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The Analects of Confucius as the Emperor's Textbook--The Analysis of the Lectures for Emperors on the Analects of Confucius in the Sung Dynasty
This paper aimed at the lectures for emperors on the Analects of Confucius in the Sung Dynasty by researching into Yang Shr 楊時, Cheng Jiu 程俱, Wang Shr Peng 王十朋, Yuan Fu 袁甫, Liu Ke Juang 劉克莊, Hsu Yuan Jie 徐元杰’s lectures for emperors on the Analects of Confucius which were included in Siku Quanshu 四庫全書. Their lectures focused on the four topics: to study, to cultivate morality, to renounce desire and to leave from immoral person and close to moral person. There are two features of the lectures for emperors. First, there was an estrangement between the teachers and the emperors as students. Second, the teachers were under the pressure of the emperor’s power and could not go beyond. The former procured that the teachers could not necessarily acquire a general way to advice the emperors on morality. The duty to assist the emperors was not certainly taken charge. The latter revealed the conflict between the emperors and the teachers. For the scholars in Sung Dynasty, it appeared in the question that to abolish the regulation that the teachers can sit when they lecturing is proper or not. The lectures for emperors often became the field that all influences scrambled for the power to discourse by it. The way to interpret the scriptures of the lectures for emperors was not focused on the original meaning but to talk about the “constructive words”. When the teachers insisted on being “the teacher of emperor” and set their individual personality, they changed their status and participated in the politics to teach the emperors on morality. It is the best self-identity and aspiration of Confucians after Mencius.
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