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The Figure of ‘Wangtanzhi’: A Study of Critical Comments on the Main Characters in ‘Shishuoxinyu’

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2016, (32), pp.59-74
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2016..32.003
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Published : May 30, 2016

Kim, Jinyoung 1

1인덕대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

After long period of war and division during the Wei-Jin Dynasties, the West Jin Dynasty appeared in history, but soon was divided into 16 countries through the War of the Eight Princes and emigrant invasions. This caused the royal family to transfer its capital to the south, leading to the East Jin Dynasty. The philosophical system of the Han dynasty gradually collapsed because of social chaos leading scholars to concentrate on their self-realization, personality, aptitude, and emotion. The Wei-Jin Dynasties were led by Taoism, but could not distance themselves from Confucianism. Society at large was governed by Taoism, but this era had dual structures in which Confucianism was trained at home through lineage systems. Scholars infatuated with Taoism had Confucian knowledge from an early age, and their ideologies could not be separated from Confucian values despite the fact that Taoism was prevalent. For this reason, Confucian family customs were still reflected by Wangsheng, Wangshu, and Wangtanzhi, referred to as the Wang families of Taiyuan. This paper discusses the characteristics of Wangtanzhi, a noble born in the family of Taiyuan Wang during this confusing time, through the story of ‘Shishuoxinyu’; and also presents the turmoil caused by the dual structure, where Confucianism still exists at a time when the Taoism is esteemed by many scholars.

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