Kongzi as the Uncrowned King in some Qing Gongyang Exegeses

In Paul Rakita Goldin (ed.), A Concise Companion to Confucius. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 286–303 (2017)
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Abstract

An idée maîtresse of the New Script (jinwen 今文) commentarial tradition is the notion of Kongzi as the “uncrowned king” (suwang 素王). Detractors of this commentarial tradition, which is based on the Qing Gongyang Commentary (Gongyang zhuan 公羊傳), customarily accuse its practitioners and proponents of doing unconscionable things to the classical texts. This chapter examines the deep exegesis of the jinwen commentarial tradition that revolves around the principal assertion that Kongzi, by rights, should have been the ruler, were it not for inauspicious political circumstances. In order to understand the New Script originary image of Kongzi as the uncrowned king who was preoccupied with and excelled in statecraft, it presents a synthetic view of the main Gongyang discursive notions and contents, which can most systematically be found in He Xiu's 何休 (129‐182 ce) systematic description of the some categories (sanke 三科) and some points (jiuzhi 九旨) of Gongyang thinking.

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