translation the target language inevitably grafts its own imagery onto the concepts of the original language. Therefore the translation process fails to capture the range of meaning and the structural relations between terms in the original language. Allan's work elaborates this point via an analysis of the metaphors related to water and plants in early Chinese philosophical thought.


Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, By Kwong-Loi Shun (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 1999

Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, By Kwong-Loi Shun (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Although "ethics" does not appear in the title, Kwong-Loi Shun's Mencius and Early Chinese Thought is an analysis of ethics in the Mencius. Shun's goal is to "further our understanding of the Confucian perspective on the ethical life" (p. 8). His painstakingly careful presentation of passages of Mencian ethics certainly achieves this aim.


Critique Of A.C. Graham's Reconstruction Of The Neo-Mohist Canons, Jane Geaney Jan 1999

Critique Of A.C. Graham's Reconstruction Of The Neo-Mohist Canons, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

A. C. Graham's Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Sciences (1978) is the only Western-language translation of the obscure and textually corrupt chapters of the Mozi that purportedly constitute the foundations of ancient Chinese logic. Graham's presentation and interpretation of this difficult material has been largely accepted by scholars. This article questions the soundness of Graham's reconstruction of these chapters (the so-called "Neo-Mohist Canons"). Upon close examination, problems are revealed in both the structure and the content of the framework Graham uses to interpret the Canons. Without a more reliable framework for interpreting the text, it seems best ...