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Title: Connecting Protestantism to Ruism : religion, dialogism and intertextuality in James Legge's translation of the Lunyu
Author: Chen, I-Hsin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 2860
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the 1861 and 1893 editions of James Legge’s (1815–1897) translation of the Lunyu, collected in the first volume of his Chinese Classics under the title, Confucian Analects. Instead of confining Legge in the discourses of orientalism and cultural imperialism, I reread Legge’s encounter with ancient and contemporary China, his reverence for Kongzi (Confucius), and his appreciation of Ruism (Confucianism) as a monotheistic religion relevant to Christianity. I argue that Legge’s Lunyu shows a spirit of intercultural accommodation through his broad incorporation of Chinese and Western sources, unfolding important nineteenth-century sinological approaches while stimulating the modern development of Sino-Western dialogue. The study illustrates the textual identities of the Lunyu through a discussion of Kongzi’s life, the early formation of the Lunyu, the reception history of the Lunyu in China and Europe up to Legge’s time, and the editorial history of Legge’s Lunyu that reflects the text’s rich tradition. The study illuminates the significance of religion in Legge’s evaluation of Kongzi and the Lunyu by charting Legge’s religious background and sinological commitment, while relating modern/contemporary theories of ‘religion’ in the West and China to his approach to Ruism. Within these contexts, I show how Legge connects Christian thought to Ruist ethics through his vision of ‘universal love’. Adopting Mikhail M. Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism and Julia Kristeva’s notion of intertextuality, I analyse Legge’s rendition of the title through his correlation between the Ruist, Graeco-Roman and Christian traditions, his translation of ren (perfect virtue, benevolence and love), xiao (filial piety), zhong (faithfulness and sincerity) and li (the rules of propriety), and his revisions. Moreover, to reveal how Legge develops a universal Ruist theology based on his Sino-Christian perspective, I examine his interpretation of Tian (Heaven), Di and Shangdi (both referring to the Supreme Ruler, equivalent to Christian God according to Legge) in ancient Ruist literature, and the way Legge relates these terms to relevant passages in the Lunyu. I elucidate Legge’s sympathetic account of Zhu Xi as a theistic thinker, probing his use of Zhu’s commentaries on ‘learning’, ‘perfect virtue’, ‘transcendence’ and the attributes of God in the Lunyu. In sum, the thesis demonstrates the interreligious, dialogic and intertextual dimensions of Legge’s Lunyu, highlighting its nuanced intercultural values.
Supervisor: Baker, Mona; St Andre, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available