Sources of Chinese Tradition

Sources of Chinese Tradition: Volume 2: From 1600 Through the Twentieth Century

Wm. Theodore de Bary
Richard Lufrano
Copyright Date: 2000
Edition: 2
Pages: 656
Stable URL: http:/stable/10.7312/deba11270
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    Sources of Chinese Tradition
    Book Description:

    For four decades Sources of Chinese Tradition has served to introduce Western readers to Chinese civilization as it has been seen through basic writings and historical documents of the Chinese themselves. Now in its second edition, revised and extended through Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin--era China, this classic volume remains unrivaled for its wide selection of source readings on history, society, and thought in the world's largest nation. Award-winning China scholar Wm. Theodore de Bary -- who edited the first edition in 1960 -- and his coeditor Richard Lufrano have revised and updated the second volume of Sources to reflect the interactions of ideas, institutions, and historical events from the seventeenth century up to the present day.

    Beginning with Qing civilization and continuing to contemporary times, volume II brings together key source texts from more than three centuries of Chinese history, with opening essays by noted China authorities providing context for readers not familiar with the period in question.

    Here are just a few of the topics covered in this second volume of Sources of Chinese Tradition:

    • Early Sino-Western contacts in the seventeenth century;

    • Four centuries of Chinese reflections on differences between Eastern and Western civilizations;

    • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century reform movements, with treatises on women's rights, modern science, and literary reform;

    • Controversies over the place of Confucianism in modern Chinese society;

    • The nationalist revolution -- including readings from Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek;

    • The communist revolution -- with central writings by Mao Zedong;

    • Works from contemporary China -- featuring political essays from Deng Xiaoping and dissidents including Wei Jingsheng.

    With more than two hundred selections in lucid, readable translation by today's most renowned experts on Chinese language and civilization, Sources of Chinese Tradition will continue to be recognized as the standard for source readings on Chinese civilization, an indispensable learning tool for scholars and students of Asian civilizations.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51799-7
    Subjects: History, Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  3. EXPLANATORY NOTE
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  4. PART FIVE The Maturation of Chinese Civilization and New Challenges to Chinese Tradition
    • Chapter 25 THE CHINESE TRADITION IN RETROSPECT
      (pp. 3-72)

      Although the Manchu conquest of China might have been expected to produce, under foreign rule, dramatic changes in Chinese life, it is a sign of the powerful inertial force of Chinese civilization—the magnitude of the society and the survival power of both its people and its culture—that so much of traditional thought and institutions persisted into the new era and, in fact, even lent stability and strength to the new regime. It is also a credit to the adaptability of the Manchus to their new situation.

      A key instance of this political and cultural survival was the early...

    • Chapter 26 POPULAR VALUES AND BELIEFS
      (pp. 73-141)
      DAVID JOHNSON

      The vast majority of Chinese in premodern times lived in villages and small towns of a few thousand people at most. Some, such as peddlers and entertainers, traveled a great deal, but most ventured no further than the nearest market town. Their cultural horizons were also narrow, since most could not read or write. All they learned of the outside world and of the great traditions of philosophy, religion, history, and poetry had to come to them in speech or song. The few in a village who were literate generally could read only texts written in a fairly simple style;...

    • Chapter 27 CHINESE RESPONSES TO EARLY CHRISTIAN CONTACTS
      (pp. 142-154)
      DAVID MUNGELLO

      Contacts between China and Europe (known in premodern China as the “Far West” or the “Western Ocean”) date from the time of the Silk Route link between Han China and the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. The two major forces that fostered Sino-Western contacts were trade and religion, and frequently the two would operate in tandem as the trade route would provide entry for Christian missionaries into China.

      There is a tradition in the Christian church that Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, had first carried the faith to the East. However, the first documented presence of...

    • Chapter 28 CHINESE STATECRAFT AND THE OPENING OF CHINA TO THE WEST
      (pp. 155-212)

      Statecraft, as represented by the Chinese term jingshi (world ordering), traditionally had to do with the internal affairs of the Chinese world, the “Central Kingdom”; it was little concerned with the kind of power politics that occupied European princes in their multistate rivalries, their international world. As such, Chinese statecraft drew upon the age-old, voluminous record found in the treatises of the dynastic histories from the Han and after, as well as in the monumental institutional encyclopedias compiled from the late Tang onward and in the local gazetteers that recorded matters of civil administration and provincial life down through the...

    • Chapter 29 THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF THE TAIPINGS
      (pp. 213-230)

      In the writings of Lin Zexu and Wei Yuan we have seen the impact of the West on two men who exemplified the finest traditions of Chinese statecraft and Confucian scholarship—representatives of that elite group that had served for centuries as the custodians of the Chinese government and of Confucian values in thought and scholarship. On another level of society, in these years just after China’s defeat in the Opium War, there are signs of an even more powerful and striking reaction to the West in the great Taiping Rebellion, a mass movement so remarkable that it has continued...

  5. PART SIX Reform and Revolution
    • Chapter 30 MODERATE REFORM AND THE SELF-STRENGTHENING MOVEMENT
      (pp. 233-249)
      K. C. LIU

      The defeat of the Taipings was only one of the more hopeful signs for the Manchus in the early 1860s, after two decades of losses and near-disaster for the dynasty. The foreign occupation of Beijing in 1860 had been followed by a reorganization of leadership at court, with stronger and more flexible men rallying forces loyal to the dynasty and working toward better relations with the foreign powers. The new diplomatic missions established in the capital and foreign concessions in treaty ports up and down the coast, though forced upon the court originally, had now made it both necessary and...

    • Chapter 31 RADICAL REFORM AT THE END OF THE QING
      (pp. 250-313)

      When we attempt to assess the aims and accomplishments of Chinese reformers in the 1870s and 1880s, the comparison to Meiji Japan is almost inevitable. In aims there is a strong general resemblance between the two; in the scope and effectiveness of their reforms a striking difference. Where the Chinese Self-Strengtheners sought to preserve the Confucian Way through the adoption of Western techniques, Japanese modernizers talked of combining “Eastern ethics and Western science” or spoke of preserving their distinctive “national polity” (kokutai) in the midst of an intense program of modernization. Yet, given this general similarity of aims, the process...

    • Chapter 32 THE NATIONALIST REVOLUTION
      (pp. 314-350)

      The Chinese Revolution of 1911, which led to the overthrow of the Manchus the following year, was complex in its origins and confused as to its outcome. There is no single trend of thought or political action with which it can be identified. Nevertheless, amid the shifting currents of ideas and events in the two decades following, nationalism and republicanism emerged as perhaps the leading slogans in the political arena; and in the popular mind (if we may so speak of a political consciousness still somewhat inchoate), it was Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925) and his Nationalist (Guomindang) followers who stood...

    • Chapter 33 THE NEW CULTURE MOVEMENT
      (pp. 351-395)
      WING-TSIT CHAN

      As its name implies, the New Culture Movement was an attempt to destroy what remained of traditional Confucian culture in the republican era and to replace it with something new. The collapse of the old dynastic system in 1911 and the failure of Yuan Shikai’s Confucian-garbed monarchical restoration in 1916 meant that, politically, Confucianism was almost dead. It had, however, been much more than a political philosophy. It had been a complete way of life, which nationalism and republicanism supplanted only in part. There were some even among republicans who felt that certain aspects of the old culture, Confucian ethics...

    • Chapter 34 THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION
      (pp. 396-425)

      On the surface, Chinese Communism would seem to have little to do with Chinese tradition. From the outset—from the party’s founding in 1921 under the leadership of the iconoclast Chen Duxiu—it was blatantly hostile to Confucian tradition and unashamedly committed to violent overthrow of the old order. Mao Zedong, too, though he recognized a kind of native tradition in the peasant rebellions and popular “revolutionary” literature of earlier dynasties, did not thereby acknowledge any debt to the past. For him, recurrent rebellions showed only how the Chinese masses had suffered and protested. They did not show a way...

    • Chapter 35 CHINESE COMMUNIST PRAXIS
      (pp. 426-449)

      In addition to the clear projection of his revolutionary goals, Mao gave close attention to revolutionary education. Although the content of this education was mostly Leninist and Stalinist—and when he came to power a Stalinist curriculum largely replaced the so-called bourgeois education transplanted from the West in the first half of the century—the keynote of Mao’s educational program was training and indoctrination for revolutionary class struggle. In that Mao consciously rejected Confucianism—and saw it (along with Western liberalism) as his nemesis to the bitter end of the Cultural Revolution in the late sixties and early seventies—his...

    • Chapter 36 THE MAO REGIME
      (pp. 450-482)

      In the early years of the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party unified the country militarily (except for Taiwan) and fought the United States to a standstill in Korea. Domestically, it distributed land to the peasants, accelerated industrialization, revamped education on the Soviet model, and passed a marriage law. After decades of war and chaos, peace reigned. Gangsters and drug pushers were executed; prostitutes and opium addicts were rehabilitated. Health care improved and some serious diseases were eradicated in the countryside. Infant mortality went down and life expectancy gradually rose. Patriotic Chinese educated abroad came home to participate in...

  6. PART SEVEN The Return to Stability and Tradition
    • Chapter 37 DENG’S “MODERNIZATION” AND ITS CRITICS
      (pp. 485-526)
      R. LUFRANO

      The era following the death of Mao and the demise of the so-called Gang of Four is identified with the leadership of Deng Xiaoping and his policies proclaimed under the banner of “modernization.” To the latter concept, problematical and contestable in almost any case, a special irony attaches here, after three decades of Maoist “liberation” and revolutionary struggle had failed to fulfill their modernizing goals. What remained to be done, and how, is the subject of the claims, proposals, and counterproposals put forward in the following by some of the leading actors and activists of this period.

      In December 1978,...

    • Chapter 38 TWENTIETH-CENTURY CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA
      (pp. 527-544)
      JULIA CHING

      In keeping with the pattern of wars and political turmoil, broken by brief moments of peace and stability, the twentieth century has been a time of growth, suppression, resurrection, and revival for the Christian religion in China. In this short account the focus is on how leading Chinese Christians—Catholic and Protestant—responded to the encounter between Chinese culture and Christianity, as well as to the repressions of the Communist regime.

      Christianity came late to China and remains a minority religion in Communist China, bearing some stigma of Western imperialism. But its followers could be found even among the top...

    • Chapter 39 REOPENING THE DEBATE ON CHINESE TRADITION
      (pp. 545-584)

      For all its strident iconoclasm, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution did not spring from any clear consensus on values or political direction. Indeed, the power struggles and factional infighting that marked the campaign betrayed great ideological confusion.

      “Confucianism,” though a prime target of attack, had long since been eclipsed educationally and politically—largely replaced by Western-style learning in the first decades of the century and then, post-1949, by a Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist ideology and curriculum in the schools. Except among a few remnants of the older generation, Confucianism was perceived negatively through the anti-Confucian diatribes of the New Culture and May 4...

  7. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 585-594)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 595-628)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 629-636)