Friday, November 30

Reading: The Fortunes of Confucianism During the Early Han

The agenda for our next two meetings will focus on the nature of Han Confucianism.  On Thursday, we will survey the general history of Confucianism during the early Han, and the nature of the adjustments it made in order to attract the imperial patronage it ultimately won from Wu-di.  Next week, we will explore in more depth the structures of Confucian classicism, a topic we'll first introduce in this class session, in connection with reading section II (which I hope you will read with special care).

The general outline for discussion will be:

The Rise of Confucianism in the Han
    Features of Classical Confucianism
        The Confucian eclipse (Qin-early Former Han)
        Shusun Tong
        The shift to Classicism (the fangshi influence)
    Dong Zhongshu & the establishment of Confucianism
        The proposal for the academy
        Confucian bureaucrats
        The new Confucian metaphysics
        Practical omenology