Explores the shifting terrain of Confucianism in Chinese history.
Imagining Boundaries explores the mapping of the intellectual tradition of Confucianism in Chinese history. The authors show that the Confucian tradition is not a neatly packaged organic whole in which the constitutive parts fall naturally into place, but rather that it displays the ruptures of all cultural constructions. Accordingly, Confucianism has been configured and reconfigured in time in response to changing intellectual and historical circumstances.
This anthology addresses the constant negotiation of the boundaries of Confucianism within itself and in relation to other intellectual traditions, the fluidity of the Confucian canon, the dialogical relations between text and discourse in establishing boundaries for the Confucian tradition, and the textual and discursive strategies employed in the imagining of boundaries, which expanded or restricted the intellectual space of Confucianism.
Rejecting an interpretation of Confucianism as a homogenous master-narrative and worldview, the book uses the variegated histories of Confucianism to interrogate the tradition itself, unpacking and highlighting its complexity and diversity.
"Imagining Boundaries is an excellent anthology. The time is long overdue to read Confucian texts as historical artifacts, yet still appreciate the philosophical complexity of them. " — Matthew Levey, Birmingham-Southern College
"This work is more than sound…it is on the leading edge of the best work being done in the field. " — John Berthrong, author of All Under Heaven: Transforming Paradigms in Confucian-Christian Dialogues
[Contributors include Kai-wing Chow; Kandice Hauf; John B. Henderson; Tze-ki Hon; Hsiung Ping-chen; Yuet Keung Lo; On-cho Ng; Michael Nylan; and Lauren Pfister]
Kai-wing Chow is Associate Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and is the author of The Rise of Ritualism in Late Imperial China: Ethics, Classics, and Lineage Discourse. On-cho Ng is Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University. John B. Henderson is Professor of History and Religious Studies at Louisiana State University. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Construction of Orthodoxy and Heresy: Neo-Confucian, Islamic, Jewish and Early Christian Patterns, also published by SUNY Press.