Michael Hunter, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Yale University
"Why the Confucian Analects Isn't as Old as You Might Think."
The Analects (Lunyu) has long enjoyed a privileged status as the most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius (Kongzi, 551-479 BCE). Traditionally thought to have been compiled by Confucius's closest disciples in the years following his death, the Analects has been read as the earliest Warring States (475-221 BCE) text, the earliest work of Chinese philosophy, and thus the one text that all subsequent Chinese authors must have responded to in some way or another. However, careful attention to the diversity and distribution of Confucius sayings across the early corpus shows that the Analects did not always dominate early authors' thinking about Confucius. This talk will outline the case against the traditional view of the Analects to argue that the text is a product of the early Western Han era (202 BCE-9 CE) at the earliest, roughly three centuries later than is usually supposed. This revised picture has far-reaching implications for our understanding of Confucius and of early Chinese intellectual history.
Location: FEAS Seminar Room (Mary Houghton Freeman Room) Admission: Free Sponsor: Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies URL: Contact: Ann Gertz at firstname.lastname@example.org