On Some Traits of Royal Learning in the Comprehensive Commentary on the Book of Changes
Keywords:《易經通注》, 順治, 道統, 治統, 朱熹, 帝王學, 《易》學, 王心, Yijing tongzhu (Comprehensive Commentary on the Book of Changes), Emperor Shunzhi, Daotong (Confucian orthodoxy), Zhitong (Ruling orthodoxy), Zhu Xi, system of royal learning, Zhouyi scholarship, royal mind
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
This paper aims to examine some traits of the philosophical issues in a textbook on the Book of Changes entitled Comprehensive Commentary on the Book of Changes (Yijing tongzhu), which was written by Emperor Shunzhi’s (r. 1643-1661) edict and remained in use throughout the Qing dynasty. Comprised of nine fascicles, the Yijing tongzhu was compiled by Fu Yijian 傅以漸, Cao Benrong 曹本榮, et al. on an edict in 1658. In this book, Zhu Xi’s (1130-1200) teachings play a dominant role. However, in governance matters, the Confucian orthodoxy (daotong) and ruling orthodoxy (zhitong) in this book reveal discrepancies compared with Zhu Xi’s theory of the Book of Changes and philosophical stance. The Yijing tongzhu conflicts with Zhu Xi’s teaching in, for example, its emphases on the thoughts of “correlation between heaven and man” and “law of heaven,” as well as its interpretation of the concept of the “middle and correct” position in the hexagram system. These discrepancies were mainly due to the Qing book’s mission to promulgate the ideology of royal learning. This essay deals only with the philosophical issue of “law of heaven” and limits its discussion to the concept of “the Primary” (yuan).
In this essay, royal learning is divided in two types, namely “Learning for Oneself” and “Learning for Others.” Furthermore, the discussion will aim to clarify core features of the study of the Book of Changes under royal learning as shown in Yijing tongzhu by analyzing the relationship between the study of royal learning and the Confucian orthodoxy. Finally, it will contrast Yijing tongzhu’s views with Zhu Xi’s in their respective study of the Book of Changes, and thereby highlight some traits of the relationship between royal learning in the Yijing tongzhu and the Confucian orthodoxy and how the former influenced the latter.
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