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268 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 Hoyt Cleveland Tillman. Ch'en Liang on Public Interest and the Law. Honolulu : University ofHawai'i Press, 1994. Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Monograph No. 12. xxi, 150 pp. Paper $15.00, isbn 08248 -1610-2. Professor Hoyt TUlman is the preeminent interpreter and student of Chen Liang in the West and has already published a major monograph on Chen's "utilitarian Confucianism" as weU as a major study ofZhu Xi's (1130-1200) rise to ascendancy within Southern Song philosophic circles.1 No one is better prepared to present Chen's reflections on public interest and the law. In these studies TiUman has provided the scholarly community not only with a specific study of Chen Liang but also wifh a survey ofhow Chen fitted into fhe larger debates that shaped the development ofthe Confucian Way in the Song dynasty. TiUman's short essay continues to refine both our understanding of Chen Liang's views on public and phüosophic issues and fhe complicated world of scholarly feUowship wifhin which Chen lived. In fact, TiUman has introduced die notion that the various scholars we now caU the Neo-Confucians represented a feUowship ofindividuals dedicated, in their various ways, to transmitting and renovating the Confucian Way. From TUlman's point ofview, it is vital for scholars to take more interest in Song thinkers such as Chen because he represents an important yet neglected way ofthinking fhat contributes to the development of the Confucian Way in fhe Song. AU ofTülman's work on Chen Liang has been conducted as a dialogue with Zhu Xi, Chen's more famous contemporary and debating partner. One of TiUman's persuasive points is fhat we must not let Zhu Xi completely sway our reading ofthe development ofSong philosophy. While TiUman would never want to suggest that Zhu Xi is not the most important of Soufhern Song thinkers, giving just regard to Zhu's genius should not cause us to forget that Zhu was only part of a larger Confucian feUowship. And within this fellowship there was an ongoing debate about aU kinds of social and phüosophic issues. One of fhe points that TUlman makes over and over again is that we cannot understand what Confucian discourse really entails until we pay attention to those voices of the tradition that argue with Zhu Xi and his foUowers. One of the subtexts of Tillman's work has been to force the scholarly community to reassess its use ofthe term "Neo-Confucian" as a way of designating aU© 1997 by University Confucian thought from the Northern Song to fhe present. Immediately after in- ' wm l traducing the subject ofpublic interest as a key concept for Chen in the preface, Tillman argues that the very term "Confucian" has become controversial. What TUlman righdy notes, and what has been acknowledged, at least in the field ofre- Reviews 269 ligious studies, is the fact that terms such as "Confucianism" were designed to meet Western and not Chinese inteUectual and religious needs during fhe early modern missionary era (sixteenth to early twentieth centuries). In this regard, TUlman cites widi approval Lionel Jensen's studies ofdie creation ofthe notion of Confucius as the first sage and Confucianism as a tradition byWestern scholars ever since the early modern Jesuit missionaries to EastAsia began to give the topic serious attention. The Western missionary-scholars knew that they were Christians ; fhe question that theybrought with them was: what are the various religions ofAsia and what are their names? And when the missionaries could not get the natives to give concise names and definitions for their various "ways oflife," then the missionaries did it for them. One of these names was "Confucianism." TUlman observes that die terms "Confucian" and "Neo-Confucian" are problematic because they do not strictiy translate any one Chinese term accurately . When Western scholars talk about Confucianism, fhis covers terms like ru, dao-xue, xing-li xue, and so forth. But the point that TUlman wants to make is even more subde and is tied to his continuing interest in Chen Liang's dialogue with Zhu Xi. While the terminology has not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 268-271
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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