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Hu-Shi’s Understanding of the Han Confucianism

  • JOURNAL OF CHINESE STUDIES
  • 2020, (68), pp.1-29
  • DOI : 10.26585/chlab.2020..68.001
  • Publisher : CHINESE STUDIES INSTITUTE
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : April 30, 2020
  • Accepted : June 8, 2020
  • Published : June 30, 2020

Lee, Younseung 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It is well known that Hu-Shi(胡適) gradually abandoned the term ‘history of philosophy’ and began to use the term ‘intellectual hoistory’ from the late 1920s. I don’t think it is just a shift from philosophy to thoughts. It is more appropriate to say that Hu’s view has expanded from history of philosophy to cultural history or the history of religions. Hu’s study of the Han Confucianism is the result of exploring the theoretical aspects and social role of the Confucianism as a religion. Hu-Shi did not declare that the thoughts of the Han Confucianism were the development of the main streams of Qi Xue(齊學). However, we were able to confirm through the ideas of the representative Confucian scholars of the time that the elements of Qi Xue(齊學) were all contained in the thoughts of the Han Confucianism. From the perspective of Hu-Shi, the Han Confucianism was a religion of childish and superstitious character, however, the new Confucianism of the Han Dynasty enjoyed the status of national religion in the Han Empire, and it played a role in institutional readjustment in the area of education and bureaucracy. Hu’s study on the Han Confucianism is significant in that it clearly highlighted the existence of Confucianism as a religious tradition in ancient China. Hu himself took an extremely critical approach to the Han Confucianism, giving no positive meaning to it. In the realm of Chinese philosophy, Hu’s study on the Han Confucianism has never been noted. But from the point of view of Chinese religious history, Hu’s study on the Han Confucianism is an important achievement that can not be neglected.

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