Teachings of the Confucian School in Shanxi Province


This work was written by Wen Xiangfeng (1577–1642), an official in the late Ming period. He received his jin shi degree in 1610 and held many positions, among them assistant commissioner of Shanxi Province, vice commissioner of the Court of the Imperial Stud, and secretary of the Bureau of Ceremonies in the Bureau of Rites in Nanjing. However, Wen Xiangfeng devoted most of his time to teaching and lecturing and was known locally as a Confucian thinker. In 1621 he became the provincial literary chancellor of Shanxi, where he wrote this book, which was printed in the first year of the Tianqi reign (1621–27). The book is in 16 juan, in 16 volumes, and includes a preface by the author. It was not widely circulated. Wen was a follower of Shao Yong (1011–77), the Song philosopher, cosmologist, poet, and historian, who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China. With this work, Wen Xiangfeng hoped that his writing adhered to the doctrines of the Confucian Five Classics. He claimed that his highest aim was to cling to strict ethical and moral standards, to show steadfast loyalty to country and the emperor, which took precedence over blood ties, and to serve, respect, and hold in awe Heaven (symbolic parent of the emperor). He attempted to blend astronomical themes with his theories, devoting himself to Shao Yong’s representative work Huang ji jing shi (Book of supreme world-ordering principles) and discussing Confucian teachings and religious issues. He held negative views on Christianity, which had been brought to China by missionaries. Wen Xiangfeng was also known as a published poet and author of collections of poetry.

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16 juan in 16 volumes

Last updated: January 3, 2018