The Historical Origins of Confucius’ Shijiao (詩教): An Inquiry into the Shijiao of the Zhou Period
|Keywords:||詩三百;詩教;樂教;孔子;周禮;禮官;德;賦詩;Book of Odes;shijiao;yuejiao;Confucius;Zhouli;liguan;virtue;poetry recitation||Issue Date:||2007||Abstract:||
Confucius once said “I transmit but do not innovate; I am truthful in what I say and devoted to antiquity”, a statement that clearly shows his respect for tradition and desire to transmit that tradition. Taking this as a starting point, this thesis will attempt to trace the historical origin of Confucius’ shijiao (詩教). Texts related to this endeavor, of which the Zhouli (周禮) is by far the most complete, unanimously point to the importance of the liguan （禮官）in the teaching and the transmission of the three works making up the Book of Odes. As such, in addition to reviewing the relevant materials, we will primarily be interested in looking at the transmission of the Book of Odes in the context of the Zhou era liguan. Thus our discussion is indelibly related to the educational system in place during the Zhou period and the routes of transmission used for the Book of Odes. The results of our research, it is hoped, will provide a review of the historical origins of Confucius’ shijiao and an attempt to trace the origins of traditional Chinese shijiao.
In the context of this thesis, the term shijiao will refer to educational activities in ancient China making use of the works contained in the Book of Odes. The focus of our research will include the foundation and background on which shijiao of the Zhou period came into being, how it was implemented and its functions, and its contents. As the character of the poetic texts, the trajectories of their transmission, and their functional applications are important to an understanding of shijiao, our discussion will focus on these three strands and the interaction between them.
Taking into account previous scholarship in this area, we look at materials describing the liguan system in place during the Zhou period and, with respect to the historical origins of Confucius’ shijiao, make the following conclusions:
(1) The works of the Book of Odes, which form the basis of the shijiao of the Zhou period, are the product of a culture focused on rites and music and deal with politico-educational culture of the time.
(2) The liguan were primarily responsible for the shijiao of the Zhou period, with transmission taking place along two trajectories, that of the yueguan (樂官) and that of the nobility (國子).
(3) The shijiao of the yueguan was primarily concerned with the performance of music and recitations during rituals; as such, it revolved primarily around the concept of virtue.
(4) The shijiao of the nobility was intended to cultivate noble leaders (君子); as such, it focused on encouraging and broadening virtue and instilling a sense of purpose.
(5) The practice of reciting or referring to poems during the Spring and Autumn Period was a reflection of the function and character of the shijiao of the Zhou period.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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