Inborn knowledge (Shengzhi) and expressions of modesty (Qianci): On Zhu Xi’s sacred image of confucius and his hermeneutical strategies

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Abstract

This essay, beginning with the proposition of Confucius being born with knowledge, aims to illustrate the sacred imagination Zhu Xi has on Confucius, as well as how the former utilizes specific hermeneutical strategies to maintain the image of the latter. The essay first places in order theories from scholars in the past, regarding “sages being born with knowledge,” then goes on to examine the exegesis Zhu had on the fact that Confucius has “Inborn Knowledge”; followed by a revelation on how Zhu has made use of the concept of “Expression of Modesty” to resolve textual conflicts caused by the affirmation of such knowledge. Finally, limitations of Zhu's hermeneutical strategies are critically examined, so as to exhibit the correlation between commentators of the Classics and the time they live in. The investigation can deepen our understanding on the hermeneutical tradition of Confucianism, hence producing a complementary effect on recent studies. Copyright © 2015 Monumenta Serica Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-108
JournalMonumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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Citation

Lee, K. S. (2015). Inborn knowledge (Shengzhi) and expressions of modesty (Qianci): On Zhu Xi’s sacred image of confucius and his hermeneutical strategies. Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, 63(1), 79-108.

Keywords

  • Confucius
  • Sacred image
  • Inborn knowledge
  • Zhu Xi
  • Expressions of modesty
  • Hermeneutical strategies
  • 生知與謙辭:論朱熹對孔子的神聖想像及其詮釋策略