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Development of the Sage-King narratives : idealized concepts of rulership in Warring States Chinese thought

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dc.contributor.author Chen, Chung Kuang Allen
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-05T20:44:43Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-05T20:44:43Z
dc.date.copyright 2012 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-12-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2429/43654
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how contemporary scholarship interpreted sage-kings (聖王) narratives, commonly used in Warring States and Chinese philosophical texts to represent particular visions of ideal rulership, in their understanding of the historical and political contexts of the development of early Chinese intellectual history. Another aim is to find out how these narratives changed over time, and how they revealed the different political concerns of the Warring States philosophers. This project uses a primarily historiographical approach and first surveyed the works of leading scholarship in the field that discusses the use of the sage-kings. Then, two particular narratives are examined in order to demonstrate their evolution over time. The first of these sage-king narratives was on the taming of the great flood by Yu 禹 and the rise of human civilization; the second was on the abdication of Yao 堯 to Shun 舜 and the issue of legitimacy in the transfer of political authority. The results of the study shows that even though contemporary scholarship recognizes the importance of the sage-king narratives in understanding political concerns in the history of early China, and the evolution of these narratives over time, there is no consensus in the methodology best used to systematically integrate them. This thesis also concludes that that the sage-kings were used not just as political ideals by texts like the Analects, the Mozi, the Mencius, and the Xunzi, but were also often consciously constructed by the authors of these texts to fulfill this precise role. Furthermore, the results indicate that the sage-kings were also used as counter-narratives by the Zhuangzi and the Hanfeizi, as a way to criticize and undermine those texts that were proponents of the sage-kings. The principal conclusion of this thesis is that sage-kings narratives are more complex and multifaceted than previously thought and deserve a more nuanced and historically aware analysis in future research. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of British Columbia en
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ *
dc.title Development of the Sage-King narratives : idealized concepts of rulership in Warring States Chinese thought en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Master of Arts - MA en_US
dc.degree.discipline Asian Studies en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of British Columbia en
dc.date.graduation 2013-05 en_US
dc.degree.campus UBCV en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en


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