Zhongguo guandian (Understanding, Hermeneutics and the Rujia Tradition) [Daotong wenti de fanxiang (Reverberations of the Daotong Problem)]

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    The concept of daotong (succession of the way) has been employed since Song times as a powerful tactic in the retrospective creation of lineages and “schools,” and also in promoting certain thinkers and excluding other thinkers from privileged versions of just who and what constitutes orthodoxy. In this chapter I seek to show how Mou Zongsan’s particular notion of a cultural daotong was interpreted and defended by mainland scholar Zheng Jiadong to advance a cultural nationalist vision that would have been inconceivable on the mainland even a year or two before it was first presented in 1994. As such it marks a significant turning point in the ruxue revivalist movement on the mainland. The most significant point to emerge from my analysis of Zheng’s defense of the broad concept of the daotong is his own implicit identification with a particular conception of the rujia tradition. The sort of cultural nationalism that emerges from Zheng’s views is one premised on an essentialized conception of the unique historical cultural tradition of the Chinese nation (minzu). I further argue, Zheng has still not avoided Yu Yingshi’s fundamental criticism that the New Confucians (principally Mou Zongsan) “appealed to the understanding and personal verification of the ‘the mind and the nature’ by historical ruzhe as the basis for determining which of these figures had experienced the ‘reality of the way (daoti).’
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnderstanding, Interpretation and the Confucian Tradition: Chinese Perspective
    EditorsLin Wei-chieh, Chiu Hwang-Hai
    Place of PublicationTaipei
    PublisherAcademia Sinica
    ISBN (Print)9789860240108
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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