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The Concept of Zhongde and the Preservation of Nature in Song Dynasty Literature

songjoo Kim 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines the concept of zhongde, a classical Chinese term thatcan be translated as ‘cultivating morality.’ Although zhongde has been in usagesince the Spring and Autumn periods, the literati of the Song Dynasty began touse it in a very different way in relation to dramatic changes in the naturalenvironment, particularly the destruction of forests. Due to these deterioratingenvironmental conditions, Song literati began to use the term zhongde inopposition to the practice of cultivating trees and plants for financial gain. Instead, they used the term to refer to the cultivation of trees and plants forthe common good of the world in which they resided. By investigating Song Dynasty literati's concern for the preservation ofnature, this article takes a novel approach to classical literature that shedslight upon efforts to deal with pressing environmental concerns throughclassical thought paradigms.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.