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Sacred subjects

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Sacred subjects British translators and the Sishu (Four Books)
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British translators and the Sishu (Four Books)
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Burden, Richard James
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xi, 245 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Philosophy, Chinese ( lcsh )
Philosophy, Confucian ( lcsh )
Chinese literature -- Translations into English ( lcsh )
Chinese literature ( fast )
Intellectual life ( fast )
Philosophy, Chinese ( fast )
Philosophy, Confucian ( fast )
Study skills ( fast )
Study and teaching -- History -- China -- Great Britain ( lcsh )
Intellectual life -- Great Britain ( lcsh )
China ( fast )
Great Britain ( fast )
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Translations. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
History ( fast )
Translations ( fast )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 211-245).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of History
Statement of Responsibility:
by Richard James Burden.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Full Text
SACRED SUBJECTS:
BRITISH TRANSLATORS AND THE SISHU (FOUR BOOKS),
by
Richard James Burden
B.A., Colorado State University, 1986
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
History
1996




This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Richard James Burden
has been approved
by


Burden, Richard James (M.A., History)
Sacred Subjects: British Translators and the Sishu (Four
Books)
Thesis directed by Assisstant Professor Lionel M. Jensen
ABSTRACT
This thesis explores the contours of the
imaginative relationship between Great Britain and China
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, by examining
it through the prism of the British translations of
the Confucian Four Books (Sishu) from the first partial
English translation in 1691, to the publication of James
Legge's Chinese Classics in 1893. As the relationship
itself is multifaceted, I examine these translations
as multiple readings, and attempt to situate each
translation in its historical context. I argue that,
in the process of translating the Sishu into the Four
Books, the translators themselves appropriated this
work into the British imagination. Therefore the context
of translation is one where both text and translator,
Britain and China are mutually entailed. I emphasize
the multiplicity of the readings by offering three
i v


discrete, but interdependent interpretations of these
translations.
The first chapter provides an overview of the
structure of the work, and a brief historical definition
of the Sishu. Chapter 2 traces the history of
translations as a genealogy, from early literature of
cultural contact to the works of James Legge. The
genealogy form allows me to point out continuity and
disruptions along the line. Chapter 3 adopts a
theoretical approach and positions the nineteenth century
translations in the framework of orientalist critique.
Using this model, I expand the frame of genealogy, and
more fully historicize the translations, by situating
them within a nineteenth century hierarchy of eastern
religions. I show the conceptual appropriations the
British selected from the initial Jesuit project in
China, and argue that these selections were made in
order to establish Confucianism in a hierarchical
relationship with other sacred traditions. Chapter
4 turns the focus towards Britain, and looks at the
highly reflective nature of translation. Here I examine
the Protestant British translators repositioning of
Confucius as a model of Victorian morality, I then show
how these translations became mutually entailed with
v


nineteenth century theological debates. The epilogue
is a brief meditation on the value of these multiple
readings, and the scope of the work.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.
Signed
vi


CONVENTIONS
Romanization in this thesis follows the hanyu
pinyin system, even in those cases when the older
Wade-Giles spelling is accepted, e.g., dao rather than
tao. In the case of authors who wrote prior to the
institution of pinyin transcription, and whose works
are listed in databases under the older style, I have
modified their names to reflect the pinyin spelling,
but include the other romanization in brackets following
their listing in the notes and the bibliography.
The bibliography is not an exhaustive list of
books on this topic, however it is more than a list
of works cited. It is a collected bibliography that
consists both of works cited, and works consulted.
A word about style is in order. As, I hope, it
will be clear throughout this work, I believe that
concepts and traditions such as history, religion,
"Confucianism," and Christianity, are not reified
entities, things that a priori exist and need merely
to be understood. I believe they are social forms of
knowledge, and as such they are perpetually and
simultaneously appropriated and dispersed through time.
They are reimagined and refashioned by each person who
vii


chooses to adopt them. They are reformed or
"manufactured," i.e., made by hand, with each subsequent
interpretation. Such terms are convenient but imprecise;
what do we mean by "Christianity," the Judaic belief
professed by Jesus of Nazareth, the belief of the Creeds,
Coptic, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist,
Mormon, or Christian Scientist? What do we mean by
"Victorian," or for that matter "Britain," or "China?"
With this in mind I am compelled to bracket all such
problematic terms as they occur. However, to prevent
this thesis from being littered with scare quotes, I
have adopted an alternate strategy. The only term I
will consistently bracket is "Confucius" and its
derivatives, others will be highlighted sparingly, and
then only for clarity. I hope that this will have the
kind of effect Brecht sought in his theatrical works,
that of momentarily distancing the reader, and
encouraging them to contemplate, and problematize other
terms that should be similarly set apart, but are not.
viii


CONTENTS
Acknowledgments...................................xi
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION ...................................1
Excursus: Enumerating the Four Books........12
Notes.......................................16
2. GENEALOGY OF TRANSLATION ........19
Equivocal Origins ..........................19
Charting the "Imaginative Geography"
of the Eighteenth Century...................38
The Lion and the Dragon:
Essentialism in the Nineteenth Century ....51
Missionary Translations and the
Avalanche of Texts ....................63
Notes.......................................72
3. TAXONOMY, HIERARCHY, AND THE CANONICAL
BOOKS OF THE EAST...........................81
Bifurcated Hierarchies: Sacred Subjects
in the Nineteenth Century...................85
"Discovering" the Sacred: Constructing a
Religious Hierarchy of the East.............94
Creating a Canon ........................100
Ceci N'est Pas La Chine: Jesuit
Tropme L oeil, and the Conceptual
Frame of Sinology.......................108
Siting "Confucius"
Positional Strategies and the Sishu........117
ix


Reflections on Orientalism...............132
Notes......................................139
4. IN VISIBLE CITIES:
THE MUTUAL ENTAILMENT OF THE SISHU
AND PROTESTANT BRITAIN...............146
Degenerationist Genesis and
the Humanity of "Confucius.................150
The Luther of China? The Protestant
Imagination and the Religions of China....162
"Confucius" and the "Victorian
Crisis of Faith"...........................178
Faithful Dissent: "Confucius,"
Evangelicalism and the Nature of
Humanity...................................198
Notes......................................211
5. EPILOGUE: MULTIPLICITY AND SACRED SUBJECTS...220
Notes......................................228
BIBLIOGRAPHY.........................................229
x


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There are a number of people who deserve an
unending amount of thanks and praise. I wish primarily
to thank my family, who have provided an unshakable
foundation of love and support for me in all of my
endeavors. To my friends, colleges, and fellow students,
who continue to inspire and challenge me, I owe a great
debt of gratitude. I would also like to thank the
faculty of the History Department at the University
of Colorado at Denver, for their support and
encouragement. Among those I would especially like
to thank, Dr. Jim Wolf for having the wisdom and grace
to provide me with the space to discover my own path,
and Dr. Lionel Jensen who sparked the tinder of my
imagination, and then with unswerving devotion, rigor,
and care, pushed me well beyond the limits of where
I believed I could go. He also did the calligraphy.
Finally, my undying gratitude goes to Paula, who has
been an inspiration to me, and a welcome and much needed
companion along this portion of our journey, and as
"I cannot heave my heart into my mouth," my thanks will
have to suffice.
xi


"From now on, I'll describe the cities to you," the
Khan had said, "in your journeys you will see if they
exist."
But these cities visited by Marco Polo were always
different from those thought of by the emperor.
"And yet I have constructed in my mind a model city
from which all possible cities can be deduced," Kublai
said. "It contains everything corresponding to the
norm. Since the cities that exist diverge in varying
degree from the norm, I need only forsee the exceptions
to the norm and calculate the most probable
combinations."
"I have also thought of a model city from which I
deduce all others," Marco answered. "It is a city made
only of exceptions, exclusions, incongruities,
contradictions. If such a city is the most improbable,
by reducing the number of abnormal elements, we increase
the probability that the city really exists. So I have
only to subtract exceptions from my model, and in
whatever direction I proceed, I will arrive at one of
the cities which, always as an exception, exists. But
I cannot force my operation beyond a certain limit:
I would achieve cities too probable to be real."
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
The danger is in the neatness of identifications.
---Samuel Beckett
It is the purpose of this thesis to explore
the shifting contours of the imaginative relationship
between Great Britain and China throughout the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries. I say "imaginative" because
this thesis does not focus on the political, economic,
or military aspects of the relationship, e.g., the
various diplomatic missions, the East India Company,
the Opium Wars. These are aspects that, for better
or worse, are lengthily discussed in a plethora of
documents, commentary, statistics, and a century or
more of professional historiography. However, by
identifying the relationship between Britain and China
as "imaginative," I do not wish to suggest that it is
in any way inauthentic.
While political, economic, and military aspects
are frequently viewed as more tangible, and productive
of results, it will be my contention that the imagination
itself, in conjunction with intellect, exegesis, and
1


translation, produces results that are both
epistemological and ontological. Further, these results
are equally tangible, and can be explored in any number
of the vast range of texts left to us. It is my
belief--hardly novelthat history is a "social form
of knowledge,"'*' and within this form the imaginative
confluence between cultures plays an intensely active
role, and is both historically conditioned and
conditioning. The epistemological results of this
relationship can be described as a textual map, or,
even better, as maps of textualities.
The "maps" in this thesis describe the work
of translation done mostly by missionaries beginning
in the sixteenth century and continuing to the present
day. Specifically, the works collectively known as
the Sacred Books of the East from the series of the
same name edited by Max Muller during the last third
of the nineteenth century. To delineate further, as
the Sacred Books of the East series runs to over forty
volumes, the focus of this study will be on four of
these books-the Sishu or Four Books that form the nucleus
f "Confucian" studies, with some ambient spill from
this focus illuminating some other texts, both Chinese
and English, as they stand in relation to the main
2


corpus. The chronological bookends that loosely frame
the limits of this study are the earliest partial English
translation of the Four Books, the Morals of Confucius
(1691), and the last nineteenth century British
translation the second edition of James Legge's Chinese
2
Classics (1893). I say loosely framed because placing
limits on a topic, whether chronological, historical,
or theoretical, is like putting a glass chimney over
a candle in the wind, it assures the consistent glow
of the topic, but can't really control the limits nor
the direction of the illumination. Therefore, the focus
of this paper is on the Four Books, not as they
necessarily exist or are read and understood in China,
but how the British imagination translated, understood,
shaped, and was affected by them.
This then is a history of translations.
However, in (re)reading these specific translations
and their ambient commentary, I do not mean to attempt
to offer any kind of corrective reading, such as a point
by point catalog of misreadings, faulty interpretations,
or buried alternative structures. What I intend is
to "site the.translations" within various British
discourses and pose "questions about how the
translation/retranslation worked/works, why the text
3


was/is translated, and who did/does the translating."
The purpose in siting the translations in this way and
posing these questions is to critically reexamine a
subject that is either, occasionally regarded as
transparent, or is critically refocused in other
directions.
Transparency occurs when the texts are reified,
and taken to be objects merely to be interpreted and
understood. This poses problems because it denies the
very palpable effect the act of translation can have
on a translator. An extension of this, critical
refocusing takes place when the problematic effects
of translation are resituated in the incomprehensibility
of the Chinese original. Libraries have been filled
with books from both ends of the Eurasian landmass which
debate nuances, decipher obscure texts, reconcile
incongruities between text and commentary, and otherwise
attempt to come to some kind of understanding of the
"Chinese mind." Many of these attempts should be
applauded and a few should be celebrated, it is not
my place to belittle any of these efforts. However,
when this critical refocusing occurs, and the onus is
assigned to either the difficulties of the texts, or
on a particular western reading, the portraits which
h


frequently emerge are either exclusivist, i.e., the
Chinese mind is wholly other, distinct and ultimately
incomprehensible to the west, this occurs when either
the Chinese themselves decide to remain "inscrutable"
(to use a nineteenth century epithet), or are deemed
4
so by their interpreters; or inclusivist, which reduces
and explains Chinese difference only in terms of western
epistemological or ontological categories rendering
the Chinese mind to be merely an extension of the
western, or worse by obscuring authentic differences
in an attempt to insist on similarities that may not
exist.^
In his essay Dante . . . Bruno. Vico . . Joyce.
[sic], from which the epigraph to this chapter comes,
Samuel Beckett wrote, "There is the temptation to treat
every concept like 'a bass dropt neck fust in till a
bung crate, and make a really tidy job of it." So
it can be with critical work done on translations of
sacred subjects. The effort to understand the text
frequently closes down understanding of the context,
and ultimately damages the subjects it had sought to
explain. Beckett recognized this tendency and argued
against it,
Must we wring the neck of a certain system
in order to stuff it into a contemporary
5


pigeon-hole, or modify the dimensions of that
pigeon-hole for the satisfaction of the
analogymongerg? Literary criticism is not
book-keeping.
I would hasten to add, neither is history. What the
present study tries to do then, is critically examine
these pigeon-holes, i.e., the variant readings of the
Four Books; focusing on the European, specifically
British, contexts from which they emerged, were read,
debated and understood. What I hope to do is open some
new ground wherein the translations of the Sishu can
be seen to exist, not only within a European discourse,
but also actively participating in the British
imagination.
In order to stress the multiplicity of
imaginative renderings in this project, I have adopted
a kind of Faulknerian approach to the overall format
of this thesis. William Faulkner insisted that The
Sound and the Fury was his greatest failure; apparently
he had intended to tell the simple story of a young
girl in a tree, looking in on her grandmother's funeral
while her two brothers looked on from below. He first
tried to tell the story in Benjy's voice, then in
Quentin's, then Jason's; feeling he had failed in this
he tried a final time in the guise of the family maid.
When his subject once again eluded him, he declared
6


the book to be full of its own title and "signifying
nothing," and signed off on one of the most magnificent
"failures" of modern literature. I make no pretentions
to place this present fizzle in such august company,
the (probably apocraphyal) epithet, "Why Mr. Faulkner,
do you write?" could easily be applied to me without
a trace of irony. Nevertheless, I find that my "sacred
subjects" are also "walking shadows." Therefore, without
disguising my authorial voice, what I will present in
the following chapters are three linked but variant
readings of this imaginative relationship.
Chapter 2 begins the process by offering a
history of the English translations of the Sishu in
a fairly straight forward, linear narrativea "Genealogy
of Translation." I will trace the lineage from The
Morals of Confucius to the works of James Legge, noting
appropriations and disjunctures along the line.
Beginning with the difficulties in establishing an
originary moment of contact, I trace the chronological
development of the various translations, paying
particular attention to the source material common to
many of them. I also try to address some of the
hermeneutic concerns, peripheral to the translations
themselves, but engendered by them. As it is a narrative
7


of homology, more time is devoted to the earliest
literature than in the subsequent chapters. This is
important not only to the structure of a genealogy,
but also because of the primacy given to the early work,
especially that done by the Jesuits in China, by all
subsequent interpreters. It was the Jesuits (Matteo
Ricci et al.), who established the lion's share of the
vocabulary that was to be used in all subsequent
endeavours.^ The following chapters explore the
appropriations and contested negotiations of this
terrain.
Chapter 3 attempts to rearrange synchronically
the diachronic lineage of Chapter 2. The avalanche
of translated texts which accrued in the nineteenth
century has recently been linked to certain
epistemological shifts in western thinking which also
occurred during that time. Therefore, I begin this
chapter with a substantial meditation on recent
theoretical concerns, specifically the "orientalist"
critique, which attempts to outline these epistemological
shifts. Establishing a theoretical foundation enables
me to better examine the context in which the Sishu
was translated, read, and understood.
8


Contemporary scholarship has accustomed us
to speaking of this nineteenth century context in terms
of "immagined communities" and imperial epistemologies;
we have seen how the British "imagined India," how they
"discovered" Buddhism, and before long many of us will
g
be discussing the Jesuit "manufacture of Confucianism."
The construction of Hindu India, and the establishment
of the textual world of Buddhism, have both been outlined
as projects undertaken by the British for the express
purpose of extending British authority and maintaining
the east in a position of alterity. Both are therefore
practical examples for extending my theoretical
meditation. They also resonate with the British
understanding of "Confucianism." However,
"Confucianism" itself, was somewhat different having
been "manufactured" by the Jesuits some centuries
earlier, and transported wholesale into the European
imagination via The Confucius Sinarum Philosphus (1687).
Nevertheless, I will argue that it is not necessarily
the initial construction, but rather the creative
maintenance of "Confucianism," by the British, which
indexes it alongside other, more obvious British
constructions, within The Sacred Books of the East.
9


Working with these theoretical tools enables
me to punctuate the homological lineage of genealogy
with bursts of insight. It allows us to explore the
creative appropriations and imaginative congruences
which influenced the British rendering of the Sishu
and The Sacred Books of the East. It also encourages
us to test the limits of orientalist theory, for it
is not unproblematic. The genealogy of translations,
with its easily palatable chronological narrative
structure, is nevertheless an insubstantial diet.
Venturing into the theoretical world of orientalism
is intellectually more satisfying, and permits the
conceptualization of historical context. However, at
the limits of this discourse, fissures open up which
invite further exploration.
One of the problems with orientalism, I believe,
is that it too often ends by essentalizing both "west"
and "east." In endeavoring to explain how Europeans
of the nineteenth century read eastern texts in ways
which maintained the east in a position of alterity,
the portrait which emerges is often one of a "west,"
reified, and stabilized by its powerful control and
use of "eastern" knowledge. It is perceived as unique,
and wholly other from the "east" which it controls.
10


Like genealogy, this portrait is accurate to an extent;
however, it misses several important nuances. It is
the aim of Chapter 4 to address these limitations, in
order to show how translations of the Sishu functioned,
not only in opposition to, but also within the British
imagination. I will demonstrate the entailment of the
Sishu within the British imagination by exploring the
maintenance and very particular Protestant reading of
"Confucius" as a moral exemplar; and further by examining
the highly self-reflective criticisms of "Confucian"
morality, offered by the British translators. It is
my contention throughout that concepts such as, "east,"
"west," "Confucian," "Victorian," and even "Britain,"
and "China," are not things or entities merely to be
"understood," but rather maps of terrain to be
negotiated. Occasionally, in these negotiations,
categories break down and seemingly oppositional texts
function interdependently. The Epilogue serves as a
coda, and an opportunity to critically and
impressionistically reflect on the value of this project.
11


Excursus: Enumerating the Four Books
As this thesis focuses on the translations
of Chinese works which remain readily available,
nevertheless somewhat uncommon outside of sinological
circles, a brief explanation is probably in order.
The "Confucian" canon translated by James Legge consists
of the Wu.iing, or Five "Classics", and the Sishu, dt.
literally the Four Books The Wuj ing includes the
Yij ing usually rendered as The Book of Changes,
the Shu.j ing or Book of History, the Shiiing
. V
1C. Book of Poetry, the Li j i '%'&} Pj Record of
Rites, and the Chunqiu Spring and Autumn
Annuals. This study will focus on the Sishu which
contains the Daxue typically translated as The
Great Learning; the Zhongyong ^which has been
rendered variously as The Doctrine of the Mean, and
The Unwobbling Pivot; the Lunyu which Legge
translated as Analects, and which remains the most common
translation, eventhough the term suggests a translation
more like, "Digested Conversations," or "Selected
Sayings;"^ and the Mengzi which was Latinized
by the Jesuits, in the sixteenth century, as "Mencius;"
the work, which is actually two books, now carries the
English title The Works of Mencius.
12


Until the twelfth century, all of the works
contained in the Sishu existed independently of each
other. The Daxue and the Zhongyong were contained in
the Liji. At the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907),
the Classics were ordered into thirteen j ing. This
compilation contained the Lunyu and the Mengzi, but
not the other two. However, the four works, together
with the Xiaoj ing


or Classic of Filial Piety
were know of collectively as the Xiaoj ing or
10
Smaller Classics
It was not until 1190, that they
existed as a collection, distinct from the rest of
Chinese literature. In that year, Zhu Xi (1130-1200),
the "protean genius" behind the orthodox "Confucian"
11
tradition, published his redaction of these works.
Titled the Sizi The Four Masters, these works
formed in Zhu Xi s mind, and in many subsequent centuries
the essence of "Confucian" teachings.
Zhu Xi's ordering, redaction of, and commentary
on the Sishu, was initially regarded as spurious,
however, in the early part of the fourteenth century
his works were established, by imperial edict, to be
the symbolic core of officially sanctioned studies.
Zhu Xi insisted that the ordering of the books was of
primary importance,
13


I want men first to read the Ta-hsueh [Daxue]
to fix upon the pattern of the Confucian way;
next the Lun-yu [Lunyu ] to establish its
foundations; next the Meng-tzu [Mengzi] to
observe its development; next the Chung-yung
[Zhongyong] to dj^cover the subtle mysteries
of the ancients.
When the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in China
at the end of the sixteenth century, they found the
Four Books still at the heart of "Confucian" scholarship.
Intent on establishing themselves as serious students
of the rujiao ("Confucian" school), and extending their
i practice of accommodation, the Jesuits, through inventive
translation and theological inference worked through
the Sishu. They provided a cross-textual field and
indexed the Chinese texts to Christian Scripture; their
efforts emerged in Europe as the Confucius Sinarum
Philosophus, and the orthodox core of "Confucian" studies
13
began to be appropriated into western thought.
However, in their zeal to conflate "Confucian"
studies and Christianity one with the other, the Jesuits
managed only to translate three of the Four Books;
further, they followed an alternate ordering. The Jesuit
work contains the Daxue, Zhongyong, and the Lunyu.
When the British set about their work in the nineteenth
century, they appropriated much of what the Jesuits
had accomplished, but rendered it in their own inimitable
14


way. Both Joshua Marshman (1768-1837) and Robert
Morrison (1782-1834) attempted translations of the
14
Daxue. and Marshman worked part of the way through
the Lunyu. It was not until James Legge (1815-1897),
began his work that the entirety of the Four Books was
available in English. However, the English-speaking
world still does not publish them under one cover, as
they exist in China. Following Legge, the Lunyu is
given primacy and is generally published separately.
Legge's work, which is still in print, binds the Lunyu,
Daxue, and Zhongyong together, and issues the Mengzi
as a separate edition.
Legge drew on Zhu Xis interpretation as well
as the Jesuits. He fundamentally reordered the work,
placing the Lunyu first, and through his translations
and commentary, he presented a unique confluence of
traditions, traditional "Confucian" scholarship, Jesuit
reflection, and his own Protestant views. The body
of this study will explore this confluence, not only
as it influenced the works of James Legge, but as it
functioned within and around the British imagination.
15


NOTES
1. This was most recently reiterated by Raphael
Samuel, see Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory vol. 1:
Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London: Verso,
1994), 8.
2. The study could easily be carried forward into
the twentieth century with translations such as; William
Edward Soothill, The Analects (Edinburgh: Oliphant,
Anderson, & Ferrier, 1910), and Arthur Waley, The Analects
of Confucius (New York: Macmillan Company, 1938).
However, because of the already broad scope of this topic,
I have limited myself to pre-twentieth century works.
3. Tejaswini Niranjana, Siting Translation:
History, Post-structuralism, and the Colonial Context
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992) 37.
4. Examples of this can range from the cultural
vs. national debates during the "self-strengthening"
movement, and the age of the "ti/yong" dichotomy, to
Tu Wei-ming's advocacy of a "wenhua Zhongguo," ("cultural
China") as a new definition of "Chineseness." Cf. Joseph
R. Levenson, Confucian China and Its Modern Fate: A
Trilogy, part 1, The Problem of Intellectual Continuity
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958), 49-
133; Tu Wei-ming, ed., The Living Tree: The Changing
Meaning of Being Chinese Today (Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1994), and Lionel M. Jensen, review
of The Living Tree, ed. by Tu Wei-ming, in China Review
International 3.2 (Spring 1997).
5. For an extended critique of this, see Niranjana,
Siting Translation, 1-86; Marshall Sahlins, How "Natives"
Think: About Captain Cook, For Example (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1995), 1-15, and 117-189;
and Haun Saussy, The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 1-188.
6. Samuel Beckett, Dante . . . Bruno. Vico . .
Joyce., in I Can't Go On, I'll Go On ed. Richard Seaver
(New York: Grove Press, 1976), 107-126.
16


7. On the Jesuit missionaries and their importance
in establishing the conceptual vocabulary of
"Confucianism," see Lionel M. Jensen, Manufacturing
"Confucianism" (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997),
page numbers for subsequent citations of this work are
from, Lionel Millard Jensen, "Manufacturing
'Confucianism'" (Ph.D. diss., University of California,
Berkeley, 1992) TMs [photocopy]; Lionel M. Jensen, "The
Invention of 'Confucius' and His Chinese Other, 'Kong
Fuzi'," positions 1:2 (Fall 1993): 414-449; Kenneth Scott
Latourette, A History of Christian Missions in China
(New York: Russell and Russell, 1929); and D. E. Mungello,
Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of
Sinology (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985).
8. See Ronald Inden, Imagining India (Cambridge,
MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1990); Philip Almond, The
British Discovery of Buddhism (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1988); and Jensen, Manufacturing
"Confucianism".
9. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 552-555.
10. James Legge trans., Confucian Analects, The
Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1893; reprint, New York: Dover
Publications Inc., 1971), 2.
11. Lauren F. Pfister, "Some New Dimensions in
the Study of the Works of James Legge (1815-1897): Part
II" Sino Western Cultural Relations Journal 13 (1991):
38.
12. Quoted in, Daniel K. Gardner Chu Hsi [Zhu
Xi] and the Ta-hsueh [Daxue]: Neo-Confucian Reflection
on the Confucian Canon (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1986), 6. Gardner provides a detailed analysis
of the process of Zhu Xi's ordering and the impact of
his commentary.
13. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism",
and Mungello, Curious Land, 247-300.
14. See Joshua Marshman, "The Ta-hyoh [Daxue]
of Confucius," in Elements of Chinese Grammar (Serampore:
Mission Press, 1814); and Robert Morrison, "To-hiu
[Daxue]: The Great Science," in Horae Sinicae:
17


Translations from Popular Liturature (London: Black and
Parry, 1812) .
18


CHAPTER 2
GENEALOGY OF TRANSLATION
Equivocal Origins
As children we played many games of
one-up-manship, but one of the most common forms was
the infinity game. Juvenile boasting, or preadolescent
role-play in dominion, the infinity game was used
primarily to proclaim ones own prowess at some ethereal
feat. "I can do ten." "Oh yeah, well I can do twenty."
The contest would escalate with each trying to outdo
the other, "I can do fifty." "A hundred." "Two
hundred." "Three hundred." The duelists would continue
in this progression until one offered the coup-de-grace,
"I can do infinity." Silence fell as those who had
gathered contemplated the gravity of this pronouncement-
-what could possibly top that? Smug in the
accomplishment, the victor would begin to accept
accolades from the witnesses, until the one who had
been offered the challenge countered with, "Well, I
can do infinityplus one!" and the game began again.
As time disperses in the present, we imagine
that it recedes/extends into the future; but it also
19


must then recede/extend into the past. As students
of time's past dispersion, historians, geologists,
philologists, and anthropologists perpetuate this same
kind of fanciful debate when they struggle to find the
origin of some historical event or cultural trait.
For each origin posited there is another, that with
a mere shift in emphasis, will be found to be more
authentic, older, more accurate, or more congenial to
present political demands, or current fashion.
Nevertheless, the path to the present remains important
to historical discourse. The path is perpetually
important because we seem to stand at the end of it,
in the eternal denouement of the present; and important
because it is our story-we make it up, and it makes
us who we are. If we stand at the end of it, the
culmination of all that came before, it must have begun
somewhere. The importance of where it began, and why,
remain crucial to teleological linear thinkingchange
the origin, change the outcome.
So, where does one place the first contact,
between west and east? Economically, long before the
silk route was established, trade engendered much cross
continental interchange. Records exist in China which
chronicle pre-Christian Rome, and in Rome which tell
20


of China.'*' Other scholars have adduced evidence of
2
an antediluvian connection. Probably the most famous
"original" connection was the celebrated voyages of
the Polo family, Maffeo, Niccolo and young Marco, as
set down in Marco's Description of the World ca. 1298.
Marco "Millions" Polo, as every school child knows,
not only went to China in the thirteenth century, but
brought back pasta and ice cream. Marco, however famous,
remains fantastic; his veracity continually challenged
3
by skeptics. In terms of religious contact, claims
have been advanced in support of: Nestorian Christians,
who were unquestionably in residence in China as early
as the eighth century, St. Thomas, Zoroaster, and perhaps
equally as fanciful, Prester John; the list goes on
4
and on. All of which suggests that the search for
"origins" is an entirely academic exercise carried out
by those who would privilege certain narratives over
certain others. It begs the questions, for whom is
this an "originary" moment, and for which present
denouement is this the instigating crisis?
In this chapter I will not attempt to site a
genesis for the mutual and perpetual entailment of west
and east. Rather, what I intend to do is trace the
genealogy of English translations of the Sishu, and
21


will argue that within the "imaginative geography" of
imperial Britain, China had an amount of refracting
significance. By using the term genealogy, I intend
for it to resonate in several ways, initially in its
most conventional sense as a lineage, or a history of
descent from a common source. Next, it should also
imply Foucault's use of the term, as read from Nietzsche,
one in which the history of descent is read as a history
of disruption. The fictive nature of genealogy points
up the accidents and the errors, and arranges them in
ways which makes the past unusually comprehensible to
present interpreters.^
Finally, I also wish to invoke an idea that is
implicit in genealogy, but rarely expressed, that is
the idea of marriage or union. Within every historical
lineage, if it is for instance paternal, lies the often
unmarked maternal lines, which are implicated ^e facto
in the production of offspring, and the continuation
of the line. In this case, the lineage of sacred
translations is conjoined with the "imaginative
geography" of secular constructions. The genealogy
I propose, therefore, can be read as a union between
the homological rendering of the "sacred" translations
of the Sishu, and the analogical treatment of China
22


and Chinese texts at the hands of secular interpreters.
It is therefore, a genealogy extracted from the
interpretive confluence between: the Jesuit project
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the British
missionaries of the nineteenth, and popular forms such
as Chinoiserie, drama, letters, and political critique.
What I hope to accomplish is twofold; by considering
both the lineage and its counterpoint, I am seeking
to establish a symbolic fund from which the translations
of the Sishu simultaneously emerged, and in which they
were submerged, while still remaining cognizant of the
fictive nature of genealogy by consciously forcing both
into a diachronic narrative.
Therefore, though tenuous and equivocal, the
origins of this narrative can begin with the texts we
do have, and through these we can place, with a degree
of certitude, early references. However, we cannot
account for the possibility of pre-existing, but no
longer extant texts, nor for the probable preponderance
of oral, or other non-written traditions and sources.
Nevertheless, it appears that the earliest reference
to China that appeared in English occurred in Certayne
Reportes of the Province China, learned through the
Portugalles, there imprisoned, and by the relation of
23


Galeotto Perera, a gentleman of good credit, that lay
prisoner in that countrey many yeres translated from
Italian and published in London in 1577. The Reportes
were extracted in both Hakluyts Principal Navigations
(1589) and Samuel Purchas's Hakluytus Posthumus or
Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625) and contain descriptions
of Chinese geography and customs. Most notably, the
Reportes has China divided into "shyres" but denies
that this coterie of shires is called China, rather
Perera notes that the natives called it "Tamen.
Through Hakluyt and Purchas, the Reportes circulated
widely and formed a basis for much subsequent
scholarship.
Much more influential however, was Padre Juan
Gonzalez de Mendoza's History of the Great and Mighty
Kingdom of China, first published in English in 1588.
Mendoza's account also found its way into Hakluyt and
is touted there as the "earliest detailed account of
that country ever published in the English language."^
It is a rambling chronicle full of various and multiple
g
idols, and "well proportioned and gallant men." The
details are interesting for they provide much of the
vocabulary that subsequent writers echoed in their
attempts to explain the religions of China. For
24


instance, while Mendoza insisted that the Chinese lacked
the truth of the Christianity and had a host of deities,
he allowed that "heaven is the creator of all things,"
that there was one resident in heaven, and that heaven,
in China was referred to as "Tayn" [tian ] "Pauzon"
[Pangu?the legendary first man of China] was created
by "Tayn," according to Mendoza. Although lacking
Christian "truth," Mendoza reported that there were,
manye ceremonies used amongest them which dou
resemble those of our Christian religion, and
againe in their living moraly they doo observe
in manie thinges the Tenne Commandementes of
Gods lawe.
Throughout, Mendoza recorded that many things in China
of "strange and marvellous [sic ] making," when
"interpreted Christianly," were comprehensible to
9
Europeans.
Interpreting things Christianly became the
standard model for several centuries. Though perhaps
dismissed as fabulous today, these early reports are
indicative of a sixteenth century desire to chronicle
the works of God in all its earthly glory. The piety
of these early compilers was clearly not threatened
by the "various and multiple idols," they encountered.
Rather, as illustrated in Mendoza's assessment, there
was a desire to meet the "new" face to face, and to
25


experience the real existence of God in all parts of
the globe. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the
works of the first Jesuit missionaries to China.
The well of Christianly interpreted signs was
deepened by Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and his cohorts.
Part of De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas ab Societate
Jesu (1615), a work by Ricci and Nicholas Trigault (1577-
1628) appeared in English translation in the 1625 edition
of Purchas his Pilgrimes.^^ In 1655 two works were
published in England; Imperio de la China (originally
published in Madrid 1642), under the English title The
History of That Great and Renowned Monarchy of China,
and De Bello Tarrarico (originally published in Antwerp
1654), retitled Bellum Tartaricum. The first was by
P. Alvarez Semedo (1586-1651) a Portuguese Jesuit, who
took over Ricci's project after the former's arrival
in China in 1613. Bellum Tartaricum was penned by
Martino Martini (1614-1661) and deals predominantly
with the Manchu conquest of China in the seventeenth
century.^ All three publications were instrumental
in the formation of an interest in inchoate sinology,
the assimilation of knowledge about China, and the
production of propaganda to ensure the continuation
of the Jesuit mission.
26


The major work of the Jesuits was published in
1687, and titled The Confucius Sinarum Philosphus
(hereafter CSP). It was the result of a centuries worth
of effort by the Jesuits in China. Published by Prosper
Intorcetta, Christian Herdritch, Francis Rougemont,
and Philippe Couplet, and several others, and dedicated
to Louis XIV, the body of the work revolved around Fr.
12
Ricci's incomplete translation of the Sishu, but it
also contained introductory material, culled from the
various recensions of the Four Books, which outlined:
the Chinese classics, Chinese history, the etymology
13
of shangdi and tian, and Chinese religious practices.
any first-hand knowledge of China, and consequently
it was the Jesuits who established the vocabulary for
speaking about China for Europeans. This vocabulary
contained, among a wealth of other information: a belief
in the ancient monotheism of the Chinese and the use
the knowledge of the great antiquity of Chinese history;
some appreciation of the Chinese language; and with
the publication of the CSP, the person of "Confucius"
as the embodiment of all the great learning, the once
and future sage king; beliefs and information that
It was through the Jesuits that Europe gained
of the Chinese term
for the supreme being;
27


recurred again and again in subsequent centuries.
However, the impact of their work, according to twentieth
century historiography, was apparently felt most keenly
on the European continent.^ Certainly, the CSP exerted
no influence on the seventeenth century. For the Tudors
and Stuarts, and those living under their reigns, China
and the works of the Jesuits remained "no more than
a small piece in the mosaic of the rapidly ever-expanding
,,15
universe.
A colorful piece of that mosaic was John Webb.
Webb (1611-1672), a student of Inigo Jones, remains
primarily known as the editor of many of the great
architect's tracts. Denizens of sinological circles
however, remember Webb for his Historical Essay
Endeavoring a Probability That the Language Of the Empire
of China is the Primitive Language. Published in 1669
the Essay is a bizarre excursion into the world of
seventeenth century philology. Webb's purpose in the
essay was, as his title suggests, to prove that the
Chinese language was the primitive language of mankind,
i.e. the language of Adam.
The search for the primitive language had been
going on, to a greater or lesser degree, for centuries;
but it reached a zenith in the seventeenth century,
28


when it became a fetish for the inchoate nation-states
of Europe. The search hinged on the story of the Tower
of Babel from Genesis 11:1-9,
And the whole earth was of one language, and
of one speech. . . . And they said, Go to, let
us build us a city and a tower, whose top may
reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name,
lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of
the whole earth. . . . And the LORD said, Behold,
the people is one, and they have all one language;
and this they begin to do: and now nothing will
be restrained from them, which they have imagined
to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound
their language, that they may not understand
one another's speech. So the LORD scattered
them abroa|gfrom thence upon the face of all
the earth.
The belief was, that prior to the confusion of tongues,
the whole earth was of one language and that one language
was Hebrew (Hebrew being the language of the Pentateuch).
This monogenetic hypothesis began to be challenged in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when many
complex and varied theories arose. Among them were
beliefs in polygenesis, and national theories, i.e.
the argument that if the languages were indeed confused
at Babel, then any national language could be more
"perfect" than another. The game was to prove that
your language (Flemish, Italian, French etc.) was somehow
"perfect," i.e. closer to the primordial language than
any other. ^ This was not an innocent development and
owed much to the advocacy of vernacular languages,
29


especially in the newly developing print medium. Yet,
not only the vernacular, but other ancient languages
challenged Hebrew for the primordial title, Egyptian,
and Sumerian to name but two; but Webb seems to have
been on his own in championing an Asian language, at
least until the Indo-European synthesis was adduced
. 18
m the eighteenth century.
The search in the seventeenth century for the
Adamic language rested on the theoretically confused
presumption that the perfect language was one in which
the words precisely mirrored things, i.e. no difference
19
between sign and signifier. Drawing from Athanasius
frircher's (1601-1680) China Illustrata (1667) and Oedipus
Aegyptiacus (1652), yet deviating substantially from
them, Webb argued for Chinese as the primitive language
because of the simplicity and alleged pictographic nature
of the Chinese characters; they were, he believed, "Real
Characters," not invented words. As D. E. Mungello
puts it,
many European readers were struck by the apparent
grammatical simplicity of Chinese and its
one-to-one relationship between a word and a
real thing. . . .[This] reinforced their belief
that the Ch^gese language contained Real
Characters.
Webb thus introduced to the English speaking world a
proposition which continues to languish, i.e. that
30


Chinese characters are somehow uncritically linked to
the things they ostensibly portray.
Webb argued for the primacy of Chinese as the
antediluvian language based on this and on chronologies
and other information culled from Semedo and Martini,
his own peculiar reading of the first eleven chapters
of the book of Genesis, as well as a very creative
linkage between Noah of Genesis and the emperor "Jaus"
(Yao), mythic first emperor of China. By simply adding
the letter 'n' between the vowels, Webb changed Jaus
to Janus, and concluded that, as Janus was another name
for Noah, they must have been the same person. He
followed this bold and imaginative, yet highly suspect,
philology with a series of parallels drawn to prove
that Noah and Jaus/Janus were one and the same. This
is in stark contrast to the more common, and Jesuit
influenced conflation of Noah and Yu, the successor
of Yao and Shun, who tamed the waters of the great flood.
Webb's reasons for this unique reading are still unclear,
but his logical contortions are a pleasure to observe,
but perhaps have rightly been consigned to the cabinet
of ephemeral curiosities.
However, a reading of Webb is instructive. His
sources were Mendoza, Semedo, Martini, Purchas, and
31


Kircher; consequently Webb acted as a lens for viewing
the ways in' which part of the Jesuit interpretation
of China was assimilated into at least one strain of
mainstream English culture. Qian Zhongshu believed
that, "Webb was the first Englishman to interpret China
2 2
instead of merely retelling "travellers' [sic ] tales."
However, his "interpretation" revolved solely around
his singular use of the letter 'n', and the rest hewed
close to the Jesuit line. However fanciful, Webb's
work articulated for his English audience several ideas
that constituted a field of reference for subsequent
China scholars. First, by explicitly linking Noah and
Yao, Webb reinforced the mutual indexing of Chinese
and Biblical chronology, specifically the Vulgate
chronology which placed the date of the Noadic flood
at 2349 B.C.E.^ Second, Webb used shangdi as the
Chinese term for the supreme being. This term, and
its specific use as a sacred referent was therefore,
firmly established in English discourse. Its recurrent,
and contested, use virtually assured its symbolic cache,
which predicated its position in the theological debates
of the nineteenth century. Third, Webb's analysis of
the Chinese language, and his unequivocal praise of
Chinese antiquity and Chinese culture opened the ground
32


for the myriad debates on the relative merit or weakness
24
of Chinese culture and institutions. The following
centuries would see many sides of this debate, reflecting
not only a changing China but a changing Britain as
well.
Another Englishman who enthused about things
Chinese was William Temple (1628-1699). Temple was
a diplomat and a prolific essayist. His most imaginative
contribution to the study of China in the seventeenth
century seems to be his coining of the word "sharawagdi,"
which has to do with the irregular nature of Chinese
gardens then all the rage among English
25
horticulturists. In terms of Chinese religions,
Temple was among the earliest to sing the praises of
"Confucius." He had apparently read the CSP, for in
his essay Of Heroic Virtue he offers a brief (twenty
page) redaction of the monumental Latin work. In it
he states,
Something above two thousand years ago lived
Confuchu [sic], the most learned, wise, and
virtuous of all the Chinese; and for whom both
the King and Magistrates in his own age, and
all of them in the ages since, seem to have had
the greatest deference that has any where been
rendered to any mortal man. The sum of
his writings seem to be a body or digestion of
ethics, that is of all moral virtues, either
personal, oeconomical [sic ] civil or political;
and framed for the institution and conduct of
men's lives, their families, and their
33


governments, but chiefly of the last ... In
short, the whole scope of all Confucius has writ
seems aimed only at teaching men to live well,
and to govern well; how parents, masters, and
magistrates should rule, and how children,
servants, and subjects should obey. ... So
as the man appears to have been of a very
extraordinary genius, of mighty learning,
admirable virtue, excellent nature, a tijge patriot
of his country, and a lover of mankind.
This glowing and uncritical view of "Confucius" aped
the views of the Jesuits who had originally translated
the material in the CSP, and would continually resurface
throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries;
with the greatest advocates of this view residing on
the continent, especially France, but with a few notable
English proponents as well.
Shortly after the publication of Temple's work,
there appeared in England a translation of the CSP under
the title The Morals of Confucius (1691). Actually,
it was a translation of a French redaction titled La
Morale de Confucius, Philosophe de la Chine. On the
continent, the publication of the CSP was met with
2 7
"intellectual giddiness," and the advertisement, which
precedes The Morals of Confucius, reveals the English
translators caught in this ebullient atmosphere,
We may say that the Morals of this Philosopher
are infinitely Sublime, but at the same time,
pure, sensible, and drawn from the purest
Fountains of Natural Reason. . . he
["Confucius"] has a very considerable Advantage,
34


not only over a great number of Pagan Writers
that have Treated of Things of this Nature, but
likewise over several Christian Authors, who
abound with so many false, or over-subtile
Thoughts.
The Morals is brief, a mere 142 pages, and was published
in a size clearly designed to be carried in a pocket.
29
It was to be a kind of moral Baedeker, inviting the
reader to contemplate the moral truths of the great
sage and to consequently apply those teachings to
contemporary life. As such it should probably be
considered among the wealth of other pamphlet literature
that flooded England in the years following the
Restoration, and the 1688 Revolution.
In addition to the glowing advertisement, The
Morals of Confucius, followed the CSP closely. It
contains a section on "The Antiquity and Philosophy
of the Chinese" which traces the history of China,
30
following the Septuagint chronology, from antiquity
to the time of "Confucius;" a biography of the sage,
and a statement on the fallen nature of Chinese religion
since the time of "Confucius,"
From this unhappy time, the Generality of the
Chinese have followed after Idols; and
Superstition and Idolatry, daily making new
Progress, they little by little forsook the
Doctrine of their Master, have neglected the
excellent Instruction of the Ancients, and in
fine, being grown Contemners [sic ] of all sorts
35


of Relig^ Atheism.
The Englishmen of the eighteenth century would also
neglect the wisdom of these ancients and focus almost
exclusively on either the hidden nature of God, and/or,
the fallen nature of man, engendering a desire in the
ninetenth century to reasess these "excellent
instructions." The remainder of the Morals consists
of the Daxue, the Zhongyong, and the first half of the
t 32
Lunyu.
The work was extremely popular, a second edition
was published in 1724, and another printing ran ca. ,
1780. The reasons for its popularity are perhaps
obvious; this was the great age of Chinoiserie in
England. Gardens, textiles, furniture, porcelain, tea,
lacquer, interior design, all were either imported from
33
the east, or designed to look as if they were. This
craze for things "oriental" extended into political
and moral philosophy as well. Emerging as the Europeans
were from the political and religious crucible of the
seventeenth century, and emboldened by Enlightenment
"science" and "natural reason," they found in The Morals
of Confucius that, "the Lights of Divine Reason, ha[d]
3 A
never appear'd with so much Illumination and Power."
The materialism found in the Morals appealed to deists;
36


the idea of an enlightened ruler appealed to absolutists,
and the exhortation towards self cultivation appealed
to the ruling classes. In his work A Cycle of Cathay,
William Appleton wrote,
Confucius was the supreme apostle of the orderly
status quo. It was the temper of the Augustans
to find their Elysium not, as their descendants
did, in the primitive innocence of the South
Seas, but in the glories of a civilized past.
With their instinctive Hobbesian distrust of
a disorganized society, the classicists, both
French and English, preferred the sage to the
savage, the static to the dynamic. The Morals
of Confucius (1691), as interpreted by Father
Couplet, in most respects left unruffled the
most die-har(^principles of the Roi Soleil and
the Stuarts.
The Morals of Confucius is an important work, a kind
of watershed for English understanding of Chinese
religions. Yet, it remains relatively ignored in the
historiography of this topic, perhaps because of the
incontestable influence of its Latin parent the CSP
(Legge made extensive use of the CSP, but nowhere cites
the Morals). Qian Zhongshu in his bibliographic account
gives it a paltry few sentences in the midst of a
3 6
discussion about Temple. It is entirely absent from
T. H. Barrett's Singular Listlessness. Appleton dealt
with it to a degree, but concluded,
The English do not easily succumb to heroes and
hero worship. Confucius might well be pleasing
to the liberal philosophers of France and Germag^,
but John Bull did not take readily to rhapsody.
37


Appleton's claim might have surprised Thomas Carlyle.
Certainly the English rhapsodize their heroes, if they
didn't "Once more unto the breech," would not continually
harmonize with "Their finest hour," all to the tune
of "The White Cliffs of Dover." However, political
insurrection and the threat of invasion at the end of
the seventeenth century, and another century of almost
incessant warfare following in its wake, engendered
intense xenophobia among many British, consequently
the English of the eighteenth century were far less
likely to wax rhapsodic over a Chinese sage, than those
who lived in the years bracketing that century.
Charting The "Imaginative Geography"
of The Eighteenth Century
In terms of sinology, the eighteenth century
in England is typically viewed as an age of intense
criticism of China. Qian Zhongshu argued,
The English literature of the eighteenth century
is full of unfavourable criticisms of Chinese
culture and the prevailing fashion of chinoiserie
in particular. It seems to be a corrective rather
than a reflecting of the social milieu in which
it is produced,
and Barrett concurs,
Indeed, while the eighteenth century in Europe
as a whole was marked by a considerable
willingness to take China seriously . . . the
average British writer seems to have gone out
38


of his way to deb^k the notion that China was
anything special,
That the rather blunt criticisms of China and things
Chinese that are especially noticeable among English
writers of the eighteenth century are prominent is
uncontroversial, yet, pace Qian, they are also reflective
of the social milieu. I would argue that they are highly
reflective of the dissonance created by the rapid and
radical reconfiguration of traditional narrative
structuresas theology gave way to ethnography. As
the time-honored method of "figural" reading crumbled
in regards to the biblical narratives, the more novel
form of "realistic" reading came to supplant it. Whereas
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the task
of explorers, collectors, and interpreters had been
to read the real world they experienced into the unified
biblical narrative, as Webb had done with Noah/Jaus/Yao;
by the middle of the eighteenth century, "interpretation
was a matter of fitting the biblical story into another
world with another story.
The God who was omnipresent and manifest, even
in China, in the sixteenth century was being supplanted
by the Deus Absconditus of Luther, Hobbes, and Locke.^
Though this debate between the manifest, or revealed,
and the hidden God recurred throughout the century,
39


for many, "the preeminently real . . . [w]as not here
A 2
and now. 11 Consequently, the emphasis tended to shift
away from the figural linking of the manifestations
of God across boundaries, and towards a more critical
examination of the "realistically" perceived differences
between cultures. Therefore, the highly critical
attitude of many British towards the Chinese in the
eighteenth century was not entirely due to the willful,
and "profound ignorance," on the part of British as
43
Barrett condends; but is also symptomatic of the
profound hermeneutic changes underway.
Certainly there was a paucity of textual material
and a dearth of actual contact in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries; indeed most English based the
lion's share of their knowledge of China, not on first
hand accounts, but on translations of translations of
first hand accounts. Mendoza never made it to China,
he wrote his work in Mexico drawing on information
gathered from missionaries who resided in the
Philippines. Webb may not have ventured much outside
of London, let alone England. William Temple was a
diplomat dispatched to the Netherlands. The Jesuits,
Ricci et al., certainly had first hand knowledge of
China, a greater and more intimate knowledge than we
40


can probably imagine; yet their work was colored by
their own polemics and propaganda to keep their mission
4 4
alive in the face of increasing Papal disapproval.
In addition, English contact with the Jesuit project
was filtered through a French redaction and translation
of the CSP. The trickle of information about China
that reached England in the seventeenth century does
appear to have dried up in the eighteenth.
Eighteenth century interpreters, however, did
not entirely lack sources. The Bodelian catalogue of
1697 lists a number of Chinese works, mostly medical
texts but also dictionaries and an edition of the Mengzi,
45
which is listed as a popular novel; no one seems to
have bothered to translate it. Yet, the majority of
literature produced in the eighteenth century was travel
literature driven by the desire for commercial gain.
The relative lack of centralized control in information
gathering, royal patronage, and state sponsored
academies, as compared to Paris the hub of sinological
studies in the eighteenth century, also played a pivotal
role, in the British interpretation of China.^ In
terms of translations of sacred works, specifically
the Sishu, no attempt was made until the first decade
of the nineteenth century.
41


What, then, constituted this "imaginative
geography?Bibliographer Qian Zhongshu pointed out
that English writers of the eighteenth century relied
most heavily on two sources for the majority of their
48
information about China. The first, written on the
cusp of the eighteenth century, was Fr. Louis Daniel
Le Comte's (1655-1728), Nouveaux memoires sur l'etat
present de la Chine. Originally published in France
(1696), it appeared in England as Memoirs and
Observations made in a Late Journey through the Empire
of China in 1697 and 1699, and again in substantially
revised versions of 1737 and 1739. The second was J.
B. Du Halde's Description geographique, historique,
chronologique, politique et physique de l'empire de
la Chine et de Tartarie Chinoise (1735), published in
an abridged form as The General History of China (1736),
and in full between 1738 and 1741, by subscription,
as A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese
Tartary, together with the Kingdoms of Korea and Tibet:
Containing the Geography and History of those Countries.
Together these works mapped the "imaginative geography"
of China for the eighteenth century, but after the
condemnation of Le Comte's work by the Sorbonne in 1700,
and the suppression of the Jesuits in 1704, Du Halde
42


50
"became the standard authority on matters Chinese for
49
much of the eighteenth century.
Le Comte, for his part, remains significant not
only because his work served as a source for Du Halde,
but because of the role it played in the Rites
Controversy. Le Comte followed the accommodationist
line in praising "Confucius" and insisting on the
monotheistic nature of the Chinese, but went further
by claiming the Chinese had, "knowledge of the true
God and practiced the purest maxims of morality, while
Europe and almost all the rest of the world lived in
error and corruption."^ This kind of apostasy was
not to be tolerated in the early years of the eighteenth
century; although the idea of China as a model for Europe
echoed, especially in France, later in the century with
physiocrats such as Quesnay
52
The English, however,
remained relatively unaware of the theological
53
implications of the Rites Controversy. Though the
particular repression of the prisca theologia (ancient
theology) returned in the nineteenth century with
Protestant British interpreters as its main advocate.
With so many texts, specifically Christian sacred
texts, undergoing renarrativization British commentators
appeared unwilling or unable conceptually to imagine
43


alternative sacred works, the focus shifted to more
secular forms of writing. In addition, with the
theologically questionable exegesis expunged from the
most prevalent and popular sources, the image of China
that remained was an exotic one, and one which existed
in eighteenth century Britain as either set dressing
for Jacobean style tragedies, or as a rhetorical device
for social critics. Yet even in these limited
capacities, English writers were able to find in this
"imagined geography" a series of ad hoc equivalences,
critical, and far removed from the actual China to be
sure, but not always as outright hostile as they were
to become when increased contact forced a
reconceptualization towards the end of the century.
One imaginative map that was extremely popular
in England, as well as France, in the eighteenth century
came straight from the pages of Du Halde. L1Orphelin
de la Chine originally translated from Chinese into
French by Pere Premare was included in Du Halde's
Description of China. It was adapted from the English
version of Du Halde by William Hatchett in 1741, titled
The Chinese Orphan. Voltaire conceived a French version
f it in 1755, and finally Arthur Murphy wrote his own
version of the story. Murphy's version first played
44


21 April 1759 with David Garrick in the lead role.
The play was tremendously popular on both sides of the
Atlantic; it played regularly in London for twenty years,
was in the Comedie Francaise repertory until 1837, and
was produced with some regularity in America from 1764
54
until well into the nineteenth century.
The play revolves around the Tartarian (Manchu)
conquest of China, but how much actual information about
China it provided its many audiences is highly suspect,
as all versions were substantially rewritten to suit
European tastes. For instance, in Hatchett's version
the orphan is none other than Cam-Hy (the Kangxi emperor,
1654-1722), and the role of the sage courtier is named
as Lao-Tse (Laozi), who, legend has it, shuffled off
this mortal coil some two millennia before the Kangxi
emperor ascended the dragon throne. Voltaire's version,
typically took on a more philosophic tone; he styled
it as a "dramatization of the morals of Confucius."
Murphy's retelling is even further afield, with not
only characters but plot completely reworked.^ Oliver
Goldsmith's review of Murphy's play is telling, "In
proportion as the plot has become more European, it
has become more perfect.The perfection of this
work remains contestable, but what seems clear is that
45


by the middle of the eighteenth century it was no longer
a Chinese play, but a European one set in an imagined
China. This is not to say, however, that The Orphan
of China needs to be relegated to the gulag of
orientalism. Eighteenth century theatre was governed
by the Licensing Act of 1734; it was, consequently,
the age of the "well-made play." Plays were routinely
reworked, updated, made "more perfect." Juliet awoke
before Romeo could drink the poison, Lear always managed
to regain his faculties and save Cordelia. The China
of The Orphan of China was indeed fantastic, but no
more so than Shylocks Venice, the Scotland of Macbeth,
the Athens of Midsummer Nights Dream, or the Asia of
Tamburlaine.
Another, and probably more famous, example of
this kind of unapologetic appropriation is Goldsmiths
Citizen of the World, which was originally published
serially in The Public Ledger 1760-1761. Again,
Goldsmith drew substantially from both Le Comte and
Du Halde, but the work is wholly English. The literary
conceit of the work is revealed in the complete title,
The Citizen of the World; or Letters from a Chinese
Philosopher, Residing in London to His Friends in the
East. The epistolary style was exceedingly popular
46


in the eighteenth century and Goldsmith used it to great
advantage.. Goldsmith concocted a series of some one
hundred letters between the "philosopher" Lien Chi
Altangi, and his friend Fum Hoam, "first president of
the Ceremonial Academy at Peking in China,on a
variety of subjects. The conceit is transparent, the
rara avis (wise traveler), allowed Goldsmith to comment
unequivocally on all matters of English society and
government.
Although Citizen of the World is an English book,
written for the English about English subjects, there
is throughout an attitude towards the Chinese that many
5 8
subsequent scholars have found occasion to comment on.
Goldsmith makes clear at the outset that the cult of
"Confucius," then so prevalent on the continent, held
no sway in England. Lien Chi Altangi is no "Confucius."
Further, Goldsmith essentialized all Chinese traits
and embodied them in Lien,
The Chinese are always concise, so is he. Simple,
so is he. The Chinese are grave and sententious,
so is he. But in one particular, the resemblance
is peculiarly striking: the Chinese are often
dull; and so is he.
Are these synecdoches indicative, of a general English
attitude towards the Chinese, or merely Goldsmith the
satirist trying to head his potential critics off at
47


the proverbial pass? Whatever the reason, Citizen of
the World remains an important piece of Augustan satire
and a shining example of the imaginative use of China
as a rhetorical device.
The only actual piece of translation from Chinese
into English, although still highly imaginative, was
Hau Kiou Choaan or the Pleasing History, A Translation
from the Chinese Language. Much speculation still
surrounds the; authenticity of the translation,
nevertheless it remains the "first work of Chinese prose
fiction to be brought before the British public.
The translation of the Hau Kiou Choaan (Haoqiu zhuan)
was apparently undertaken in 1719 by a James Wilkinson,
an employee of the East India Company, under the tutelage
of a Portuguese. When Wilkinson's family decided to
publish his efforts posthumously they contacted Bishop
Thomas Percy (1729-1811), who polished the prose and
issued the work in 1761. It was a great success and
61
was translated into Dutch and French. Percy himself
appears to be one of the few British sinophiles in the
eighteenth century; Qian Zhongshu concluded, "anything
about China that could be known without knowing the
Chinese language, Percy knew." However, anything
that could have been known about China, with the single
48


exception of The Pleasing History, was filtered through
France. This is not to say that the information received
through France was not accurate; however, it continued
to follow the same lines of interpretation set down
in the seventeenth century by the first Jesuit writings,
with most of the accommodationist arguments, i.e.,
ancient monotheism, shangdi/God, etc., expurgated.
Most English writers of the eighteenth century were
far less likely than Percy to put their faith in anything
the French said, let alone the Jesuits.
These imaginative efforts can appear more self-
reflective than critical. In the works that centered
on what was at least believed to be substantiated textual
material, i.e., works derived form Le Comte and Du Halde,
there remained a willingness to suspend disbelief and
to deal equivocally with these texts. The use of these
few items, even if to self reflective ends, and their
tremendous popularity suggests not the utter demonization
of China and the Chinese, but rather the simultaneous
act of appropriation and dispersion.
In counterpoint to this, the prevailing line
of interpretation was more damning. Without any effort
to acquire new or more substantial information about
China or the Chinese, many English writers did begin
49


to challenge the perceived favorable interpretation
by denegrating China. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), in
the second part of Robinson Crusoe (1720), attacked
Chinese government as "absolute tyranny," and the
6 3
religion of "Confucius" as "refined Paganism." Joseph
Spence (1699-1768), though he praised the Chinese style
of gardening, declared that "Chinese philosophers are
'all atheists'.The "fabulous pretensions to
antiquity"^ were vehemently attacked by a number of
6 6
British writers in the eighteenth century. The Chinese
language was declared "dead," and the study of Chinese
government as a model to be followed by Europeans only
taught one author, "to love the Constitution of my own
6 7
free country still more." In short many British
writers of the eighteenth century took a jaundiced view
towards a country few, if any, had actually seen and
declared it "defective in morality, fictitious in
6 8
chronology, and wanting an alphabet."
Moreover, several British writers began to assert
a belief in the myth of monolithic China, i.e. the
static, ossified, singular, giant. David Hume spoke
of China as, "one vast empire, speaking one language,
governed by one law, and sympathising in the same
manner." Adam Smith believed them to be "stationary,"
50


though prosperous; and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, early
in the nineteenth century declared China to be "a
69
permanency without progression." This belief would
itself become static in the nineteenth century as the
British struggled to ingratiate themselves with the
leaders of China in order to establish more pro-British
trading practices, and ossified further as they struggled
to explain their failure to do so.
The contempt with which many British viewed China
during the course of the eighteenth century was not
bred of familiarity. Although the objects of
Chinoiserieporcelain, gardens, lacquer etc.surrounded
them, and images of Chinese philosophers and Chinese
heroes wound their way through some English literature,
these remained scattered yet pertinent images, more
reflective of the internal struggles within Britain,
and among European powers. As the century wore on these
ad hoc appropriations commingled with the more and more
virulent, though not necessarily better informed,
critiques of Chinese institutions, and forced a
renegotiation of this imaginative terrain.
The Lion and the Dragon:
Essentialism in the Nineteenth Century.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, as
51


the drive to increase trade with China accelerated the
"singular listlessness"^ of the British gave way to
a desire to.resolve the dissonant strains of the
"imagined geography." This took the form of correcting
the Jesuit/French interpretation, responding to intense
but uninformed internal criticism, and putting forth
their own understanding of the Chinese. This came slowly
and painfully through a process of "failed" diplomatic
missions, missionary struggles, war, and massive
scholarly effort. It forced, once more, a return to
the questions of translation and conversion, and
recentered the sacred works as the medium of
understanding.
John Davis, in 1822, articulated this corrective
view,
The first thing needful in our inquiries was
to divest the picture of all that false colouring,
which had been so plentifully bestowed on it
by the Romish missionaries, who for certain good
reasons, . . . modified their most authentic
accounts of China in such a way, as tended rather
to mislead, than to inform; and it remained for
the English to give the first correct account
of a nation, whom they discovered to be neither
perfectly wise, nor perfectly virtuous, but who
were occasionally reduced to the necessity of
flogging integrity into the^j magistrates, and
valour into their generals.
The increase in the demand for Chinese products,
especially tea, drove the commercially minded English
52


into more intimate contact with the Chinese where they
found, not a world of pleasing histories and morally
upright scholar-bureaucrats, but a world of greedy Cohong
merchants and otiose court rituals* It was clear from
these initial frustrating encounters that a reassessment
of China had to be made, as Davis pointed out. Again,
the trade missions themselves, and the criticism which
followed produced a range of responses. It is not my
purpose here to assess the entire range of these British
responses, but merely to point out the historical
conflation of one, and the significance of another,
in order to shed light on this congruence which led
to the reassessment of the nineteenth century.
The names of those British who established first
hand contact with the Chinese are legend: Anson, Flint,
Amherst, Napier, but the kairos came in 1793, with a
man named Macartney. The reasons for Macartney's mission
and the details of that mission are too numerous and
72
too well documented and known to bear repeating here,
as is the reply from the Qianlong emperor; what is
important is how the embassy has been viewed throughout
the subsequent two centuries. Davis, writing several
years after the embassy, viewed it as a middling event;
while a century later Earl Pritchard wrote that it was
53


"an ill-conceived but well-executed measure. Its failure
was certain before it left England." By the middle
of this century it had become a trope of the "striking
instance of the clash between advanced and traditional
73
societies." While this last is a blatant
overstatement, it gives an indication of the direction
Ik
historiography took in the years following 1793.
Regardless of the historiographical hyperbole, the
mission did, in some small degree, succeed in its
failure; with the publication of Sir George Staunton's
Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great
Britain to the Emperor of China in 1797, British interest
in China turned, however reluctantly, from the
imaginative to the more practical. As John Davis pointed
out,
One of the principal effects of the mission was
to draw a greater share of the public attention
towards China, and to lead gradually to the study
of language, literature, institutions, and manners
of that vast and singular empirea field which
had hitherto b^gn occupied almost exclusively
by the French.
Yet, the turn was gradual, and it was lead not by
scholars in England, but once again by missionaries,
not stationed in China, but in India and Malaya.
The evangelical fervor of the late eighteenth
century had created missionaries; missionaries who,
54


unlike their Jesuit predecessors, were not so much
interested in experiencing God in all its manifest glory
as in bringing the "true" word of God to all the children
of the world. This desire itself produced a vast number
of translations, but the direction of this scriptural
flow is important to note. These were predominantly
translations of the Bible into indigenous languages;
if any translations of foreign texts were undertaken
it was initially for purely pedagogical purposes. The
evangelical charge was lead by the British and Foreign
Bible Society which was established in 1804. By 1809
the Society boasted 109 new translations of the Bible.^
However, none were in Chinese. China remained
inaccessible to British missionaries, and in their
efforts at translating the Bible into that language,
they were forced to rely on what help they could get
from Chinese living abroad, especially in the British
colonies of Malacca in Malaya and Serampore, India.
The first to accomplish the task was Joshua
Marshman (1768-1837), a Baptist missionary of Fort
William College in Bengal. In 1806, under the
instruction of Johannes Lassar, an Armenian Christian
who had been born in Macao, Marshman began translating
the Bible into Chinese. In 1810, the Gospel of St.
55


Matthew was published in Chinese by the Mission Press
at Serampore. The whole Bible took until 1822-23 to
appear. Along with his translation of Matthew, Marshman
published, in 1809, a fragment of the Lunyu in English,
which carried the very inaccurate and synecdochic title
The Works of Confucius. Marshman's effort was not met
with the same glee as the Morals of Confucius, and indeed
seems to have passed rather quickly into obscurity.
Barrett criticizes it as, "a rather poorly handled
partial attempt.However, the simultaneity of these
translations must be noted. In coterminously translating
the Lunyu and Matthew, Marshman had returned to Ricci's
project. Clearly Marshman must have viewed the Lunyu
as a pedagogical tool, but in offering a cross
translation he reasserted its position as the pedagogical
tool for unlocking sacred texts. His efforts also
conceptually reindexed it to the synoptic Christian
texts.
At the same time that Marshman was working in
India, other English missionaries were concentrating
on the same subject in Malaya. Robert Morrison
(1782-1834) was actually the first Protestant missionary
to live in Canton. A Presbyterian, Morrison offered
his services to the newly formed London Missionary
56


Society in 1804; by 1807 he was in Canton, and two years
later he was working as a translator for the English
East India Company. He served as an interpreter on
the Amherst mission (1816), and in 1818 established
the Anglo-Chinese College in Malacca. Morrison was
rare in that he was one of the few English missionaries
who actually began his studies of Chinese while still
7 8
in England. In 1810 Morrison began work on the
translation of the Bible, by 1819, with the aid of
William Milne (1785-1822) had both Old and New Testaments
translated. The Canton-Malacca Bible was not published
until 1823.
Adding to the coterie of missionaries at Malacca
was Walter Henry Medhurst (1796-1857), a printer sent
by the London Missionary Society in 1817. Medhurst
became highly respected as a translator, and instrumental
in the formation of the British missions, and the
dissemination of knowledge, both religious and secular.
Medhurst believed the only way to convert the Chinese
was to establish some ground of mutual understanding.
He translated Chinese grammars into English, and he
wrote hundreds of tracts on a variety of topics: history,
geography, translated magazine articles and school books.
According to one Roman Catholic source, T. W. M.
57


Marshall, by 1844 Medhurst claimed to have printed and
distributed: 1,128,400 tracts, 30,000 copies of
scripture, 500,000 tracts in Chinese, 150,000 in Malay
and 450,000 volumes released in Canton. Yet, Marshall
also charged, "It seems that, as they [Protestant
missionaries] could not convert 'the millions of the
east,' they could console themselves by supplying them
. . 79
with waste paper.
The college was funded by a generous grant from
Morrison himself, and supplemented by funds from the
80
English East India Company. Although T. W. M.
Marshall, a vociferous critic, railed that the college
was a waste of money and that the prodigious efforts
at translation were merely a means of producing something
(in lieu of actual converts), in order to fulfill annual
reports, which would insure the continuation of funding;
the college nevertheless, established and to a large
degree mapped out the British understanding of China
81
for the nineteenth century. This understanding was
built upon an increasing awareness of and contact with
actual Chinese, albeit this understanding was forced
through the prism of a somewhat peculiar nineteenth
century British worldview, but also on a rather
uncritical return to what had passed before. In their
58


effort to understand China, the British of the nineteenth
century refocused their attention on what was deemed
essential to the Chinese character, i.e., the "Confucian
canon," which they conceptually indexed to the Christian
scriptures, and by so doing they rediscovered, rather
unsuprisingly, much of what their Jesuit predecessors
had already claimed was there.
The first full version of the Sishu translated
directly from Chinese into English was completed by
the Rev. David Collie and published posthumously in
1828. Little is remembered about Collie; Barrett says
that he attained the position of Professor of Chinese
at the Anglo-Chinese College in 1823 after only a year
8 2
of language instruction from Morrison. Collie admitted
that the translation was undertaken primarily to aid
in learning Chinese, but he betrayed the early nineteenth
century British attitude towards the Chinese texts and
the previous Jesuit interpretation of them when he wrote,
"It [the English translation] might perhaps be
of some use to the Chinese who study English
in the College, not only assisting them in
acquiring the English Language, but especially
leading them to reflect seriously on some of
the fatal errors ggopagated by their most
celebrated sages.
Apparently, Collie felt his mission was to correct both
the British understanding of China, as well as the
/
59


Chinese view of themselves. He argued that the Jesuits
and the French were too effusive in their praise of
"Confucius," and that the ideas found in the Sishu,
compared to the "more excellent way" of Christianity
were at best harmless yet misguided, and at worst
damnably false.
If Collie questioned the validity of "Confucius's"
teaching, and the Jesuit commentary of it, he
nevertheless retained the form of the Morals of Confucius
and the CSP. There is first, a brief biography of
"Confucius" and a slight assessment of the sage's work.
Collie refused to place "Confucius" in the same rank
as the Greek sages as the Jesuit authors of the CSP
had, but acquiesced that "Confucius" was probably not
an atheist because he showed reverence for Teen [tian]
usually translated as "heaven." Then follows his
translations of the Four Books. Collie chose to follow
the Morals of Confucius order which reduplicated the
ordering of the CSP with the addition of the Mengzi.
He places first, the Ta Heo [Daxue ] which Collie left
untranslated but refered to as "Superior learning;"
followed by the Chung Yung [Zhongyong ] or "Golden Medium"
(Collie's translation); the Lun Yu [Lunyu ] which Collie
translated as "Dialogues;" and finally the Shang Mung
60


[Mengzi part one] and Hea Mung [Mengzi part two]. In
addition, Collie provided "the substance of various"
commentaries, or rather his redaction and translation
of a number of the myriad commentaries available on
the Four Books, plus his own sniping comments on the
fallacy of the ideas contained in the text.
Collie's text appears to have made a substantially
minor impact on British sinology, although it did enjoy
84
some degree of popularity in America. James Legge
made use of it, and the differences between Legge's
and Collie's versions are instructive and will be
addressed later, but for the most part Collie's Four
Books appeared and vanished without fanfare. With these
few exceptions, British exposure to China and the Chinese
remained tangential. The more popular books continued
to be description and travel journals: Davis's The
Chinese: A General Description of China and Its
Inhabitants (first published 1836 expanded 1840); T.
T. Meadows's, a consular officer, Desultory Notes on
the Government and People of China (1847) and Chinese
and Their Rebellions (1856); Medhurst's China: Its State
and Prospects (1861); William Wells's Middle Kingdom
(1848); and Karl Gutzlaff's Journey of Three Voyages
Along the Coast of China (1834) and China Opened (1838).
61


All of them tended to focus on descriptions of geography,
botany, history, morals, customs and manners, and which
tended to emphasize the seemingly singular and exotic
nature of the Chinese.
Davis made a handful of translations from Chinese
85
literature, but no real serious attempt was made to
attain any deeper level of understanding of Chinese
religion or the "Confucian" canon than was found in
Collie. However, with Marshman and Collie, the
exegetical work on China was beginning to cohere once
more around the Sishu. Certainly the prevalence of
the text in China as a pedagogical tool accounts for
some of the renewed interest; however the mere ubiquity
of it does not explain its continued indexing to the
four canonical Christian Gospels. Perhaps the discursive
nature of the Four Books resonated with the Synoptics.
Perhaps, the British of the nineteenth century found
in the works, as the Jesuits had, a felicitous
application of principles deemed universal. Clearly
these reasons, in whatever combinationa similar set
of canonical, instructive texts, filled with recognizable
universal truths, yet lacking the unique, unified
narrative of Christianity-proved irresistible to
missionaries awash in evangelical zeal.
62


Missionaries in the east began using the Sishu
to establish a vocabulary that would allow them to
translate their own sacred works into Chinese for the
sole purpose of conversion. What then entailed was
a renegotiation of the imaginative landscape between
the two countries in which both Britain and China were
mutually implicated. Pedagogy and conversion recurred,
mutatis mutandis, to accommodation and appropriation.
Missionary Translations and the Avalanche of Texts
"[First], to tell the millions of [China's]
people about Jesus Christ. To do this with effect
I must be able to speakggnd write their language
like one of themselves.
This was the goal set down by James Legge in his diary
dated 5 May 1847. Evangelical to be sure, but there
can also be seen in this a desire to deepen his
knowledge. Legge was one of the great sinologists,
the only nineteenth century translator of Chinese texts
whose work is still in print. His translations of the
Chinese Classics originally published in eight volumes
between 1861 and 1875, is a truly monumental work that
set off a veritable avalanche of other translations,
commentaries, and redactions. Legge's works have become
the prism through which much subsequent scholarship
on China has been filtered; but they are not simply
63


a prism reflecting only China, more like a kaleidoscope,
reflecting and refracting a multitude of issues: China,
England, Britain, James Legge, missionary politics,
theology, to name a few.
James Legge was born in 1815 near Aberdeen,
Scotland, graduated King's College (now part of the
University of Aberdeen) in 1836. Raised in the
Independent Church, he received the call to minister
in this non-Conformist Church in 1837. The next year
he offered his services to the London Missionary Society.
In January of 1840 he and his wife arrived in Malacca.
Following the first Opium War, the Society relocated
its mission to Hong Kong; Legge resided there for two
years. Poor health had Legge returning periodically
to England, but from 1842 to about 1870 the lion's share
of his life was lived in and around Hong Kong. Friends
and admirers cobbled together money upon his return
to England and financed a Chair of Chinese at the
University of Oxford; accordingly Legge became the first
professor of Chinese at Oxford in 1876. He died in
1897.87
Apparently dissatisfied with most previous
translations, and feeling "that he should not be able
to consider himself qualified for the duties of his
64


position, until he had thoroughly mastered the Classical
8 8
Books of the Chinese," Legge set about learning and
translating, "The Books [sic] now recognised as of
89
highest authority in China," i.e., the Yijing (Book
of Changes), the Shu j ing (Book of History), the Shij ing
(Book of Poetry), the Li.j i (Record of Rites), the Chung iu
(Spring and Autumn Annuals), and the Four Books. He
began, as many before and since both within China and
without, by concentrating on the Lunyu which Legge dubbed
"The Analects." The first volume of his translations
which included the Lunyu, the Daxue and the Zhongyong,
was published in 1861, followed shortly by volumes two
and three. They were republished as part of Max Muller's
series The Sacred Books of the East, appearing from
1879 through 1891. In 1893, the Clarendon Press, Oxford
published a significantly reworked second edition of
the Four Books, it is this second edition which remains
in print.
Legge's works were received with almost universal
yet qualified acclaim. While many congratulated him
90
on the "elaborate and conscientious translation,"
many others pointed out the inaccessibility of the
scholarly language and the prohibitive cost of the large
octavo volumes and urged the republication of them in
65


The
smaller more affordable and popular editions.
first popularizer was an American, the Rev. A. W. Loomis.
Confucius and the Chinese Classics, edited by Loomis
was published in San Francisco in 1867. Loomis referred
to Legge's translation as a "literary curiosity, and
of immense value to every student of the Chinese
92
language." Loomis sought to familiarize the lay reader
with China. Confucius and the Chinese Classics is
cribbed directly from Legge. He followed Legge's overall
organization, which diverged from the CSP, establishing
the Lunyu as the first of the Four Books, yet deviated
substantially within this framework. He began with
the obligatory history of China and biography of
"Confucius," then the Lunyu, then the Daxue, the
Zhongyong and the Mengzi. In Part Three, Loomis clabbered
together a hodgepodge of disjointed writings on various
topics most likely pulled from William Wells's Middle
Kingdom. What is fascinating about Loomis is the way
topics within the main headings are treated. In the
preface he explained his organization:
So far as regards the selections from the Four
Books, our design has been to go carefully through
them, and gather a few sentences on the various
subjects which were treated by the Chinese
authors^and arrange them under appropriate
heads."
66


Apparently the Chinese were, as far as Loomis was
concerned, as free with their garden designs as they
were with their "Scriptures," (which is how he referred
to the Four Books). Loomis completely reworked the
substance of the Sishu and recompiled them under headings
such as: "What the Disciples of Confucius Say of Him,"
"Theology and Religion," "Domestic Relations," "Ethics,"
"Self Cultivation," "Path of Duty," and three different
"Maxims," or "Miscellaneous" sections which apparently
couldn't be pigeonholed under any of the "appropriate
heads"
Concomitant with Legge's scholarly work and the
subsequent popularization of it, came renewed theological
disputes. There still remained the problem of how to
translate "God" into Chinese. In addition to this,
there re-emerged debates on: the primal monotheism of
the Chinese, Daoism, the position of Buddhism in China,
was "Confucianism" complementary or antithetical to
Christianity, had it once been complementary but had
since declined into mere idolatry and superstition?
Tracts and tomes flooded the gully of British sinology,
carved out by a handful of missionary translators.
And the missionaries contributed to the torrent:
Medhurst's Dissertation on the Theology of the Chinese
67


(1847), Legge's Notions of the Chinese Concerning God
and Spirits (1854), Joseph Edkins's Religious Conditions
of the Chinese (1859), F. D. Maurice's The Religions
of the World and Their Relation to Christianity (1847),
and a plethora of other works on "comparative religion."
The question is, did this avalanche of texts,
this flurry of debate, increase British understanding,
and further, did they add anything to the already
formidable scholarship of the Jesuits and the European
continent? The answer has to bea qualified no. Coming
late into the game as they did, the British, including
Legge, appropriated what was already known or assumed,
and used this information to reexamine critically both
the China they encountered and the popular
misrepresentations of it back in Britain. However,
they read these translations in their own inimitable
way, and offered critiques which were again reflective
of the singular British predicament in the nineteenth
century.
Although many of the themes with which the British
translators dealt can be read as homologically recurring,
e.g., the antiquity of the Chinese, the exaluted position
of "Confucius," the ancient, revealed, and monothestic
nature of God in China; the disruption of genealogy
68


should highlight the differences in interpretive
congruence. A hermeneutic shift in the eighteenth
century coupled with an emerging science of geology
had unhinged the necessity for Biblical chronology,
thus the length of Chinese history no longer posed a
threat. Further it was accepted a priori that
"Confucius" was a fully historical person who lived
ca. 500 B.C.E., that he was a sage and a moral exemplar,
yet in the nineteenth century the euhemerization of
him undertaken by the Jesuits was reversed by the
British, not simply to smash his feet of clay as
eighteenth century critics had, but to establish him
more firmly as a truly historical, and therefore merely
human, man. However, his role as a mere mortal remained
contested throughout the nineteenth century, depending
on the bent of any particular interpreter: he either
remained the "transmitter" of ancient knowledge he
claimed to be, or he became a reformer of a once great
but now decrepit system. Finally, the most hotly
contested point remained the question of the monotheistic
nature of the Chinese "religions." The Jesuit project
of accommodation and insistence on the pricia theologia
were viewed as substantial threats to papal authority
in the seventeenth century. The British return to this
69


notion in the nineteenth century began as a pedagogical
dispute over the most effective way to translate Elohim
and Theos into Chinese, whether as shangdi, tian, or
in some cases, shen (spirits); yet, as these debates
continued the belief in an ancient monotheism became
mutually implicated in much larger theological concerns,
that reflected the renegotiation of faith underway in
nineteenth century Britain.
The forms these debates took, and the reflective
nature of British critiques provide the field for the
rest of this thesis. What this genealogy of translation
provides us with is a lineage to question, and a frame
in which to examine these imaginative appropriations
and negotiated recurrences. In the next chapter I will
expand on these themes of appropriation and negotiation;
first, by using the recent model of orientalist critique
as a springboard, I will explore the British creation
of a taxonomy for the religions of the east, and how
"Confucianism" was situated within this. Second, I
will show that while British interpretations of the
Sishu mimicked the Jesuit project in many important
ways, they also presumed to maintain the "Confucian
canon" in its position within this taxonomy. What this
will enable me to do is to add contextual and
70


interpretive depth to the genealogy of these
translations. It will also, I hope, draw out some of
the interpretive problems of the orientalist critique.
71


NOTES
1. Adolph Reichwein, China and Europe:
Intellectual and Artistic Contacts in the Eighteenth
Centuryi trans. J. C. Powell (London: Kegan Paul, Trench,
Trubner and Co. Ltd., 1925), 15.
2. Most notably John Webb, An Historical Essay
Endeavouring a Probability that the Language of the
Empire of China is the Primitive Language (London: Nathan
Brook, 1669), passim.
3. See Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China?
(London: Martin Seeker and Warburg Limited, 1995), for
the most recent challenge to the Polo legacy.
A. See Wood, Marco Polo; James Legge, Nestorian
Monument of Hsi-An Fu (London: Trubner and Company,
1888; reprint, New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp.,
1966); Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, History of the Great
and Mighty Kingdom of China and the Situation Thereof,
(London: Hakluyt Society, 1853) .
5. See Michel Foucault, "Nietzsche, Genealogy,
History," in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New
York: Pantheon Books, 1984), 81; also Michael Mahon,
Foucaults Nietzschean Genealogy: Truth, Power, and
the Subject (Albany, NY: State Universtiy of New York
Press, 1992), 1-17 and 81-127.
6. Qian Zhongshu, [Ch'ien Chung-shu], "China
in the English Literature of the Seventeenth Century,"
Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography 1:4 (December
1940) 353.
7. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, ii, emphasis
in original. See also Qian Zhongshu, "Seventeenth
Century," 354. T. H. Barrett points out that Perera's
account, especially the part about "shyres," was later
incorporated into Mendoza, see T. H. Barrett Singular
Listlessness: A Short History of Chinese Books and
British Scholars (London: Wellsweep Press, 1989), 30.
8. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 29.
72


9. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 29-50.
10. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 362. See also
Mungello, Curious Land, 46ff.
11. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 39; see
further, Mungello, Curious Land, 74-90 and 106-116.
12. Though Ricci's own translation is no longer
extant, most scholars agree that his manuscript
translation of the Lunyu, Daxue, and the Zhongyong,
(but not the Mengzi), formed the basis for the subsequent
work found in the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus. See
Mungello, Curious Land, 247-299.
13. See Mungello, Curious Land, 257-277, and
Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism".
14. cf. Mungello, Curious Land, 13-133 and passim;
Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 351-384; Barrett, Singular
Listlessness, 35-40; and William Appleton, A Cycle of
Cathay (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951),
3-20. Mungello provides extensive analysis while
Barrett, Qian, and Appleton gloss it as rather
unimportant.
15. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 19. This is a
highly problematic assumption and one which will be
addressed in the following chapter.
16. Genesis ll:l-8a KJV.
17. This game frequently took on nationalistic
forms, Goropius Becanus in 1569, for instance, insisted
that the ancient burghers of Antwerp had descended from
the Cimbri, the sons of Japheth. Consequently, as the
Cimbri were not at the Tower of Babel their language
remained pure. Therefore, he concluded, Dutch and
especially the dialect of Antwerp was the original
language. This "Flemish thesis," through nationalistic
fervor, was kept alive until the nineteenth century.
It was joined by arguments for the primacy of Swedish,
German, Celtic, and of course English. For a full
account of these various theories see Umberto Eco, The
Search for the Perfect Language, trans. James Fentress
(Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), 73-116.
18. See Eco, Search, 103f.
73


19. See Eco, Search, 73f. Eco argues that this
belief in the perfect language is theoretically confused
because it blurs the distinction between a perfect
language and a universal language, i.e., one that mirrors
"the true nature of objects," vs. one that everyone
"ought to speak."
20. Mungello, Curious Land, 188. For a full
analysis of Kircher's contribution to the search for
a universal language see Mungello, Curious Land, 134-
207, and Eco Search, 154-176.
21. John Webb, An Histoical Essay, 60. See also
Chen Shouyi [Ch'en Shou-yi], "John Webb: A Forgotten
Page in the Early History of Sinology in Europe," The
Chinese Social and Political Science Review 19:3 (October
1935): passim; Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 27ff.; Mendoza,
Great and Mighty Kingdom, 18. Mendoza has it that the
Chinese themselves claimed to be descended from Noah's
nephews, in light of this Qian Zhongshu concludes that
Webb gave only a cursory reading to Mendoza; see Qian
"Seventeenth Century," 370.
22. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 371, emphasis
mine.
23. There were two competing biblical
chronologies, the Vulgate which was the more accepted
and the Septuagint which placed the flood before 3000
B.C.E. Accepted Chinese chronology fit more easily
with the Septuagint and actually challenged the Vulgates
supremacy. This didn't deter some scholars from trying
to put the square peg of China into the round hole of
Vulgate chronology.
24. Chen, "John Webb," 325-328.
25. The Chinese etymology is highly suspect.
The O.E.D. states that it is "of unknown origin; Chinese
scholars agree that it cannot belong to that language."
Oxford English Dictionary, 2d. ed., s.v. "sharawagdi."
cf. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 375, and Hugh Honour,
Chinoiserie: The Vision of Cathay (London: John Murray
Ltd., 1961), 145.
26. William Temple, The Works of William Temple,
Bart: Complete in Four Volumes, vol. 3 (London: S.
74


Hamilton, 1814-; reprint, New York: Greenwood, 1968),
331-334.
27. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 240.
28. Morals of Confucius, (London: Randal Taylor
and J. Fraser, 1691), Alf.
29. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 241.
30. Morals of Confucius, 5
31 . Ibid., 24.
32 discussion see below This followed the CSP order. For on the adjustments to the order of Chapter 3. further the Sishu
33. See Honour, Chinoiserie, passim.
34. Morals of Confucius, Al. For the siting
of "Confucius" in political and moral life see Reichwein,
China and Europe, 75-126.
35. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 41.
36. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 375.
37. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 47.
38. Qian Zhongshu [Ch'ien Chung-shu], "China
in the English Literature of the Eighteenth Century
(I)," Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography, 1:4
(December, 1940): 8.
39. Barrett, Singular Listlesness, 41.
40. Hans Frei, The Eclipse of the Biblical
Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth Century Hermeneutics
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974) 130. ~
41. See Joshua Mitchell, Not By Reason Alone:
Religion, History, and Identity in Early Modern Political
Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993),
1-18.
42. Ibid., 3, emphasis in the original.
75


43.
See Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 42.
44. See Mungello, Curious Land; Jensen,
Manufacturing "Confucianism", and Latourette, History
of Christian Missions.
45. Barrett, Singular Listlessness," 36f.
46. P. J. Marshall and Glyndwr Williams, The
Great Map of Mankind: British Perceptions of the World
in the Age of Enlightenment (London: J. M. Dent and
Sons Ltd., 1982), 46ff.
47. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Random
House Inc., 1978), 49.
48. As my focus is China I am not including the
increasing wealth of material collected on India, North
America, or the South Pacific. As noted earlier most
travel literature focused around trade and came from
specialists sent out with trade expeditions: botanists,
surveyors, epigraphers, etc. See Marshall, Great Map,
45-184.
49. Marshall, Great Map, 84. On Le Comte's
comdemnation see Mungello, Curious Land, 297f. and 329-
342.
50. Mungello, Curious Land, 125.
51. Louis Daniel Le Comte, Memoirs and
Observations Made in a Late Journey Through the Empire
of China (London: Benjamin Tooke and Samuel Buckley,
1697), vol. 2, 146-147.
52. See Francois Quesnay, Le Depotisme de la
Chine, trans. Lewis A. Maverick, in Lewis A. Maverick,
China: A Model for Europe (San Antonio: Paul Anderson
Company, 1946). See also Reichwein, China and Europe,
101-109.
53. Marshall, Great Map, 85.
54. See Qian Zhongshu [Ch'ien Chung-shu], "China
in the English Literature of the Eighteenth Century
(II), in Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography,
2:3-4 (December 1941) : 124, and Edward D"! Graham, "The
'Imaginative Geography' of China," in Reflections on
76


Orientalism (East Lansing MI: Asian Studies Center,
Michigan State University Press, 1983), 34.
55. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 83ff.
56. Oliver Goldsmith, The Works of William
Goldsmith, vol. 2, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century
(II)," 130.
57. Oliver Goldsmith, Citizen of the World
(London: J. M. Dent, 1893), 6.
58. See Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 53-64; Qian,
"Eighteenth Century (II)," 117-122; and Marshall, Great
Map, 53 and passim.
59. Goldsmith, Citizen of the World, xxvi.
60. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 43.
61. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 134-140,
and Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 41-46.
62. Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 138.
63. Daniel Defoe, Romances and Narratives of
Daniel Defoe, ed. G. A. Aitken, vol. 3 (London: J.
M. Dent, 1895), 117, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century
(I)," 12.
64. Joseph Spence, Anecdotes, Observations, and
Characters of Books and Men, ed. S. M. Singer, 2d. ed.
(London: John Russell Smith, 1858), 51-52, quoted in
Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 17.
65. Gentlemans Magazine, 1766, 130-132, quoted
in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)", 45.
66. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 44f.
and passim.
67. An Irregular Dissertation, occasioned by
the Reading of Father Du Halde's Description of China
which may bead [sic] at any Time, except in the present
Year 1740 (London: Printed for J. Roberts, 1740), 3,
quoted in Qian, "Eightenth Century (II)", 148.
77


68. The Gentlemans Magazine, 1758, 58-60, quoted
in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I) , 45.
69. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 27-37.
70. John Francis Davis, Chinese Novels (London:
John Murray, 1822; reprint, New York: Scholars Facsimiles
and Reprints, 1976), 2. The title is Barrett's but
his uncredited source is Davis.
71. Davis, Chinese Novels, 5f. Emphasis in
original.
72. cf. Robert Bickers, Ritual and Diplomacy:
The Macartney Mission to China 1792-1794 (London: The
British Association of Chinese Studies and Wellsweep
Press, 1993); James L. Hevia, Cherishing Men From Afar:
Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793
(Durham: Duke University Press, 1995); Alain Peyrefitte,
The Immobile Empire (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992);
Earl H. Pritchard, The Crucial Years of Early Anglo-
Chinese Relations (New York: Octagon Books, 1970);
Reichwein, China and Europe.
73. Peyrefitte, Immobile Empire, xvii; see also
John Francis Davis, The Chinese: A General Description
of China and Its Inhabitants (London: Charles Knight
& Co., 1840), 31; and Pritchard, Crucial Years, 383.
74. For an anaylsis and critique of these various
narratives see James L. Hevia, "The Macartney Embassy
in the History of Sino-Western Relations," in Bickers,
Ritual and Diplomacy; and Hevia, Cherishing Men, 225-248.
75. Davis, The Chinese, 30.
76. Sue Zemka, "The Holy Books of Empire:
Translations of the British and Foreign Bible Society,"
in Macropolitics of Nineteenth Century Literature:
Nationalism, Exoticism and Imperialism, eds. Jonathan
Arac and Harriet Ritvo (Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 102-120.
77. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 63.
78. For more on Morrison see Latourette, History
of Christian Missions, 209-227; see also Barrett,
Singular Listlessness, 62f.
78


79. T. W. M. Marshall, Christianity in China:
A Fragment (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans,
and Roberts, 1858), 74-78. Marshall, was unrelenting
in his attack on the Protestant missionaries inability
to gain converts.
80. See Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 64, and
Latourette, History of Christian Missions, 216.
81. See Marshall, Christianity in China, 74-78.
82. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 65.
83. David Collie, trans., The Chinese Classical
Work Commonly Known as the Four Books (Malacca: Mission
Press, 1828; reprint, Gainsville FL: Scholars Facsimiles
and Reprints, 1970), i.
84. Thoreau and Emerson were apparently quite
taken with it. See William Bysshe Stein, introduction
to Collie, Four Books, vii-xvii.
85. See Davis, Chinese Novels, and John Francis
Davis, Poeseos Sinecae Commentarii: The Poetry of the
Chinese (London: n.p., 1870; reprint, New York: Paragon
Book Reprint Corp., 1969).
86. James Legge, 1846-1847 Diary, quoted in Lauren
F. Pfister, "Some New Dimensions in the Study of the
Work of James Legge (1815-1897): Part I," Sino Western
Cultural Relations Journal 12 (1990): 33.
87. See Lindsay Ride biographical introduction
to The Chinese Classics: with a Translation, Critical,
and Exegetical notes, Prolegomena, and Copius Indexes,
by James Legge (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press,
1960). See also Pfister, "New Dimensions, Part I,"
and "Some New Dimensions in the Study of the of the
Work of James Legge (1815-1897): Part II," Sino Western
Cultural Relations Journal 13 (1991): 33-48, and Barrett,
Singular Listlessness, 75f.
88. Legge, Analects, iii.
89. Ibid., 1.
90. Edinburgh Review, April 1869, 303.
79


91. Cf. Reviews in Nation, 15 September 1870,
170; and Nation, 1 March 1877, 135.
92. A. W. Loomis ed., Confucius and the Chinese
Classics: or Reading in Chinese Literature (San
Francisco: A. Roman and Company, 1867), viii.
93. Ibid., ix, emphasis mine.
80


CHAPTER 3
TAXONOMY, HIERARCHY, AND THE
CANONICAL BOOKS OF THE EAST
In chapter two I attempted to trace a few of
the variant lines of force which exerted themselves
on the imaginative relationship between Britain and
China. I have briefly noted the equivalences, critiques,
recurrences, and appropriations that influenced the
critical confluence around the Sishu, and have given
hints at the effects of this on various translations
and redactions. As we have seen, origins are always
equivocal, bibliographer Qian Zhongshu was forced to
resort to a series of adjectival origins: "first
substantial reference . . . earliest detailed account
. . . earliest reference to China in English literature
proper."^ Further, the breakdown of traditional
narrative structures, the shift from "figural" to
"realistic" readingfrom theology to ethnography
encouraged a more critical interpretation of China,
wherein certain "facts" about it were established, e.g.,
its great antiquity, the historical existence of
"Confucius," and its potentially accessible ancient
81


theology. However, this genealogy I have constructed,
especially its lineage metaphor, while pointing to
disruptions and unions along the line, still assumes,
a priori, the inevitability of discovering these reified
"facts." That is, in genealogy these concepts exist
as archaeological artifacts, objects to be uncovered,
and confirmed. The Sishu itself, is continually viewed
as a thing merely to be translated and understood.
Recently, other hermeneutic shifts have rendered
this predetermined lineage problematic, if not untenable.
Current interpretations encourage us to look beyond
genealogy, and to see both text (the Sishu), and context
(China and Britain), not merely as objects to be rendered
inert by thorough translation, but rather as sets of
perpetually contested and reinterpreted narratives
transmitted through time. Though there is much to
recommend in these postmodern interpretations, they
are also fraught with difficulties. They require a
certain amount of theoretical underpinning, which
genealogy, because of its grounding in chronology, does
not. Nevertheless, taking the time to explore the basis
of contemporary critiques can reap rich rewards, it
enables us to site the translations of the Sishu within
their historical context, and to view them in relation
82


to taxonomical and hierarchical categories which emerged
during the ninteenth century.
In this chapter I will begin to probe deeper
into the imaginative congruences that went into
translating the Sishu, and explore the hierarchical
relationships which finally indexed it to the Sacred
Books of the East. In order to do this, I will need
to establish a theoretical framework. The argument
that genealogy presupposes the base reality of texts
and contexts should cause us to question how and when
these things came to be reified. Therefore, I first
want to explore the recent theoretical tool of
orientalist critique. The benefits of this are that
the critique of orientalism helps us to fathom many
of the interpretive shifts that occurred in sinology
during the nineteenth century; it allows us to explore
the European fashioning of taxonomies which subsequently
split into discrete hierarchies of, politics, history,
literature, and specifically religion. I will argue
that the nineteenth century study of "Confucianism,"
seen especially through the work of James Legge, situated
it within a religious hierarchy and placing it outside
of politics and history, and in relation to both
Christianity and other sacred traditions. Situating
83


it in this way enables me to examine the creative
dissonance which then arose between the mimetic return
to the Jesuit project and what may be read as the
orientalist maintenance of the canonical books of the
east.
Working this way allows us to contemplate an
alternative to the teleology of lineage and descent,
and to pursue modes of inquiry that were intentionally
obscured or left unresolved by the genealogy of
translations. Neither is it without its problems.
It is not my purpose to offer any sustained critique
of contemporary orientalist theory or its proponents,
however, orientalism, I believe, ultimately defeats
itself by stabilizing an inherently unstable entity,
making Britain and its interpretation of sacred subjects
more coherent than it actually was. Further, by too
narrowly interpreting theses translations, the missionary
translator frequently becomes an unwitting actor in
a twentieth century drama. Like Lien Chi Altangi, he
becomes a rhetorical tool used to extrapolate the
orientalist project. These problems will become evident
through the course of this chapter and will open spaces
for the following one.
84


Bifurcated Hierarchies;
Sacred Subjects in the Nineteenth Century
The collection of information and knowledge about
the "east", has long been critically linked, and not
unjustifiably, with the desire to control and subdue
the "east". A point made explicit in Edward Said's
book Orientalism (1978). This work has come to be
regarded as a theoretical Pandora's Box, flooding the
historical world with questions and problems of agency,
dependency, hegemony, epistemology, ontology, dualism,
and definitions. Of course, Said was not the first
to articulate the notion of "orient as other," or to
point up the inventive nature of understanding "the
east." In the 1750s W. Whitehead wrote, that of all
the alleged Chinese things then available in England,
not one in a thousand has the least resemblance
to anything that China ever saw. . . . Our Chinese
ornaments are not only of20ur own manufacture,
but of our own invention.
Still, Said's work has become a fetish in the world
of Asian studies. Revered or reviled, Said asks us
to seriously consider statements such as Whitehead's
and realize the dual nature of the project of critically
reexamining the east. Further, he has provided us with
a vocabulary for examining the intricate relationships
between: east and west, colonizer and colonized, orient
85


and Occident, self and other. The orientalist critique
asks us to confront the epistemological construction
of the genealogy narrative and asks: who decides what
is authentic, what is sacred, what is original, which
texts are privileged, which are disregarded? In short,
who controls knowledge?
Said sees in the collection and definition of
eastern texts, and in the project of orientalism, an
assertion of western primacy and, thus, of power. He
writes:
Orientalism depends for its strategy on this
flexible positional superiority, which puts the
Westerner in a whole series of possible
relationships with the Orient without ever losing
the relative upper hand.
These series of relationships that necessitates this
positional superiority, developed congenerically along
with the breakdown in narrative and the epistemological
shift in the eighteenth century. This shift was outlined
by Foucault who reasoned that:
From the nineteenth century, History was to
deploy, in a temporal series, the analogies that
connect distinct organic structures to one
another. This same History will also,
progressively, impose its laws on the analysis
of production, the analysis of organically
structured beings, and lastly, on the analysis
of linguistic groups. History gives place to
analogical organic structures, just as Order
opened the way to successive identities and
differences.
86


In the language of Foucault this is the shift from the
taxonomy, or table, to the hierarchy. The flexible
positional superiority is therefore embedded in this
shift, which entails the desire to define a European
as well as a "unique"^ British identity. Consequently,
the genealogy of translation should be reread in this
light.
The shift from Biblical genesis to sui generis
"nationalism" undeniably altered the studies of originary
material and the search for origins between the sixteenth
and the nineteenth centuries. We have seen the effusive
nature with which the CSP and its English cousin The
Morals of Confucius were met in the late seventeenth
and early eighteenth centuries. Through this lens,
China was hailed as a moral exemplar, and its government
the perfect form of enlightened despotism. The taxonomy
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries allowed
distinct cultures coterminous existence; signs were
"Christianly interpreted," as in Mendoza, and Chinese
antiquity was indexed to Biblical chronology, yet this
was done in a series of rough, sometimes even fantastic,
equivalences that remained basically nonthreatening.
The Morals of Confucius was clearly intended and accepted
as a guide for moral life alongside Christian teaching,
87


with no thought given to one necessarily supplanting
the other.
We have also seen how this view shifted, at least
in Britain, as the eighteenth century progressed, with
authors becoming critical of China at best, and
arrogantly intolerant at worst. I have pointed out
the dissonance of the "imagined geography" that began
to force a reassessment. Sacred eastern texts were
still indexed to Christian texts, but came to be placed
in specific hierarchial relations. This will become
more evident as we examine closely the works of James
Legge, but can already be seen in the radical reworking
of the Sishu by Loomis. The genealogy of translation
accepts this shift by explaining, that as contact
increased, and empirical data previously unavailable
came to light, the disparity between popular Chinoiserie
and the reality of the trade missions broadened. The
critique of orientalism, however, engenders additional
explanations; it was not that the natively acquired
information was necessarily more accurate, rather that
the interpretation of this information was molded by
a very different Europe, or more specifically, by a
part of that continent struggling to define itself as
a British nation and engaged in viewing itself as
88


Full Text

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SACRED SUBJECTS: BRITISH TRANSLATORS AND THE SISHU (FOUR BOOKS), by Richard James Burden B.A., Colorado State University, 1986 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts History 1996

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Richard James Burden has been approved by 1 Date

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Burden, Richard James (M.A., History) Sacred Subjects: British Translators and the Sishu (Four Books) Thesis directed by Assisstant Professor Lionel M. Jensen ABSTRACT This thesis explores the contours of the imaginative relationship between Great Britain and China in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, by examining it through the prism of the British translations of the Confucian Four Books (Sishu), from the first partial English translation in 1691, to the publication of James Legge's Chinese Classics in 1893. As the itself is multifaceted, I examine these translations as multiple readings, and attempt to situate each translation in its historical context. I argue that, in the process of translating the Sishu into the Four Books, the translators themselves this work into the British imagination. Therefore the context of translation is one where both text and translator, Britain and China are mutually entailed. I emphasize the multiplicity of the readings by offering three iv

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discrete, but interdependent interpretations of these translations. The first chapter provides an overview of the structure of the work, and a brief historical definition of the Sishu. Chapter 2 traces the history of translations as a genealogy, from early literature of cultural contact to the works of James Legge. The genealogy form allows me to point out continuity and disruptions along the line. Chapter 3 adopts a theoretical approach and positions the nineteenth century translations in the framework of orientalist critique. Using this model, I expand the frame of genealogy, and more fully historicize the translations, by situating them within a nineteenth century hierarchy of eastern religions. I show the conceptual appropriations the British selected from the initial Jesuit project in Chin a an d argue t hat the s e s e 1 e c t i on s we r e d e in order to establish Confucianism in a hierarchical relationship with other sacred traditions. Chapter 4 turns the focus towards Britain, and looks at the highly reflective nature of translation. Here I examine the Protestant British translators repositioning of Confucius as a model of Victorian morality, I then show how these translations became mutually entailed with v

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nineteenth century theological debates. The epilogue is a brief meditation on the value of these multiple readings, and the scope of the work. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. vi

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CONVENTIONS Romanization in this thesis follows the hanyu pinyin system, even in those cases when the older Wade-Giles spelling is accepted, e.g., dao rather than tao. In the case of authors who wrote prior to the institution of pinyin transcription, and whose works are listed in databases under the older style, I have modified their names to reflect the pinyin spelling, but include the other romanization in brackets following their listing in the notes and the bibliography. The bibliography is not an exhaustive list of books on this however it is more than a list of works cited. It is a collected bibliography that consists both of works cited, and works consulted. A word about style is in order. As, I hope, it will be clear throughout this work, I believe that concepts and traditions such as history, religion, "Confucianism," and Christianity, are not reified entities, things that a priori exist and need merely to be understood. I believe they are social forms of knowledge, and as such they are perpetually and simultaneously appropriated and dispersed through time. They are reimagined and refashioned by each person who vii

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chooses to adopt them. They are reformed or "manufactured," i.e., made by hand, with each subsequent interpretation. Such terms are convenient but imprecise; what do we mean by ''Christianity," the Judaic belief professed by Jesus of .Nazareth, the belief of the Creeds, Coptic, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, Mormon, or Christian Scientist? What do we mean by "Victorian," or for that matter "Britain," or "China?" With this in mind I am compelled to bracket all such problematic terms as they occur. However, to prevent this thesis from being littered with scare quotes, I have adopted an alternate strategy. The only term I will consistently bracket is "Confucius'' and its derivatives, others will be highlighted sparingly, and then only for clarity. I hope that this will have the kind of Brecht sought in his theatrical works, that of momentarily distancing the reader, and encouraging them to contemplate, and problematize other terms that should be similarly set apart, but are not. viii

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CONTENTS Acknowledgments ....................... .......... xi CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .................................. 1 Excursus: Enumerating the Four Books ....... 12 Notes ...................................... 16 2. GENEALOGY OF TRANSLATION ..................... 19 Equivocal Origins ......................... 19 Charting the "Imaginative Geography" of the Eighteenth Century .................. 38 The Lion and the Dragon: Essentialism in the Nineteenth Century .... 51 Missionary Translations and the Avalanche of Texts ................... 63 Notes ...................................... 72 3. TAXONOMY, HIERARCHY, AND THE CANONICAL BOOKS OF THE EAST .......................... 81 Bifurcated Hierarchies: Sacred Subjects in the Nineteenth Century .................. 85 "Discovering" the Sacred: Constructing a Religious Hierarchy of the East ............ 94 Creating a Canon ...................... 100 Ceci N'est Pas La Chine: Jesuit Tropme L'oeil, and the Conceptual Frame of Sinology ...................... 108 Siting "Confucius" Positional Strategies and the Sishu ..... 117 ix

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Reflections on Orientalism ................ 132 Notes ..................................... 139 4. IN VISIBLE CITIES: THE MUTUAL ENTAILMENT OF THE SISHU AND PROTESTANT BRITAIN .................... 146 Degenerationist Genesis and the Humanity of "Confucius ................ 150 Luther of China? The Protestant Imagination and the Religions of China .... 162 "Confucius" and the "Victorian Crisis of Faith" .......................... 178 Faithful Dissent: "Confucius," Evangelicalism and the Nature of Humanity .................................. 198 Notes ..................................... 211 5. EPILOGUE: MULTIPLICITY AND SACRED SUBJECTS ... 220 Notes ..................................... 228 BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................... 229 X

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are a number of people who deserve an unending amount of thanks and praise. I wish primarily to thank my family, who have provided an unshakable foundation of love and support for me in all of my endeavors. To my friends, colleges, and fellow students, who continue to inspire and challenge me, I owe a great debt of gratitude. I would also like to thank the faculty of the History Department at the University of Colorado at Denver, for their support and encouragement. Among those I would especially like to thank, Dr. Jim Wolf for having the wisdom and grace to provide me with the space to discover my own path, and Dr. Lionel Jensen who sparked the tinder of my imagination, and then with unswerving devotion, rigor, and care, pushed me well beyond the limits of where I believed I could go. He also did the calligraphy. Finally, my undying gratitude goes to Paula, who has been an inspiration to me, and a welcome and much needed companion along this portion of our journey, and as ''I cannot heave my heart into my mouth," my thanks will have to suffice. xi

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"From now on, I'll describe the cities to you," the Khan had said, "in your journeys you will see if they exist." But these cities visited by Marco Polo were always different from those thought of by the emperor. "Aid yet I have constructed in my mind a model city from which all possible cities can be deduced," Kublai said. "It contains everything corresponding to the norm. Sirice the cities that exist diverge in varying degree from.the norm, I need only forsee the exceptions to the norm and calculate the most probable combinations." "I have also thought of a model city from which I deduce all others," Marco answered. "It is a city made only of exceptions, exclusions, incongruities, contradictions. If such a city is the most improbable, by reducing the number of abnormal elements, we increase the probability that the city really exists. So I have only to subtract exceptions from my model, and in whatever direction I proceed, I will arrive at one of the cities which, always as an exception, exists. But I cannot force my operation beyond a certain limit: I would achieve cities too probable to be real." Italo Calvina, Invisible Cities

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The danger is in the neatness of identifications. ---Samuel Beckett It the purpose of this thesis to explore the shifting contours of the imaginative relationship between Great Britain and China throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I say "imaginative" because this thesis does not focus on the political, economic, or military aspects of the relationship, e.g., the various diplomatic missions, the East India Company, the Opium Wars. These are aspects that, for better or worse, are lengthily discussed in a plethora of documents, commentary, statistics, and a century or more of professional historiography. However, by identifying the relationship between Britain and China as "imaginative," I do not wish to suggest that it is in any way inauthentic. While political, economic, and military aspects are frequently viewed as more tangible, and productive of results, it will be my contention that the imagination itself, in conjunction with intellect, exegesis, and 1

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translation, produces results that are both epistemological and ontological. Further, these results are equally tangible, and can be explored in any number of the vast range of texts left to us. It is my belief--hardly novel--that history is a "social form II 1 of knowledge, and within this form the imaginat1ve confluence cultures plays an intensely active role, and is both historically conditioned and conditioning. The epistemological results of this can be described as a textual map, or, even better, as maps of textualities. The "maps" in this thesis describe the work of translation done mostly by missionaries beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing to the present day. Specifically, the works collectively known as the Sacred Books of the East from the series of the same name edited by Max Muller during the last third of the nineteenth century. To delineate further, as the Sacred Books of the East series runs to over forty volumes, the focus of this study will be on four of these books-the Sishu or Four Books that form the nucleus of "Confucian'' studies, with some ambient spill from this focus illuminating some other texts, both Chinese and English, as they stand in relation to the main 2

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corpus. The chronological bookends that loosely frame the limits of this study are the earliest partial English translation of the Four Books, the Morals of Confucius (1691), and the last nineteenth century British translation the second edition of James Legge's Chinese Classics (1893).2 I say loosely framed because placing limits on a t6pic, whether chronological, historical, or theoretical, is like putting a glass chimney over a candle in the wind, it assures the consistent glow of the topic, but can't really control the limits nor the direction of the illumination. Therefore, the focus of this paper is on the Four Books, not as they necessarily exist or are read and understood in China, but how the British imagination translated, understood, shaped, and was affected by them. This then is a history of translations. However, in (re)reading these specific translations and their ambient commentary, I do not mean to attempt to offer any kind of corrective reading, such as a point by point catalog of misreadings, faulty interpretations, or buried alternative structures. What I intend is to "site the translations" within various British discourses and pose "questions about how the translation/retranslation worked/works, why the text 3

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3 was/is translated, and who did/does the translating." The purpose in siting the translations in this way and posing these questions is to critically reexamine a subject that is either, occasionally regarded as transparent, or is critically refocused in other directions. Transparency occurs when the texts are reified, and taken to be objects merely to be interpreted and understood. This poses problems because it denies the very palpable effect the act of translation can have on a translator. An extension of this, critical refocusing takes place when the problematic effects of translation are resituated in the incomprehensibility of the Chinese original. Libraries have been filled with books from both ends of the Eurasian landmass which debate nuances, decipher obscure texts, reconcile incongruities between text and commentary, and otherwise attempt to come to some kind of understanding of the "Chinese mind." Many of these attempts should be applauded and a few should be celebrated, it is not my place to belittle any of these efforts. However, when this critical refocusing occurs, and the onus is assigned to either the difficulties of the texts, or on a particular western reading, the portraits which 4

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frequently emerge are either exclusivist, i.e., the Chinese mind is wholly other, distinct and ultimately incomprehensible to the west, this occurs when either the Chinese themselves decide to remain "inscrutable" (to use a nineteenth century epithet), or are deemed so by their interpreters;4 or inclusivist, which reduces and explains-Chinese difference only in terms of western epistemological or ontological categories rendering the Chinese mind to be mereiy an extension of the western, or worse by obscuring authentic differences in an attempt to insist on similarities that may not 5 exJ.st. In his essay Dante . Bruno. Vi co . Joyce. [sic], from which the epigraph to this chapter comes, Samuel Beckett wrote, "There is the temptation to treat every concept like 'a bass dropt neck fust in till a bung crate,' and make a really tidy job of it." So it can be with critical work done on translations of sacred subjects. The effort to understand the text frequently closes down understanding of the context, and ultimately damages the subjects it had sought to explain. Beckett recognized this tendency and argued against it, Must we wring the neck of a certain system in order to stuff it into a contemporary 5

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pigeon-hole, or modify the dimensions of that pigeon-hole for the satisfaction of the Literary criticism is not book-keeping. I would hasten to add, neither is history. What the present study tries to do then, is critically examine these pigeon-holes, i.e., the variant readings of the Four Books; focusing on the European, specifically British, contexts from which they emerged, were read, debated and understood. What I hope to do is open some new ground wherein the translations of the Sishu can be seen to exist, not only within a European discourse, but also actively participating in the British imagination. In order to stress the multiplicity of imaginative renderings in this project, I have adopted a kind of Faulknerian approach to the overall format of this thesis. William Faulkner insisted that The Sound and the Fury was his greatest failure; apparently he had intended to tell the simple story of a young girl in a tree, looking in on her grandmother's funeral while her two brothers looked on from below. He first tried to tell the story in Benjy's voice, then in Quentin's, then Jason's; feeling he had failed in this he tried a final time in the guise of the family maid. When his subject once again eluded him, he declared 6

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the book to be full of its own title and "signifying nothing," and. signed off on one of the most magnificent "failures" of modern literature. I make no pretentions to place this present fizzle in such august company, the (probably apocraphyal) epithet, "Why Mr. Faulkner, do you write?" could easily be applied to me without a trace of iiony. Nevertheless, I find that my "sacred subjects" are also "walking shadows." Therefore, without disguising my authorial voice, what I will present in the following chapters are three linked but variant readings of this imaginative relationship. Chapter 2 begins the process by offering a history of the English translations of the Sishu in a fairly straight forward, linear narrative--a "Genealogy of Translation." I will trace the lineage from The Morals of Confucius to the works of James Legge, noting appropriations and disjunctures along the line. Beginning with the difficulties in establishing an originary moment of contact, I trace the chronqlogical development of the various translations, paying particular attention to the source material common to many of them. I also try to address some of the hermeneutic concerns, peripheral to the translations themselves, but engendered by them. As it is a narrative 7

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of homology, more time is devoted to the earliest literature than in the subsequent chapters. This is important only to the structure of a genealogy, but also because of the primacy given to the early work, especially that done by the Jesuits in China, by all subsequent interpreters. It was the Jesuits (Matteo Ricci et al.), who established the lion's share of the vocabulary that was to be used in all subsequent 7 endeavours. The following chapters explore the appropriations and contested negotiations of this Chapter 3 attempts to rearrange synchronically the diachronic lineage of Chapter 2. The avalanche of translated texts which accrued in the nineteenth century has recently been linked to certain epistemological shifts in western thinking which also occurred during that time. Therefore, I begin this chapter with a substantial meditation on recent theoretical concerns, specifically the "orientalist'' critique, which attempts to outline these epistemological shifts. Establishing a theoretical foundation enables me to better examine the context in which the Sishu was translated, read, and understood. 8

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Contemporary scholarship has accustomed us to speaking of this nineteenth century context in terms of 11immagined communities" and imperial epistemologies; we have seen how the British "imagined India," how they "discovered" Buddhism, and before long many of us will 8 be discussing the Jesuit "manufacture of Confucianism." The construction of Hindu India, and the establishment of the textual world of Buddhism, have both been outlined as projects undertaken by the British for the express purpose of extending British authority and maintaining the east in a position of alterity. Both are therefore practical examples for extending my theoretical meditation. They also resonate with the British understanding of "Confucianism." However, "Confucianism" itself, was somewhat different having been "manufactured" by the Jesuits some centuries earlier, and transported wholesale into the European imagination via The Confucius Sinarum Philosphus (1687). Nevertheless, I will argue that it is not necessarily the initial construction, but rather the creative maintenance of "Confucianism," by the British, which indexes it alongside other, more obvious British constructions, within The Sacred Books of the East. 9

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Working with these theoretical tools enables me to punctuate the homological lineage of genealogy with bursts of insight. It allows us to explore the creative appropriations and imaginative congruences which influenced the British rendering of the Sishu and The Sacred Books of the East. It also encourages us to test the limits of orientalist theory, for it is not unproblematic. The genealogy of translations, with its easily palatable chronological narrative structure, is nevertheless an insubstantial diet. Venturing into the theoretical world of orientalism is intellectually more satisfying, and permits the conceptualization of historical context. However, at the limits of this discourse, fissures open up which invite further exploration. One of the problems with orientalism, I believe, is that it too often ends by essentalizing both "west" and "east." In endeavoring to explain how Europeans of the nineteenth century read eastern texts in ways which maintained the east in a position of alterity, the portrait which emerges is often one of a "west," reified, and stabilized by its powerful control and use of "eastern" knowledge. It is perceived as unique, and wholly other from the "east" which it controls. 10

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Like genealogy, this portrait is accurate to an extent; however, it misses several important nuances. It is the aim of Chapter 4 to address these limitations, in order to show how translations of the Sishu functioned, not only in opposition to, but also within the British imagination. I will demonstrate the entailment of the Sishu within "the British imagination by exploring the maintenance and very particular Protestant reading of "Confucius" as a moral exemplar; and further by examining the highly self-reflective criticisms of "Confucian" morality, offered by the British translators. It is my contention throughout that concepts such as, "east," "west," "Confucian," "Victorian," and even "Britain," and "China," are not things or entities merely to be "understood," but rather maps of terrain to be negotiated. Occasionally, in these negotiations, categories break down and seemingly oppositional texts function interdependently. The Epilogue serves as a coda, and an opportunity to critically and impressionistically reflect on the value of this project. 11

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Excursus: Enumerating the Four Books As this thesis focuses on the translations of Chinese works which remain readily available, nevertheless somewhat uncommon outside of sinological circles, a brief explanation is probably in order. The "Confucian" canon translated by James Legge consists of the Wuj ing, or Five "Classics", and the Sishu, \tS} t, literally the Four Books. The Wujing includes the Yij ing usually rendered as The Book of Changes, the Shuj ing i Jt or Book of History, the Shij ing '(j) '"' Book of Poetry, the Lij i :ff_ 6 Record of Rites, and the Chunqiu .%it Spring and Autumn Annuals. This study will focus on the Sishu which contains the Daxue typically translated as The Great Learning; the Zhongyong tf ;j which has been rendered variously as The Doctrine of the Mean, and The Unwobbling Pivot; the which Legge translated as Analects, and which remains the most common translation, eventhough the term suggests a translation more like, "Digested Conversations," or "Selected S 9 d h M ay1ngs; an t e engz1 which was Latinized by the Jesuits, in the sixteenth century, as "Mencius;" the work, which is actually two books, now carries the English title The Works of Mencius. 12

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Until the twelfth century, all of the works contained in the Sishu existed independently of each other. The Daxue and the Zhongyong were contained in the Liji. At the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907), the Classics were ordered into thirteen This compilation contained the Lunyu and the Mengzi, but not the othei two. However, the four works, together with the Xiaoj ing f or Classic of Filial Piety were know of collectively as the Xiaoj ing /j'or Smaller Classics.10 It was not until 1190, that they existed as a collection, distinct from the rest of Chinese literature. In that year, Zhu Xi (1130-1200), the "protean genius" behind the orthodox "Confucian" tradition,11 published his redaction of these works. Titled the Sizi The Four Masters, these works formed in Zhu Xi's mind, and in many subsequent centuries the essence of "Confucian" teachings. Zhu Xi's ordering, redaction of, and commentary on the Sishu, was initially regarded as spurious, however, in the early part of the fourteenth century his works were established, by imperial edict, to be 'the symbolic core of officially sanctioned studies. Zhu Xi insisted that the ordering of the books was of primary importance, 13

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I want men first to read the Ta-hsueh [Daxue] to fix upon the pattern of the Confucian way; next the Lun-yu [Lunyu] to establish its foundations; next the Meng-tzu [Mengzi] to observe its development; next the Chung-yung [Zhongyong] to the subtle mysteries of the ancients. When the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in China at the end of the sixteenth century, they found the Four Books still at the heart of "Confucian'' scholarship. Intent on establishing themselves as serious students of the rujiao ("Confucian" school), and extending their practice of accommodation, the Jesuits, through inventive translation and theological inference worked through the Sishu. They provided a cross-textual field and indexed the Chinese texts to Christian Scripture; their efforts emerged in Europe as the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, and the orthodox core of "Confucian" studies 13 began to be appropriated into western thought. However, in their zeal to conflate "Confucian" studies and Christianity one with the other, the Jesuits managed oniy to translate three of the Four Books; further, they followed an alternate ordering. The Jesuit work contains the Daxue, Zhongyong, and the Lunyu. When the British set about their work in the nineteenth century, they appropriated much of what the Jesuits had accomplished, but rendered it in their own inimitable 14

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way. Both Joshua Marshman (1768-1837) and Robert Morrison (1782-1834) attempted translations of the 14 Daxue, and Marshman worked part of the way through the Lunyu. It was not until James Legge (1815-1897), began his work that the entirety of the Four Books was available in English. However, the English-speaking world still does not publish them under one cover, as they exist in China. Following Legge, the Lunyu is given primacy and is generally published separately. Legge's work, which is still in print, binds the Lunyu, Daxue, and Zhongyong together, and issues the Mengzi as a separate edition. Legge drew on Zhu Xi's interpretation as well as the Jesuits. He fundamentally reordered the work, placing the Lunyu first, and through his translations and commentary, he presented a unique confluence of traditions, traditional "Confucian" scholarship, Jesuit reflection, and his own Protestant views. The body of this study will explore this confluence, not only as it influenced the works of James Legge, but as it functioned within and around the British imagination. 15

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NOTES 1. This was most recently reiterated by Raphael Samuel, see Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory vol. 1: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London: Verso, 1994), 8. 2. The study could easily be carried forward into the twentieth century with translations such as; William Edward Soothill, The Analects (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier, 1910), and Arthur Waley, The Analects of Confucius (New York: Macmillan Company, 1938). However, because of the already broad scope of this topic, I have limited myself to pre-twentieth century works. 3. Tejaswini Niranjana, Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism, and the Colonial Context (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 37. 4. Examples of this can range from the cultural vs. national debates during the "self-strengthening" movement, and the age of the "ti/yong'' dichotomy, to Tu Wei-ming's advocacy of a "wenhua ZhOngguo," ("cultural China") as a new definition of "Chineseness." Cf. Joseph R. Levenson, Confucian China and Its Modern Fate: A Trilogy, part 1, The Problem of Intellectual Continuity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958), 49-133; Tu Wei-ming, ed., The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994), and Lionel M. Jensen, review of The Tree, ed. by Tu Wei-ming, in China Review International 3.2 (Spring 1997). 5. For an extended critique of this, see Niranjana, Siting Translation, 1-86; Marshall Sahlins, How "Natives" Think: About Captain Cook, For Example (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 1-15, and 117-189; and Haun Saussy, The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 1-188. 6. Samuel Beckett, Dante Bruno. Vico Joyce., in I Can't Go On, I'll Go On ed. Richard Seaver (New York: Grove Press, 1976), 107-126. 16

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7. On the Jesuit missionaries and their importance in establishing the conceptual vocabulary of "Confucianism," see Lionel M. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism" NC: Duke University Press, 1997), page numbers for subsequent citations of this work from, Lionel Millard Jensen, "Manufacturing 'Confucianism'" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1992) TMs [photocopy]; Lionel M. Jensen, "The Invention of 'Confucius' and His Chinese Other, 'Kong Fuzi' ," positions 1:2 (Fall 1993): 414-449; Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christian Missions in China (New York: Russell and Russell, 1929); and D. E. Mungello, Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of Sinology (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985). 8. See Ronald Inden, Imagining India (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1990); Philip Almond, The British Discovery of Buddhism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); and Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism". 9. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 552-555. 10. James Legge trans., Confucian Analects, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1893; reprint, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1971), 2. 11. Lauren F. Pfister, "Some New Dimensions in the Study of the Works of James Legge (1815-1897): Part II" Sino Western Cultural Relations Journal 13 (1991): 38. 12. Quoted in, Daniel K. Gardner Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi] and the Ta-hsueh [Daxue]: Neo-Confucian Reflection on the Confucian Canon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 6. Gardner provides a detailed analysis of the process of Zhu Xi's ordering and the impact of his commentary. 13. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", and Mungello, Curious Land, 247-300. 14. See Joshua Marshman, "The Ta-hyoh [Daxue] of Confucius," in Elements of Chinese Grammar (Serampore: Mission Press, 1814); and Robert Morrison, "To-hiu [Daxue]: The Great Science," in Horae Sinicae: 17

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Translations from Popular Liturature (London: Black and Parry, 1812). 18

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CHAPTER 2 GENEALOGY OF TRANSLATION Equivocal Origins As children we played many games of one-up-manship, but one of the most common forms was the infinity game. Juvenile boasting, or preadolescent role-play in dominion, the infinity game was used primarily to proclaim ones own prowess at some ethereal feat. "I can do ten." "Oh yeah, well I can do twenty." The contest would escalate with each trying to outdo the other, "I can do fifty." "A hundred." "Two hundred." "Three hundred." The duelists would continue in this progression until one offered the coup-de-grace, "I can do infinity." Silence fell as those who had gathered contemplated the gravity of this pronouncement--what could possibly top that? Smug in the accomplishment, the victor would begin to accept accolades from the witnesses, until the one who had been offered the challenge countered with, "Well, I can do infinity--plus one!" and the game began again. \ As time disperses in the present, we imagine that it recedes/extends into the future; but it also 19

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must then recede/extend into the past. As students of time's past dispersion, historians, geologists, philologists, and anthropologists perpetuate this same kind of fanciful debate when they struggle to find the origin of some historical event or cultural trait. For each origin posited there is another, that with a mere shift in emphasis, will be found to be more authentic, older, more accurate, or more congenial to present political demands, or current fashion. Nevertheless, the path to the present remains important to historical discourse. The path is perpetually important because we seem to stand at the end of it, in the eternal denouement of the present; and important because it is our story-we make it up, and it makes us who we are. If we stand at the end of it, the culmination of all that came before, it must have begun somewhere. The importance of where it began, and why, remain crucial to teleological linear thinking--change the origin, change the outcome. So, where does one place the first contact, between west and east? Economically, long before the silk route was established, trade engendered much cross continental interchange. Records exist in China which chronicle pre-Christian Rome, and in Rome which tell 20

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of China.1 Other scholars have adduced evidence of 2 an antediluvian connection. Probably the most famous "original" connection was the celebrated voyages of the Polo family, Maffeo, Niccolo and young Marco, as set down in Marco's Description of the World ca. 1298. Marco "Millions" Polo, as every school child knows, not only went to China in the thirteenth century, but brought back pasta and ice cream. Marco, however famous, remains fantastic; his veracity continually challenged b k 3 y S eptlCS. In terms of religi6us claims have been advanced in support of: Nestorian Christians, who were unquestionably in residence in China as early as the eighth century, St. Thomas, Zoroaster, and perhaps equally as fanciful, Prester John; the list goes on 4 and on. All of which suggests that the search for "origins" is an entirely academic exercise carried out by those who would privilege certain narratives over certain others. It begs the questions, for whom is this an "originary" moment, and for which present denouement is this the instigating crisis? In this chapter I will not attempt to site a genesis for the mutual and perpetual entailment of west and east. Rather, what I intend to do is trace the genealogy of English translations of the Sishu, and 21

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will argue that within the ''imaginative geography" of imperial Britain, China had an amount of refracting significance. By using the term genealogy, I intend for it to resonate in several ways, initially in its most conventional sense as a lineage, or a history of descent from a common source. Next, it should also imply Foucault's use of the term, as read from Nietzsche, one in which the history of descent is read as a history of disruption. The fictive nature of genealogy points up the accidents and the errors, and arranges them in ways which makes the past unusually comprehensible to 5 present 1nterpreters. Finally, I also wish to invoke an idea that is implicit in genealogy, but rarely expressed, that is the idea of marriage or union. Within every historical lineage, if it is for instance paternal, lies the often unmarked maternal lines, which are implicated de facto in the production of offspring, and the continuation of the line. In this case, the lineage of sacred translations is conjoined with the "imaginative geography" of secular constructions. The genealogy I propose, therefore, can be read as a union between the homological rendering of the "sacred" translations of the Sishu, and the analogical treatment of China 22

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and Chinese texts at the hands of secular interpreters. It is therefore, a genealogy extracted from the interpretive confluence between: the Jesuit project in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the British missionaries of the nineteenth, and popular forms such as Chinoiserie, drama, letters, and political critique. What I hope to accomplish is twofold; by considering both the lineage and its counterpoint, I am seeking to establish a symbolic fund from which the translations of the Sishu simultaneously emerged, and in which they were submerged, while still remaining cognizant of the fictive nature of genealogy by consciously forcing both into a diachronic narrative. Therefore, though tenuous and equivocal, the origins of this narrative can begin with the texts we dohave, and through these we can place, with a degree of certitude, early references. However, we cannot account for the possibility of pre-existing, but no longer extant texts, nor for the probable preponderance of oral, or other non-written traditions and sources. Nevertheless, it appears that the earliest reference to China that appeared in English occurred in Certayne Reportes of Province China, learned through the Portugalles there imprisoned, and by the relation of 23

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Galeotto Perera, a gentleman of good credit, that lay prisoner in that countrey many yeres translated from Italian and published in London in 1577. The Reportes were extracted in both Hakluyt's Principal Navigations (1589) and Samuel Purchas's Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625) and contain descriptions of Chinese and customs. Most notably, the Reportes has China divided into ''shyres" but denies that this coterie of shires is called China, rather Perera notes that the natives called it "Tamen.''6 Through Hakluyt and Purchas, the Reportes circulated widely and formed a basis for much subsequent scholarship. Much more influential however, was Padre Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza's History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China, first published in English in 1588. Mendoza's account also found its way into Hakluyt and is touted there as the "earliest detailed account of that country ever published in the English language."7 It is a rambling chronicle full of various and multiple idols, and "well proportioned and gallant men."8 The details are interesting for they provide much of the vocabulary that subsequent writers echoed in their attempts to explain the religions of China. For 24

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instance, while Mendoza insisted that the Chinese lacked the truth of the Christianity and had a host of deities, he allowed that "heaven is the creator of all things," that there was one resident in heaven, and that heaven, in China was referred to as "Tayn" [tian]. "Pauzon" [Pangu?--the legendary first man of China] was created by "Tayn," according to Mendoza. Although lacking Christian "truth," Mendoza reported that there were, manye ceremonies used amongest them which dou resemble those of our Christian religion, and againe in their living moraly they doo observe in manie thinges the Tenne Commandementes of Gods lawe. Throughout, Mendoza recorded that many things in China of "strange and marvellous [sic] making," when "interpreted Christianly," were comprehensible to 9 Europeans. Interpreting things Christianly became the standard model for several centuries. Though perhaps dismissed as fabulous today, these early reports are indicative of a sixteenth century desire to chronicle the works of God in all its earthly glory. The piety of these early compilers was clearly not threatened by the "various and multiple idols," they encountered. Rather, as illustrated in Mendoza's assessment, there was a desire to meet the "new" face to face, and to 25

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experience the real existence of God in all parts of the globe. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the works of the first Jesuit missionaries to China. The well of Christianly interpreted signs was deepened by Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and his cohorts. Part of De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas ab Societate Jesu (1615), a work by Ricci and Nicholas Trigault (1577-1628) appeared in English translation in the 1625 edition f P h h P"l 10 o urc as 1s 1 gr1mes. In 1655 two works were published in England; Imperio de la China (originally published in Madrid 1642), under the English title The History of That Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, and De Bello Tarrarico (originally published in Antwerp 1654), retitled Bellum Tartaricum. The first was by P. Alvarez Semedo (1586-1651) a Portuguese Jesuit, who took over Ricci's project after the former's arrival in China in 1613. Bellum Tartaricum was penned by Martino Martini (1614-1661) and deals predominantly with the Manchu conquest of China in the seventeenth 11 century. All three publications were instrumental in the formation of an interest in inchoate sinology, the assimilation of knowledge about China, and the production of propaganda to ensure the continuation of the Jesuit mission. 26

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The major work of the Jesuits was published in 1687, and titled The Confucius Sinarum (hereafter CSP). It was the result of a centuries worth of effort by the Jesuits in China. Published by Prosper Intorcetta, Christian Herdritch, Francis Rougemont, and Philippe Couplet, and several others, and dedicated to Louis XIV, the body of the work revolved around Fr. Ricci's incomplete translation of the Sishu,12 but it also contained introductory material, culled from the various recensions of the Four Books, which outlined: the Chinese classics, Chinese history, the etymology of shangdi and tian, and Chinese religious practices.13 It was through the Jesuits that Europe gained any first-hand knowledge of China, and consequently it was the Jesuits who established the vocabulary for speaking about China for Europeans. This vocabulary contained, among a wealth of other information: a belief in the ancient monotheism of the Chinese and the use ..>of the Chinese term shangdi for the supreme being; the knowledge of the great antiquity of Chinese history; some appreciation of the Chinese language; and with the publication of the CSP, the person of "Confucius" as the embodiment of all the great learning, the once and future sage king; beliefs and information that 27

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recurred again and again in subsequent centuries. However, the impact of their work, according to twentieth century historiography, was apparently felt most keenly the European continent. 14 Certainly, the CSP exerted on no influence on the seventeenth century. For the Tudors and Stuarts, and those living under their reigns, China and the works of the Jesuits remained "no more than a small piece in the mosaic of the rapidly ever-expanding ,15 un1verse. A colorful piece of that mosaic was John Webb. Webb (1611-1672), a student of Inigo Jones, remains primarily known as the editor of many of the great architect's tracts. Denizens of sinological circles however, remember Webb for his Historical Essay Endeavoring a Probability That the Language Of the Empire of China is the Primitive Language. Published in 1669 the Essay is a bizarre excursion into the world of seventeenth century philology. Webb's purpose in the essay was, as his title suggests, to prove that the Chinese language was the primitive language of mankind, i.e. the language of Adam. The search for the primitive language had been going on, to a greater or lesser degree, for centuries; but it reached a zenith in the seventeenth century, 28

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when it became a fetish for the inchoate nation-states of Europe. The search hinged on the story of the Tower of Babel from Genesis 11:1-9, And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroay6from thence upon the face of all the earth. The belief was, that prior to the confusion of tongues, the whole earth was of one language and that one language was Hebrew (Hebrew being the language of the Pentateuch)r This monogenetic hypothesis began to be challenged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when many complex and varied theories arose. Among them were beliefs in polygenesis, and national theories, i.e. the argument that if the languages were indeed confused at Babel, then any national language could be more "perfect" than another. The game was to prove that your language (Flemish, Italian, French etc.) was somehow "perfect," i.e. closer to the primordial language than 17 any other. This was not an innocent development and owed much to the advocacy of vernacular languages, 29

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especially in the newly developing print medium. Yet, not only the vernacular, but other ancient languages challenged Hebrew for the primordial title, Egyptian, and Sumerian to name but two; but Webb seems to have been on his own in championing an Asian language, at least until the Indo-European synthesis was adduced 18 in the eighteenth century. The search in the seventeenth century for the Adamic language rested on the theoretically confused presumption that the perfect language was one in which the words precisely mirrored things, i.e. no difference b d "f" 19 D f A h etween s1gn an s1gn1 1er. raw1ng rom t anas1us (1601-1680) China Illustrata (1667) and Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652), yet deviating substantially from them, Webb argued for Chinese as the primitive language because of the simplicity and alleged pictographic nature of the Chinese characters; they were, he believed, "Real Characters," not invented words. As D. E. Mungello puts it, many European readers were struck by the apparent grammatical simplicity of Chinese and its one-to-one relationship between a word and a real thing. .[This] reinforced their belief that the language contained Real Characters. Webb thus introduced to the English speaking world a proposition which continues to languish, i.e. that 30

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Chinese characters are somehow uncritically linked to the things they ostensibly portray. Webb argued for the primacy of Chinese as the antediluvian language based on this and on chronologies and other information culled from Semedo and Martini, his own peculiar reading of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis, as well as a very creative linkage between Noah of Genesis and the emperor "Jaus'' (Yao), mythic first emperor of China. By simply adding the letter 'n' between the vowels, Webb changed Jaus to Janus, and concluded that, as Janus was another name for Noah, they must have been the same person. He followed this bold and imaginative, yet highly suspect, philology with a series of parallels drawn to prove that Noah and Jaus/Janus were one and the same.21 This is in stark contrast to the more common, and Jesuit influenced conflation of Noah and Yu, the successor of Yao and Shun, who tamed the waters of the great flood. Webb's reasons for this unique reading are still unclear, but his logical contortions are a pleasure to observe, but perhaps have rightly been consigned to the cabinet of ephemeral curiosities. However, a reading of Webb is instructive. His sources were Mendoza, Semedo, Martini, Purchas, and 31

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Kircher; consequently Webb acted as a lens for viewing the ways in' which part of the Jesuit interpretation of China was assimilated into at least one strain of mainstream English culture. Qian Zhongshu believed that, "Webb was the first Englishman to interpret China 1 [ ] 1 ,22 instead of merely retelling "travellers sic ta es. However, his "interpretation'' revolved solely around his singular use of the letter 'n', and the rest hewed close to the Jesuit line. However fanciful, Webb's work articulated for his English audience several ideas that constituted a field of reference for subsequent China scholars. First, by explicitly linking Noah and Yao, Webb reinforced the mutual indexing of Chinese and Biblical chronology, specifically the Vulgate chronology which placed the date of the Noadic flood 23 at 2349 B.C.E. Second, Webb used shangdi as the Chinese term for the supreme being. This term, and its specific use as a sacred referent was therefore, firmly established in English discourse. Its recurrent, and contested, use virtually assured its symbolic cache, which predicated its position in the theological debates of the nineteenth century. Third, Webb's analysis of the Chinese language, and his unequivocal praise of Chinese antiquity and Chinese culture opened the ground 32

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for the myriad debates on the relative merit or weakness of Chinese culture and institutions.24 The following centuries would see many sides of this debate, reflecting not only a changing China but a changing Britain as well. Another Englishman who enthused about things Chinese was William Temple (1628-1699). Temple was a diplomat and a prolific essayist. His most imaginative contribution to the study of China in the seventeenth century seems to be his coining of the word "sharawagdi," which has to do with the irregular nature of Chinese gardens then all the rage among English h 1 25 ort1cu tur1sts. In terms of Chinese religions, Temple was among the earliest to sing the praises of "Confucius." He had apparently read the CSP, for in his essay Of Heroic Virtue he offers a brief (twenty page) redaction of the monumental Latin work. In it he states, Something above two thousand years ago lived Confuchu [sic], the most learned, wise, and virtuous of all the Chinese; and for whom both the King and Magistrates in his own age, and all of them in the ages since, seem to have had the greatest deference that has any where been rendered to any mortal man. The sum of his writings seem to be a body or digestion of ethics, that is of all moral virtues, either personal, oeconomical [sic], civil or political; and framed for the institution and conduct of men's lives, their families, and their 33

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governments, but chiefly of the last In short, the whole scope of all Confucius has writ seems aimed only at teaching men to live well, and to govern well; how parents, masters, and magistrates should rule, and how children, servants, and subjects should obey. So as the man appears to have been of a very extraordinary genius, of mighty learning, admirable virtue, excellent nature, a t2Me patriot of his country, and a lover of mankind. This glowing and uncritical view of "Confucius" aped the views of the Jesuits who had originally translated the material in the CSP, and would continually resurface throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; with the greatest advocates of this view residing on the continent, especially France, but with a few notable English proponents as well. Shortly after the publication of Temple's work, there appeared in England a translation of the CSP under the title The Morals of Confucius (1691). Actually, it was a translation of a French redaction titled La Morale de Confucius, Philosophe de la Chine. On the continent, the publication of the CSP was met with ''intellectual giddiness,"27 and the advertisement, which precedes The Morals of Confucius, reveals the English translators caught in this ebullient atmosphere, We may say that the Morals of this Philosopher are infinitely Sublime, but at the same time, pure, sensible, and drawn from the purest Fountains of Natural Reason .. he ["Confucius"] has a very considerable Advantage, 34

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not only over a great number of Pagan Writers that have Treated of Things of this Nature, but likewise over several Christian Authors, who abound so many false, or over-subtile Thoughts. The Morals is brief, a mere 142 pages, and was published in a size clearly designed to be carried in a pocket. 29 It was to be a kind of moral Baedeker, inviting the reader to coritemplate the moral truths of the great sage and to consequently apply those teachings to contemporary life. As such it should probably be considered among the wealth of other pamphlet literature that flooded England in the years following the Restoration, and the 1688 Revolution. In addition to the glowing advertisement, The Morals of Confucius, followed the CSP closely. It contains a section on "The Antiquity and Philosophy of the Chinese" which traces the history of China, 30 following the Septuagint chronology, from antiquity to the time of a biography of the sage, and a statement on the fallen nature of Chinese religion since the time of "Confucius," From this unhappy time, the Generality of the Chinese have followed after Idols; and Superstition and Idolatry, daily making new Progress, they little by little forsook the Doctrine of their Master, have neglected the excellent Instruction of the Ancients, and in fine, being grown Contemners [sic] of all sorts 35

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of they are faln [sic] headlong into Atheism. The Englishmen of the eighteenth century would also neglect the wisdom of these ancients and focus almost exclusively on either the hidden nature of God, and/or, the fallen nature of man, engendering a desire in the ninetenth century to reasess these "excellent instructions." The remainder of the Morals consists of the Daxue, the Zhongyong, and the first half of the 32 Lunyu. The work was extremely popular, a second edition was published in 1724, and another printing ran ca., 1780. The reasons for its popularity are perhaps obvious; this was the great age of Chinoiserie in England. Gardens, textiles, furniture, porcelain, tea, lacquer, interior design, all were either imported from the east, or designed to look as if they were.33 This craze for things "oriental" extended into political and moral philosophy as well. Emerging as the Europeans were from the political and religious crucible of the seventeenth and emboldened by Enlightenment "science" and "natural reason," they found in The Morals of Confucius that, "the Lights of Divine Reason, ha[d] never appear'd with so much Illumination and Power."34 The materialism found in the Morals appealed to deists; 36

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the idea of an enlightened ruler appealed to absolutists, and the exhortation towards self cultivation appealed to the ruling classes. In his work A Cycle of Cathay, William Appleton wrote, Confucius was the supreme apostle of the orderly status quo. It was the temper of the Augustans to Elysium not, as their descendants did, in the primitive innocence of the South Seas, but in the glories of a civilized past. With their instinctive Hobbesian distrust of a disorganized society, the classicists, both French and English, preferred the sage to the savage, the static to the dynamic. The Morals of Confucius (1691), as interpreted by Father Couplet, in most respects left unruffled the most of the Roi Soleil and the Stuarts. The Morals of Confucius is an important work, a kind of watershed for English understanding of Chinese religions: Yet, it relatively ignored in the historiography of this topic, perhaps because of the incontestable influence of its Latin parent the CSP (Legge made extensive use of the CSP, but nowhere cites the Morals). Qian Zhongshu in his bibliographic account gives it a paltry few sentences in the midst of a 36 discussion about Temple. It is entirely absent from T. H. Barrett's Singular Listlessness. Appleton dealt with it to a degree, but concluded, The English do not easily succumb to heroes and hero worship. Confucius might well be pleasing to the liberal philosophers of France and but John Bull did not take readily to rhapsody. 37

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Appleton's claim might have surprised Thomas Carlyle. Certainly the English rhapsodize their heroes, if they didn't "Once more unto the breech," would not continually harmonize with "Their finest hour," all to the tune of "The White Cliffs of Dover." However, political insurrection and the threat of invasion at the end of the seventeenth century, and another century of almost incessant warfare following in its wake, engendered intense xenophobia among mahy British, consequently the English of the eighteenth century were far less likely to wax rhapsodic over a Chinese sage, than those who lived in the years bracketing that century. Charting The "Imaginative Geography" of The Eighteenth Century In terms of sinology, the eighteenth century in England is typically viewed as an age of intense criticism of China. Qian Zhongshu argued, The English literature of the eighteenth century is full of unfavourable criticisms of Chinese culture and the prevailing fashion of chinoiserie in particular. It seems to be a corrective rather than a of the social milieu in which it is produced, and Barrett concurs, Indeed, while the eighteenth century in Europe as a was marked by a considerable willingness to take China seriously . the average British writer seems to have gone out 38

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of his way to the notion that China was anything special, That the rather blunt criticisms of China and things Chinese that are especially noticeable among English writers of the eighteenth century are prominent is uncontroversial, yet, pace Qian, they are also reflective of the social milieu. I would argue that they are highly reflective of the dissonance created by the rapid and radical reconfiguration of traditional narrative structures--as theology gave way to ethnography. As the time-honored method of "figural" reading crumbled in regards to the biblical narratives, the more novel form of ''realistic" reading came to supplant it. Whereas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the task of explorers, collectors, and interpreters had been to read the real world they experienced into the unified biblical narrative, as Webb had done with Noah/Jaus/Yao; by the middle of the eighteenth century, "interpretation was a matter of fitting the biblical story into another 40 world with another story." The God who was omnipresent and manifest, even in China, in the sixteenth century was being supplanted 41 by the Deus Absconditus of Luther, Hobbes, and Locke. Though this debate between the manifest, or revealed, and the hidden God recurred throughout the century, 39

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for many, "the preeminently real [w]as not here and 1142 now. Consequently, the emphasis tended to shift away from the figural linking of the manifestations of God across boundaries, and towards a more critical examination of the "realistically" perceived differences between cultures. Therefore, the highly critical attitude of many British towards the Chinese in the eighteenth century was not entirely due to the willful, and "profound ignorance," on the part of British as Barrett condends;43 but is also symptomatic of the profound hermeneutic changes underway. Certainly there was a paucity of textual material and a dearth of actual contact in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; indeed most English based the lion's share of their knowledge of China, not on first hand accounts, but on translations of translations of first hand accounts. Mendoza never made it to China, he wrote his work in Mexico drawing on information gathered from missionaries who resided in the Philippines. Webb may not have ventured much outside of London, let alone England. William Temple was a diplomat dispatched to the Netherlands. The Jesuits, Ricci et al., certainly had first hand knowledge of China, a greater and more intimate knowledge than we 40

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can probably imagine; yet their work was colored by their own polemics and propaganda to keep their mission 1 f f P 1 d 1 44 a ive in the ace o increasing apa 1sapprova In addition, English contact with the Jesuit project was filtered through a French redaction and translation of the CSP. The trickle of information about China that reached England in the seventeenth century does appear to have dried up in the eighteenth. Eighteenth century interpreters, however, did not entirely lack sources. The Bodelian catalogue of 1697 lists a number of Chinese works, mostly medical texts but also dictionaries and an edition of the Mengzi, 45 which is listed as a popular novel; no one seems to have bothered to translate it. Yet, the majority of literature produced in the eighteenth century was travel literature driven by the desire for commercial gain. The relative lack of centralized control in information gathering, royal patronage, and state sponsored academies, as compared to Paris the hub of sinological studies in the eighteenth century, also played a pivotal role, in the British interpretation of China.46 In terms of translations of sacred works, specifically the Sishu, no attempt was made until the first decade of the nineteenth century. 41

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What, then, constituted this "imaginative geography?"47 Bibliographer Qian Zhongshu pointed out that English writers of the eighteenth century relied most heavily on two sources for the majority of their information about China.48 The first, written on the cusp of the eighteenth century, was Fr. Louis Daniel Le Comte's (1655-1728), Nouveaux memoires sur l'etat present de la Chine. Originally published in France (1696), it appeared in England as Memoirs and Observations made in a Late Journey through the Empire of China in 1697 and 1699, and again in substantially revised versions of 1737 and 1739. The second was J. B. Du Halde's Description geographique, historique, chronologique, politique et physique de l'empire de la Chine et de Tartarie Chinoise (1735), published in an abridged form as The General History of China (1736), and in full between 1738 and 1741, by subscription, as A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese Tartary, together with the Kingdoms of Korea and Tibet: Containing the Geography and History of those Countries. Together these works mapped the ''imaginative geography" of China for the eighteenth century, but after the condemnation of Le Comte's work by the Sorbonne in 1700, and the suppression of the Jesuits in 1704, Du Halde 42

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"became the authority on matters Chinese for "49 much of the eighteenth century. Le Comte, for his part, remains significant not 50 only because his work served as a source for Du Halde, but because of the role it played in the Rites Controversy. Le Comte followed the accommodationist line in "Confucius" and insisting on the monotheistic nature of the Chinese, but went further by claiming the Chinese had, "knowledge of the true God and practiced the purest maxims of morality, while Europe and almost all the rest of the world lived in d "51 error an corrupt1on. This kind of apostasy was not to be tolerated in the early years of the eighteenth century; although the idea of China as a model for Europe echoed, especially in France, later in the century with 52 physiocrats such as Quesnay. The English, however, remained relatively unaware of the theological 53 implications of the Controversy. Though the particular repression of the prisca theologia (ancient theology) returned in the nineteenth century with Protestant British interpreters as its main advocate. With so many texts, specifically Christian sacred texts, undergoing renarrativization British commentators appeared unwilling or unable conceptually to imagine 43

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alternative sacred works, the focus shifted to more secular forms of writing. In addition, with the theologically questionable exegesis expunged from the most prevalent and popular sources, the image of China that remained was an exotic one, and one which existed in eighteenth century Britain as either set dressing for Jacobean style tragedies, or as a rhetorical device for social critics. Yet even in these limited capacities, English writers were able to find in this "imagined geography" a series of ad hoc equivalences, critical, and far removed from the actual China to be sure, but not always as outright hostile as they were to become when increased contact forced a reconceptualization towards the end of the century. One imaginative map that was extremely popular in England, as well as France, in the eighteenth century came straight from the pages of Du Halde. L'Orphelin de la Chine originally translated from Chinese into French by Pere Premare was included in Du Halde's Description of China. It was adapted from the English version of Du Halde by William Hatchett in 1741, titled The Chinese Orphan. Voltaire conceived a French version of it in 1755, and finally Arthur Murphy wrote his own version of the story. Murphy's version first played 44

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21 April 1759 with David Garrick in the lead role. The play was tremendously popular on both sides of the Atlantic; it played regularly in London for twenty years, was in the Comedie Francaise repertory until 1837, and was produced with some regularity in America from 1764 1 11 h h 54 unti we into t e n1neteent century. The play revolves around the Tartarian (Manchu) conquest of China, but how much actual information about China it provided its many audiences is highly suspect, as all versions were substantially rewritten to suit European tastes. For instance, in Hatchett's version the orphan is none other than Cam-Hy (the Kangxi emperor, 1654-1722), and the role of the sage courtier is named as Lao-Tse (Laozi), who, legend has it, shuffled off this mortal coil some two millennia before the Kangxi emperor ascended the dragon throne. Voltaire's version, typically took on a more philosophic tone; he styled it as a "dramatization of the morals of Confucius." Murphy's retelling is even further afield, with not 55 only characters but plot completely reworked. Oliver Goldsmith's review of Murphy's play is telling, "In proportion as the plot has become more European, it 56 has become more perfect." The perfection of this work remains contestable, but what seems clear is that 45

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by the middle of the eighteenth century it was no longer a Chinese play, but a European one set in an imagined China. This is not to say, however, that The Orphan of China needs to be relegated to the gulag of orientalism. Eighteenth century theatre was governed by the Licensing Act of 1734; it was, consequently, the age of the ''well-made play." Plays were routinely reworked, updated, made ''more perfect." Juliet awoke before Romeo could drink the poison, Lear always managed to regain his faculties and save Cordelia. The China of The Orphan of China was indeed fantastic, but no more so than Shylock's Venice, the Scotland of Macbeth, the Athens of Midsummer Night's Dream, or the Asia of Tamburlaine. Another, and probably more famous, example of this kind of unapologetic appropriation is Goldsmith's Citizen of the World, which was originally published serially in The Public Ledger 1760-1761. Again, Goldsmith drew substantially from both Le Comte and Du Halde, but the work is wholly English. The literary conceit of the work is revealed in the complete title, The Citizen of the World; or Letters from a Chinese Philosopher, Residing in London to His Friends in the East. The epistolary style was exceedingly popular 46

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in the eighteenth century and Goldsmith used it to great advantage .. Goldsmith concocted a series of some one hundred letters between the "philosopher" Lien Chi Altangi, and his friend Fum Hoam, "first president of 57 the Ceremonial Academy at Peking in Ch1na," on a variety of subjects. The conceit is transparent, the (wfse traveler), allowed Goldsmith to comment unequivocally on all matters of English society and government. Although Citizen of the World is an English book, written for the English about English subjects, there is throughout an attitude towards the Chinese that many subsequent scholars have found occasion to comment 58 on. Goldsmith makes clear at the outset that the cult of "Confucius," then so prevalent on the continent, held no sway in England. Lien Chi Altangi is no "Confucius." Further, Goldsmith essentialized all Chinese traits and embodied them in Lien, The Chinese are always concise, so is he. Simple, so is he. The Chinese are grave and sententious, so is he. But in one particular, the resemblance is peculiarly the Chinese are often dull; and so is he. Are these indicative of a general English attitude towards the Chinese, or merely Goldsmith the satirist trying to head his potential critics off at 47

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the proverbial pass? Whatever the reason, Citizen of the World remains an important piece of Augustan satire and a shining example of the imaginative use of China as a rhetorical device. The only actual piece of translation from Chinese into English, although still highly imaginative, was Hau Kiou or the Pleasing History, A Translation from the Chinese Language. Much speculation still surrounds authenticity of the translation, nevertheless it remains the "first work of Chinese prose 60 fiction to be brought before the British public." The translation of the Hau Kiou Choaan (Haoqiu zhuan) was apparently undertaken in 1719 by a James Wilkinson, an employee of the East India Company, under the tutelage of a When Wilkinson's family decided to publish his efforts posthumously they contacted Bishop Thomas Percy (1729-1811), who polished the prose and issued the work in 1761. It was a success and was translated into Dutch and French.61 Percy himself appears to be one of the few British sinophiles in the eighteenth century; Qian Zhongshu concluded, "anything about China that could be known without knowing the 62 Chinese language, Percy knew." However, anything that could have been known atiout China, with the single 48

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exception of The Pleasing History, was filtered through France. This is not to say that the information received through France was not accurate; however, it continued to follow the same lines of interpretation set down in the seventeenth century by the first Jesuit writings, with most of the accommodationist arguments, i.e., ancient monotheism, shangdi/God, etc., expurgated. Most English writers of the eighteenth century were far less likely than Percy to put their faith in anything the French said, let alone the Jesuits. These imaginative efforts can appear more self-reflective than critical. In the works that centered on what was at least believed to be substantiated textual material, i.e., works derived form LeComte and Du Halde, there remained a willingness to suspend disbelief and to deal equivocally with these texts. The use of these few items, even if to self ends, and their tremendous popularity suggests not the utter demonization of China and the Chinese, but rather the simultaneous act of appropriation and dispersion. In counterpoint to this, the prevailing line of interpretation was more damning. Without any effort to acquire new or more substantial information about China or the Chinese, many English writers did begin 49

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to challenge the perceived favorable interpretation by denegrating China. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), in the second part of Robinson Crusoe (1720), attacked Chinese government.as "absolute tyranny," and the 63 religion of "Confucius" as "refined Paganism." Joseph Spence (1699-1768), though he praised the Chinese style of gardening; declared that "Chinese philosophers are 1 1 II 64 all athe1sts The "fabulous pretensions to antiquity"65 were vehemently attacked by a number of 66 British writers in the eighteenth century. The Chinese language was declared "dead," and the study of Chinese government a model to be followed by Europeans only taught one author, "to love the Constitution of my own free country still n67 more. In short many British writers of the eighteenth century took a jaundiced view towards a country few, if any, had actually seen and declared it "defective in morality, fictitious in h b n68 chronology, and wanting an alp a et. Moreover, several British writers began assert a belief in the myth of monolithic China, i.e. the static, ossified, singular, giant. David Hume spoke of China as, "one vast empire, speaking one language, governed by one law, and sympathising in the same manner." Adam Smith believed them to be ''stationary," 50

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though and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, early in the nineteenth century declared China to be "a permanency without progression."69 This belief would itself become static in the nineteenth century as the British struggled to ingratiate themselves with the leaders of China in order to establish more pro-British trading practices, and ossified further as they struggled to explain their failure to do so. The contempt with which many British viewed China during the course of the eighteenth century was not bred of familiarity. Although the objects of Chinoiserie--porcelain, gardens, lacquer etc.--surrounded them, and images of Chinese philosophers and Chinese heroes wound their way through some English literature, these remained scattered yet pertinent images, more reflective of the internal struggles within Britain, and among European powers. As the century wore on these ad hoc appropriations commingled with the more and more virulent, though not necessarily better informed, critiques of Chinese institutions, and forced a renegotiation of this imaginative terrain. The Lion and the Dragon: Essentialism in the Nineteenth Century. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, as 51

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the drive to increase trade with China accelerated the 1170 B h "singular listlessness of the ritis gave way to a desire to. resolve the dissonant strains of the "imagined geography.'' This took the form of correcting the Jesuit/French interpretation, responding to intense but uninformed internal criticism, and putting forth their own of the Chinese. This came slowly and painfully through a process of "failed'' diplomatic missions, missionary struggles, war, and massive scholarly effort. It forced, once more, a return to the questions of translation and conversion, and recentered the sacred works as the medium of understanding. view, John Davis, in 1822, articulated this corrective The first thing needful in our inquiries was to divest the picture of all that false colouring, which had been so plentifully bestowed on it by the Romish missionaries, who for certain good reasons, modified their most authentic accounts of China in such a way, as tended rather to mislead, than to inform; and it remained for the English to give the first correct account of a nation, whom they discovered to be neither perfectly wise, nor perfectly virtuous, but who were occasionally reduced to the necessity of flogging integrity into the+1 magistrates, and valour into their generals. The increase in the demand for Chinese products, especially tea, drove the commercially minded English 52

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into more intimate contact with the Chinese where they found, not a world of pleasing histories and morally upright scholar-bureaucrats, but a world of greedy Cohong merchants and otiose court rituals. It was clear from these initial frustrating encounters that a reassessment of China had to be made, as Davis pointed out. Again, the trade missions themselves, and the criticism which followed produced a range of responses. It is not my purpose here to assess the entire range of these British responses, but merely to point out the historical conflation of one, and the significance of another, in order to shed light on this congruence which led to the reassessment of the nineteenth century. The names of those British who established first hand contact with the Chinese are legend: Anson, Flint, Amherst, Napier, but the kairos came in 1793, with a man named Macartney. The reasons for Macartney's mission and the details of that mission are too numerous and too well documented and known to bear repeating here,72 as is the reply from the Qianlong emperor; what is important is how the embassy has been viewed throughout the subsequent two centuries. Davis, writing several years after the embassy, viewed it as a middling event; while a century later Earl Pritchard wrote that it was 53

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"an ill-conceived but well-executed measure. Its failure was certain before it left England." By the middle of this century it had become a trope of the "striking instance of the clash between advanced and traditional societies."73 While this last is a blatant overstatement, it gives an indication of the direction historiography took in the years following 1793.74 Regardless of the historiographical hyperbole, the mission did, in some small degree, succeed in its failure; with the publication of Sir George Staunton's Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China in 1797, British interest in China turned, however reluctantly, from the imaginative to the more practical. As John Davis pointed out, One of the principal effects of the mission was to draw a greater share of the public attention towards China, and to lead gradually to the study of language, literature, institutions, and manners of that vast and singular empire--a field which had hitherto occupied almost exclusively by the French. Yet, the turn was gradual, and it was lead not by scholars in England, but once again by missionaries, not stationed in China, but in India and Malaya. The evangelical fervor of the late eighteenth century had created missionaries; missionaries who, 54

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unlike their Jesuit predecessors, were not so much interested in experiencing God in all its manifest glory .as in bringing the "true" word of God to all the children of the world. This desire itself produced a vast number of translations, but the direction of this scriptural flow is important to note. These were predominantly translations-of the Bible into indigenous languages; if any translations of foreign texts were undertaken it was initially for purely pedagogical purposes. The evangelical charge was lead by the British and Foreign Bible Society which was established in 1804. By 1809 the Society boasted 109 new translations of the Bible.76 However, none were in Chinese. China remained inaccessible to British missionaries, and in their efforts at translating the Bible into that language, they were forced to rely on what help they could get from Chinese living abroad, especially in the British colonies of Malacca in Malaya and Serampore, India. The first to accomplish the task was Joshua Marshman (1768-1837), a Baptist missionary of Fort William College in Bengal. In 1806, under the instruction of Johannes Lassar, an Armenian Christian who had been born in Macao, Marshman began translating the Bible into Chinese. In 1810, the Gospel of St. 55

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Matthew was published in Chinese by the Mission Press at Serampore. The whole Bible took until 1822-23 to appear. Along with his translation of Matthew, Marshman published, in 1809, a fragment of the Lunyu in English, which carried the very inaccurate and synecdochic title The Works of Confucius. Marshman's effort was not met with the same glee as the Morals of Confucius, and indeed seems to have passed rather quickly into obscurity. Barrett criticizes it as, "a rather poorly handled "77 f h part1al attempt. However, the simultaneity o t ese translations must be noted. In coterminously translating the Lunyu and Matthew, Marshman had returned to Ricci's project. Clearly Marshman must have viewed the Lunyu as a pedagogical tool, but in offering a cross translation he reasserted its position as the pedagogical tool for unlocking sacred texts. His efforts also conceptually reindexed it to the synoptic Christian texts. At the same time that Marshman was working in India, other English missionaries were concentrating on the same subject in Malaya. Robert Morrison (1782-1834) was actually the first Protestant missionary to live in Canton. A Presbyterian, Morrison offered his services to the newly formed London Missionary 56

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t Society in 1804; by 1807 he was in Canton, and two years later he was working as a translator for the English East India Company. He served as an interpreter on the Amherst mission (1816), and in 1818 established the Anglo-Chinese College in Malacca. Morrison was rare in that he was one of the few English missionaries who actually began his studies of Chinese while still 78 in England. In 1810 Morrison began work on the translation of the Bible, by 1819, with the aid of William Milne (1785-1822) had both Old and New Testaments translated. The Canton-Malacca Bible was not published until 1823. Adding to the coterie of missionaries at Malacca was Walter Henry Medhurst (1796-1857), a printer sent by the London Missionary Society in 1817. Medhurst became highly respected as a translator, and instrumental in the formation of the British missions, and the dissemination of knowledge, both religious and secular. Medhurst believed the only way to convert the Chinese was to establish some ground of mutual understanding. He translated Chinese grammars into English, and he wrote hundreds of tracts on a variety of topics: history, geography, translated magazine articles and school books. According to one Roman Catholic source, T. W. M. 57

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Marshall, by 1844 Medhurst claimed to have printed and distributed: 1,128,400 tracts, 30,000 copies of scripture, 500,000 tracts in Chinese, 150,000 in Malay and 450,000 volumes released in Canton. Yet, Marshall also charged, "It seems that, as they [Protestant missionaries] could not convert 'the millions of the east, I they COUld COnSOle themselveS by SUpplying them n79 w1th waste paper. The college was funded by a generous grant from Morrison himself, and supplemented by funds from the English East India Company.80 Although T. W. M. Marshall, a vociferous critic, railed that the college was a waste of money and that the prodigious efforts at translation were merely a means of producing something (in lieu of actual converts), in order to fulfill annual reports, which would insure the continuation of funding; the college nevertheless, established and to a large degree mapped out the British understanding of China for the nineteenth century.81 This understanding was built upon an increasing awareness of and contact with actual Chinese, albeit this understanding was forced through the prism of a somewhat peculiar nineteenth century British worldview, but also on a rather uncritical return to what had passed before. In their 58

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) effort to understand China, the British of the nineteenth century refocused their attention on what was deemed essential to the Chinese character, i.e., the "Confucian canon," which they conceptually indexed to the Christian scriptures, and by so doing they rediscovered, rather unsuprisingly, much of what their Jesuit predecessors had already claimed was there. The first full version of the Sishu translated directly from Chinese into English was completed by the Rev. David Collie and published posthumously in 1828. Little is remembered about Collie; Barrett says that he attained the position of Professor of Chinese at the Anglo-Chinese College in 1823 after only a year of language instruction from Morrison.82 Collie admitted that the translation was undertaken primarily to aid in learning Chinese, but he betrayed the early nineteenth century British attitude towards the Chinese texts and the previous Jesuit interpretation of them when he wrote, "It [the English translation] might perhaps be of some use to the Chinese who study English in the College, not only assisting them in acquiring the English Language, but especially leading them to reflect seriously on some of the fatal errors by their most celebrated sages. Apparently, Collie felt his mission was to correct both the British understanding of China, as well as the 59

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Chinese view of themselves. He argued that the Jesuits and the French were too effusive in their praise of "Confucius," and that the ideas found in the Sishu, compared to the "more excellent way" of Christianity were at best harmless yet misguided, and at worst damnably false. If Collie questioned the validity of "Confucius's" teaching, and the Jesuit commentary of it, he nevertheless retained the form of the Morals of Confucius and the CSP. There is first, a brief biography of "Confucius" and a slight assessment of the sage's work. Collie refused to place "Confucius" in the same rank as the Greek sages as the Jesuit authors of the CSP had, but acquiesced that "Confucius" was probably not an atheist because he showed reverence for Teen [tian] usually translated as "heaven." Then follows his translations of the Four Books. Collie chose to follow the Morals of Confucius order which reduplicated the ordering of the CSP with the addition of the Mengzi. He places first, the Ta Heo [Daxue] which Collie left untranslated but refered to as ''Superior learning;" followed by the Chung Yung [Zhongyong] or "Golden Medium" (Collie's translation); the Lun Yu [Lunyu] which Collie translated as ''Dialogues;" and finally the Shang Mung 60

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[Mengzi part one] and Hea Mung [Mengzi part two]. In addition, Collie provided "the substance of various" commentaries, or rather his redaction and translation of a number of the myriad commentaries available on the Four Books, plus his own sniping comments on the fallacy of the ideas contained in the text. Collie's text appears to have made a substantially minor impact on British sinology, although it did enjoy some d f 1 . A 84 egree o popu ar1ty 1n mer1ca. James Legge made use of it, and the differences between Legge's and Collie's versions are instructive and will be addressed later, but for the most part Collie's Four Books appeared and vanished without fanfare. With these few exceptions, British exposure to China and the Chinese remained tangential. The more popular books continued to be description and travel journals: Davis's The Chinese: A General Description of China and Its Inhabitants (first published 1836 expanded 1840); T. T. Meadows's, a consular officer, Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China (1847) and Chinese and Their Rebellions (1856); Medhurst's China: Its State and Prospects (1861); William Wells's Middle Kingdom (1848); and Karl Gutzlaff's Journey of Three Voyages Along the Coast of China (1834) and China Opened (1838). 61

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All of them tended to focus on descriptions of geography, botany, history, morals, customs and manners, and which tended to emphasize the seemingly singular and exotic nature of the Chinese. Davis made a handful of translations from Chinese 1 85 b 1 d t 1terature, ut no rea ser1ous attempt was rna e o attain any level of understanding of Chinese religion or the "Confucian" canon than was found in Collie. However, with Marshman and Collie, the exegetical work on China was beginning to cohere once more around the Sishu. Certainly the prevalence of the text in China as a pedagogical tool accounts for some of the renewed interest; however the mere ubiquity of it does not explain its continued indexing to the four canonical Christian Gospels. Perhaps the discursive nature of the Four Books resonated with the Synoptics. Perhaps, the British of the nineteenth century found in the works, as the Jesuits had, a felicitous application of principles deemed universal. Clearly these reasons, in whatever combination--a similar set of canonical, instructive texts, filled with recognizable universal truths, yet lacking the unique, unified narrative of Christianity-proved irresistible to missionaries awash in evangelical zeal. 62

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Missionaries in the east began using the Sishu to establish a vocabulary that would allow them to translate their own sacred works into Chinese for the sole purpose of conversion. What then entailed was a renegotiation of the imaginative landscape between the two countries in which both Britain and China were mutually implicated. Pedagogy and conversion recurred, mutatis mutandis, to accommodation and appropriation. Missionary Translations and the Avalanche of Texts "[First], to tell the millions of [China's] people about Jesus Christ. To do this with effect I must be able to speak8snd write their language like one of themselves. This was the goal set down by James Legge in his diary dated 5 May 1847. Evangelical to be sure, but there can also be seen in this a desire to deepen his knowledge. Legge was one of the great sinologists, the only nineteenth century translator of Chinese texts whose work is still in print. His translations of the Chinese Classics originally published in eight volumes between 1861 and 1875, is a truly monumental work that set off a veritable avalanche of other translations, commentaries, and redactions. Legge's works have become the prism through which much subsequent scholarship on China has been filtered; but they are not simply 63

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a prism reflecting only China, more like a kaleidoscope, reflecting and refracting a multitude of issues: China, England, Britain, James Legge, missionary politics, theology, to name a few. James Legge was born in 1815 near Aberdeen, Scotland, graduated King's College (now part of the University of Aberdeen) in 1836. Raised in the Independent Church, he received the call to minister in this non-Conformist Church in 1837. The next year he offered his services to the London Missionary Society. In January of 1840 he and his wife arrived in Malacca. Following the first Opium War, the Society relocated its mission to Hong Kong; Legge resided there for two years. Poor health had Legge returning periodically to England, but from 1842 to about 1870 the lion's share of his life was lived in and around Hong Kong. Friends and admirers cobbled together money upon his return to England and financed a Chair of Chinese at the University of Oxford; accordingly Legge became the first professor of Chinese at Oxford in 1876. 1897.87 He died in Apparently dissatisfied with most previous translations, and feeling "that he should not be able to consider himself qualified for the duties of his 64

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position, until he had thoroughly mastered the Classical 1188 d Books of the Ch1nese, Legge set about learning an translating, "The Books [sic] now r,ecognised as of h h h Ch" "89 h y.. (B k ig est aut or1ty 1n 1na, 1.e., t e lJlng oo of Changes), the Shujing (Book of History), the Shijing (Book of Poetry), the Liji (Record of Rites), the Chunqiu (Spring and Autumn Annuals), and the Four Books. He began, as many before and since both within China and without, by concentrating on the Lunyu which Legge dubbed "The Analects." The first volume of his translations which included the Lunyu, the Daxue and the Zhongyong, was published in 1861, followed shortly by volumes two and three. They were republished as part of Max Muller's series The Sacred Books of the East, appearing from 1879 through 1891. In 1893, the Clarendon Press, Oxford published a significantly reworked second edition of the Four Books, it is this second edition which remains in print. Legge's works were received with almost universal yet qualified acclaim. While many congratulated him 90 on the "elaborate and conscientious translatlon," many others pointed out the inaccessibility of the scholarly language and the prohibitive cost of the large octavo volumes and urged the republication of them in 65

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smaller more affordable and popular editions.91 The first popularizer was an American, the Rev. A. W. Loomis. Confucius and the Chinese Classics, edited by Loomis was published in San Francisco in 1867. Loomis referred to Legge's translation as a "literary curiosity, and of immense value to every student of the Chinese 92 language.'' Loomis sought to familiarize the lay reader with China. Confucius and the Chinese Classics is cribbed directly from Legge. He followed Legge's overall organization, which diverged from the CSP, establishing the Lunyu as the first of the Four Books, yet deviated substantially within this framework. He began with the obligatory history of China and biography of ''Confucius," then the Lunyu, then the Daxue, the Zhongyong and the Mengzi. In Part Three, Loomis clabbered together a hodgepodge of disjointed writings on various topics most likely pulled from William Wells's Middle Kingdom. What is fascinating about Loomis is the way topics within the main headings are treated. In the preface he explained his organization: So far as regards the selections from the Four Books, our design has been to go carefully through them, and gather a few sentences on the various subjects which were treated by the Chinese arrange them under appropriate heads." 66

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Apparently the Chinese were, as far as Loomis was concerned, as free with their garden designs as they were with their "Scriptures," (which is how he referred to the Four Books). Loomis reworked the substance of the Sishu and recompiled them under headings such as: "What the Disciples of Confucius Say of Him," "Theology and Religion," "Domestic Relations," "Ethics," "Self Cultivation," "Path of Duty," and three different "Maxims,'' or "Miscellaneous" sections which apparently couldn't be pigeonholed under any of the "appropriate heads." Concomitant with Legge's scholarly work and the subsequent popularization of it, came renewed theological disputes. There still remained the problem of how to translate "God" into Chinese. In addition to this, there re-emerged debates on: the primal monotheism of the Chinese, Daoism, the position of Buddhism in China, was ''Confucianism" complementary or antithetical to Christianity, had it once been complementary but had since declined into mere idolatry and superstition? Tracts and tomes flooded the gully of British sinology, carved out by a handful of missionary translators. And the missionaries contributed to the torrent: Medhurst's Dissertation on the Theology of the Chinese 67

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(1847), Legge's Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits (1854), Joseph Edkins's Religious Conditions of the Chinese (1859), F. D. Maurice's The Religions of the World and Their Relation to Christianity (1847), and a plethora of other works on "comparative religion." The question is, did this avalanche of texts, this flurry of debate, increase British understanding, and further, did they add anything to the already formidable scholarship of the Jesuits and the European continent? The answer has to be--a qualified no. Coming late into the game as they did, the British, including Legge, appropriated what was already known or assumed, and used this information to reexamine critically both the China they encountered and the popular misrepresentations of it back in Britain. However, they read these translations in their own inimitable way, and offered critiques which were again reflective of the singular British predicament in the nineteenth century. Although many of the themes with which the British translators dealt can be read as homologically recurring, e.g., the antiquity of the Chinese, the exaluted position of "Confucius," the ancient, revealed, and monothestic nature of God in China; the disruption of genealogy 68

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should highlight the differences in interpretive congruence. A hermeneutic shift in the eighteenth century coupled with an emerging science of geology had unhinged the necessity for Biblical chronology, thus the length of Chinese history no longer posed a threat. Further it was accepted a priori that "Confucius" a fully historical person who lived ca. 500 B.C.E., that he was a sage and a moral exemplar, yet in the nineteenth century the euhemerization of him undertaken by the Jesuits was reversed by the British, not simply to smash his feet of clay as eighteenth century critics had, but to establish him more firmly as a truly historical, and therefore merely human, man. However, his role as a mere mortal remained contested throughout the nineteenth century, depending on the bent of any particular interpreter: he either remained the "transmitter" of ancient knowledge he claimed to be, or he became a reformer of a once great but now decrepit system. Finally, the most hotly contested point remained the question of the monotheistic nature of the Chinese "religions.'' The Jesuit project of accommodation and insistence on the pricia theologia were viewed as substantial threats to papal authority in the seventeenth century. The British return to this 69

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notion in the nineteenth century began as a pedagogical dispute over the most effective way to translate Elohim and Theos into Chinese, whether as shangdi, tian, or in some cases, shen (spirits); yet, as these debates continued the belief in an ancient monotheism became mutually implicated in much larger theological concerns, that the renegotiation of faith underway in nineteenth century Britain. The forms these debates took, and the reflective nature of British critiques provide the field for the rest of this thesis. What this genealogy of translation provides us with is a lineage to question, and a frame in which to examine these imaginative appropriations and negotiated recurrences. In the next chapter I will expand on these themes of appropriation and first, by using the recent model of orientalist critique as a springboard, I will explore the British creation of a taxonomy for the religions of the east, and how "Confucianism" was situated within this. Second, I will show that while British interpretations of the Sishu mimicked the Jesuit project in many important ways, they also presumed to maintain the "Confucian canon" in its position within this taxonomy. What this will enable me to do is to add contextual and 70

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interpretive depth to the genealogy of these translations. It will also, I hope, draw out some of the interpretive problems of the orientalist critique. 71

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NOTES 1. Adolph Reichwein, China and Europe: Intellectual and Artistic Contacts in the Eighteenth Century, trans. J. C. Powell (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. Ltd., 1925), 15. 2. Most notably John Webb, An Historical Essay Endeavouring a Probability that the Language of the Empire of China is the Primitive Language (London: Nathan Brook, 1669), passim. 3. See Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China? (London: Martin Seeker and Warbuig Limited, 1995), for the most recent challenge to the Polo legacy. 4. See Wood, Marco Polo; James Legge, Nestorian Monument of Hsi-An Fu (London: Trubner and Company, 1888; reprint, New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1966); Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China and the Situation Thereof, (London: Hakluyt Society, 1853). 5. See Michel Foucault, "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History," in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), 81; also Michael Mahon, Foucault's Nietzschean Genealogy: Truth, Power, and the Subject (Albany, NY: State Universtiy of New York Press, 1992), 1-17 and 81-127. 6. Qian Zhong shu, [ Ch' ien Chung-shu], "China in the English Literature of the Seventeerith Century," Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography 1:4 (December 1940) 353. 7. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 11, emphasis in original. See also Qian Zhongshu, "Seventeenth Century," 354. T. H. Barrett points out that Perera's account, especially the part about "shyres," was later incorporated into Mendoza, see T. H. Barrett Singular Listlessness: A Short History of Chinese Books and British Scholars (London: Wellsweep Press, 1989), 30. 8. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 29. 72

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9. Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 29-50. 10. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 362. See also Mungello, Curious Land, 46ff. 11. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 39; see further, Mungello, Curious Land, 74-90 and 106-116. 12. Though Ricci's own translation is no longer extant, most scholars agree that his manuscript translation of the Lunyu, Daxue, and the Zhongyong, (but not the Mengzi), formed the basis for the subsequent work found in the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus. See Mungello; Curious Land, 247-299. 13. See Mungello, Curious Land, 257-277, and Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism". 14. cf. Mungello, Curious Land, 13-133 and passim; Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 351-384; Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 35-40; and William Appleton, A Cycle of Cathay (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951), 3-20. Mungello provides extensive analysis while Barrett, Qian, and Appleton gloss it as rather unimportant. 15. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 19. This is a highly problematic assumption and one which will be addressed in the following chapter. 16. Genesis 11:1-8a KJV. 17. This game frequently took on nationalistic forms, Goropius Becanus in 1569, for instance, insisted that the ancient burghers of Antwerp had descended from the Cimbri, the sons of Japheth. Consequently, as the Cimbri were not at the Tower of Babel their language remained pure. Therefore, he concluded, Dutch and especially the dialect of Antwerp was the original language. This ''Flemish thesis," through nationalistic fervor, was kept alive until the nineteenth century. It was joined by arguments for the primacy of Swedish, German, Celtic, and of course English. For a full account of these various theories see Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, trans. James Fentress (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), 73-116. 18. See Eco, Search, 103f. 73

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19. See Eco, Search, 73f. Eco argues that this belief in the perfect language is theoretically confused because it blurs the distinction between a perfect language and a universal language, i.e., one that mirrors "the true nature of objects," vs. one that everyone "ought to speak." 20. Mungello, Curious Land, 188. For a full analysis of Kircher's contribution to the search for a universal language see Mungello, Curious Land, 134207, and Eco Search, 154-176. 21. John Webb, An Histoical Essay, 60. See also Chen Shouyi [Ch'en Shou-yi], "John Webb: A Forgotten Page in the Early History of Sinology in Europe," The Chinese Social and Political Science Review 19:3 (October 1935): passim; Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 27ff.; Mendoza, Great and Mighty Kingdom, 18. Mendoza has it that the Chinese themselves claimed to be descended from Noah's nephews, in light of this Qian Zhongshu concludes that Webb gave only a cursory reading to Mendoza; see Qian "Seventeenth Century," 370. 22. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 371, emphasis mine. 23. There were two competing biblical chronologies, the Vulgate which was the more accepted and the Septuagint which placed the flood before 3000 B.C.E. Accepted Chinese chronology fit more easily with the Septuagint and actually challenged the Vulgate's supremacy. This didn't deter some scholars from trying to put the square peg of China into the round hole of Vulgate chronology. 24. Chen, "John Webb," 325-328. 25. The Chinese etymology is highly suspect. The O.E.D. states that it is "of unknown origin; Chinese scholars agree that it cannot belong to that language." Oxford English Dictionary, 2d. ed., s.v. "sharawagdi." cf. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 375, and Hugh Honour, Chinoiserie: The Vision of Cathay (London: John Murray Ltd., 1961), 145. 26. William Temple, The Works of William Temple, Bart: Complete in Four Volumes, vol. 3 (London: S. 74

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Hamilton, 1814; reprint, New York: Greenwood, 1968), 331-334. 27. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 240. 28. Morals of Confucius, (London: Randal Taylor and J. Fraser, 1691), A1f. 29. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism'', 241. 30. Morals of Confucius, 5 31. Ibid., 24. 32. This followed the CSP order. For further discussion on the adjustments to the order of the Sishu see below Chapter 3. 33. See Honour, Chinoiserie, passim. 34. Morals of Confucius, A1. For the siting of "Confucius'' in political and moral life see Reichwein, China and Europe, 75-126. 35. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 41. 36. Qian, "Seventeenth Century," 375. 37. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 47. 38. Qian Zhongshu [Ch'ien Chung-shu], "China in the English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (I)," Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography, 1:4 (December, 1940): 8. 39. Barrett, Singular Listlesness, 41. 40. Hans Frei, The Eclipse of the Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth Century Hermeneutics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), 130. 41. See Joshua Mitchell, Not By Reason Alone: Religion, History, and Identity in Early Modern Political Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 1-18. 42. Ibid., 3, emphasis in the original. 75

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43. See Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 42. 44. See Mungello, Curious Land; Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", and Latourette, History of Christian Missions. 45. Barrett, Singular Listlessness; 36f. 46. P. J. Marshall and Glyndwr Williams, The Great Map of Mankind: British Perceptions of the-wDrld in the Age of Enlightenment (London: J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1982), 46ff. 47. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Random House Inc., 1978), 49. 48. As my focus is China I am not including the increasing wealth of material collected on India, North America, or the South Pacific. As noted earlier most travel literature focused around trade and came from specialists sent out with trade expeditions: botanists, surveyors, epigraphers, etc. See Marshall, Great Map, 45-184. 49. Marshall, Great Map, 84. On Le Comte's comdemnation see Mungello, Curious Land, 297f. and 329-342. SO. Mungello, Curious Land, 125. 51. Louis Daniel LeComte, Memoirs and Observations Made in a Late Journey Through the Empire of China (London: Benjamin Tooke and Samuel Buckley, 1697), vol. 2, 146-147. 52. See Francois Quesnay, Le Depotisme de la Chine, trans. Lewis A. Maverick, in Lewis A. Maverick, China: A Model for Europe (San Antonio: Paul Anderson Company, 1946). See also Reichwein, China and Europe, 101-109. 53. Marshall, Great Map, 85. 54. See Qian Zhongshu [Ch'ien Chung-shu], "China in the English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (II)," in Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography, 2:3-4 (December 1941): 124, and Edward D. Graham, "The 'Imaginative Geography' of China," in Reflections on 76

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Orientalism (East Lansing MI: Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University Press, 1983), 34. 55. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 83ff. 56. Oliver Goldsmith, The Works of William Goldsmith, val. 2, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 130. 57. Oliver Goldsmith, Citizen of the World (London: J. M. Dent, 1893), 6. 58. Appleton, Cycle of Cathay, 53-64; Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 117-122; and Marshall, Great Map, 53 and passim. 59. Goldsmith, Citizen of the World, xxvi. 60. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 43. 61. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 134-140, and Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 41-46. 62. Qian, "Eighteenth Century (II)," 138. 63. Daniel Defoe, Romances and Narratives of Daniel Defoe, ed. G. A. Aitken, val. 3 (London: J. M. Dent, 1895), 117, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 12. 64. Joseph Spence, Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters of Books and Men, ed. S. M. Singer, 2d. ed. (London: John Russell Smith, 1858), 51-52, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 17. 65. Gentleman's Magazine, 1766, 130-132, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)", 45. 66. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 44f. and passim. 67. An Irregular Dissertation, occasioned by ,the Reading of Father Du Halde's Description of China which may bead [sic] at any Time, except in the present Year 1740 (London: Printed for J. Roberts, 1740), 3, quoted in Qian, "Eightenth Century (II)", 148. 77

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68. The Gentleman's Magazine, 1758, 58-60, quoted in Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I), 45. 69. See Qian, "Eighteenth Century (I)," 27-37. 70. John Francis Davis, Chinese Novels (London: John Murray, 1822; reprint, New York: Scholars Facsimiles and Reprints, 1976), 2. The title is Barrett's but his uncredited source is Davis. 71. Davis, Chinese Novels, Sf. Emphasis in original. 72. cf. Robert Bickers, Ritual and Diplomacy: The Macartney Mission to China 1792-1794 (London: The British Association of Chinese Studies and Wellsweep Press, 1993); James L. Hevia, Cherishing Men From Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995); Alain Peyrefitte, The Immobile Empire (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992); Earl H. Pritchard, The Crucial Years of Early AngloChinese Relations (New York: Octagon Books, 1970); Reichwein, China and Europe. 73. Peyrefitte, Immobile Empire, xv11; see also John Francis Davis, The Chinese: A General Description of China and Its Inhabitants (London: Charles Knight & Co., 1840), 31; and Pritchard, Crucial Years, 383. 74. For an anaylsis and critique of these various narratives see James L. Hevia, "The Macartney Embassy in the History of Sino-Western Relations," in Bickers, Ritual and Diplomacy; and Hevia, Cherishing Men, 225-248. 75. Davis, The Chinese, 30. 76. Sue Zemka, "The Holy Books of Empire: Translations of the British and Foreign Bible Society," in Macropolitics of Nineteenth Century Literature: Nationalism, Exoticism and Imperialism, eds. Jonathan Arac and Harriet Ritvo (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 102-120. 77. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 63. 78. For more on Morrison see Latourette, History of Christian Missions, 209-227; see also Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 62. 78

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79. T. W. M. Marshall, Christianity in China: A Fragment (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858), 74-78. Marshall, was unrelenting in his attack on the Protestant missionaries inability to gain converts. 80. See Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 64, and Latourette, History of Christian Missions, 216. 81. See Marshall, Christianity in China, 74-78. 82. Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 65. 83. David Collie, trans., The Chinese Classical Work Commonly Known as the Four Books (Malacca: Mission Press, 1828; reprint, Gainsville FL: Scholars Facsimiles and Reprints, 1970), i. 84. Thoreau and Emerson were apparently quite taken with it. See William Bysshe Stein, introduction to Collie, Four Books, vii-xvii. 85. See Davis, Chinese Novels, and John Francis Davis, Poeseos Sinecae Commentarii: The Poetry of the Chinese (London: n.p., 1870; reprint, New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1969). 86. James Legge, 1846-1847 Diary, quoted in Lauren F. Pfister, "Some New Dimensions in the Study of the Work of James Legge (1815-1897): Part I," Sino Western Cultural Relations Journal 12 (1990): 33. 87. See Lindsay Ride biographical introduction to The Chinese Classics: with a Translation, Critical, and Exegetical notes, Prolegomena, and Copius Indexes, by James Legge (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960). See also Pfister, "New Dimensions, Part I,'' and "Some New Dimensions in the Study of the of the Work of James Legge (1815-1897): Part II," Sino Western Cultural Relations Journal 13 (1991): 33-48, and Barrett, Singular Listlessness, 75f. 88. Legge, Analects, iii. 89. Ibid., 1. 90. Edinburgh Review, April 1869, 303. 79

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91. Cf. Reviews in Nation, 15 September 1870, 170; and Nation, 1 March 1877, 135. 92. A. W. Loomis ed., Confucius and the Chinese Classics: or Reading in Chinese Literature (San Francisco: A. Roman and Company, 1867), viii. 93. Ibid., ix, emphasis mine. 80

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CHAPTER 3 TAXONOMY, HIERARCHY, AND THE CANONICAL BOOKS OF THE EAST In chapter two I attempted to trace a few of the variant lines of force which exerted themselves on the imaginative relationship between Britain and China. I have briefly noted the equivalences, critiques, recurrences, and appropriations that influenced the critical confluence around the Sishu, and have given hints at the effects of this on various translations and redactions. As we have seen, origins are always equivocal, bibliographer Qian Zhongshu was forced to resort to a series of adjectival origins: "first substantial reference . earliest detailed account earliest reference to China in English literature 1 proper." Further, the breakdown of traditional narrative structures, the shift from "figural'' to "realistic" reading--from theology to ethnography--encouraged a more critical interpretation of wherein certain "facts" about it were established, e.g., its great antiquity, the historical existence of "Confucius," and its potentially accessible ancient 81

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theology. However, this genealogy I have constructed, especially its lineage metaphor, while pointing to disruptions and unions along the line, still assumes, a priori, the inevitability of discovering these reified "facts." That is, in genealogy these concepts exist as archaeological artifacts, objects to be uncovered, and The Sishu itself, is continually viewed as a thing merely to be translated and understood. Recently. other hermeneutic shifts have rendered this predetermined lineage problematic, if not untenable. Current interpretations encourage us to look beyond genealogy, and to see both text (the Sishu), and context (China and Britain), not merely as objects to be inert by thorough translation, but rather as sets of perpetually contested and reinterpreted narratives transmitted through time. Though there is much to recommend in these postmodern interpretations, they are also fraught with difficulties. They require a certain amount of theoretical underpinning, which genealogy, because of its grounding in chronology, does not. Nevertheless, taking the time to explore the basis of contemporary critiques can reap rich rewards, it us to site the translations of the Sishu within their historical context, and to view them in relation 82

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to taxonomical and hierarchical categories which emerged during the ninteenth century. In this chapter I will begin to probe deeper into the imaginative congruences that went into translating the Sishu, and explore the hierarchical relationships which finally indexed it to the Sacred Books of the East. In order to do this, I will need to establish a theoretical framework. The argument that genealogy presupposes the base reality of texts and contexts should cause us to question how and when these things came to be reified. Therefore, I first want to explore the recent theoretical tool of orientalist critique. The benefits of this are that the critique of orientalism helps us to fathom many of the interpretive shifts that occurred in sinology during the nineteenth century; it allows us to explore the European fashioning of taxonomies which subsequently split into discrete hierarchies of, politics, history, literature, and religion. I will argue that the nineteenth century study of "Confucianism," seen especially through the work of James Legge, situated it within a religious hierarchy and placing it outside of politics and history, and in relation to both Christianity and other sacred traditions. Situating 83

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it in this way enables me to examine the creative dissonance which then arose between the mimetic return to the Jesuit project and what may be read as the orientalist maintenance of the canonical books of the east. Working this way allows us to contemplate an alternative to the teleology of lineage and descent, and to pursue modes of inquiry that were intentionally obscured or left unresolved by the genealogy of translations. Neither is it without its problems. It is not my purpose to offer any sustained critique of contemporary orientalist theory or its proponents, however, orientalism, I believe, ultimately defeats itself by stabilizing an inherently unstable entity, making Britain and its interpretation of sacred subjects more coherent than it actually was. Further, by too narrowly interpreting theses translations, the missionary translator frequently becomes an unwitting actor in a twentieth century drama. Like Lien Chi Altangi, he becomes a rhetorical tool used to extrapolate the orientalist project. These problems will become evident through the course of this chapter will open spaces for the following one. 84

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Bifurcated Hierarchies: Sacred Subjects in the Nineteenth Century The collection of information and knowledge about the "east", has long been critically linked, and not unjustifiably, with the desire to control and subdue the "east". A point made explicit in Edward Said's book Orientalism (1978). This work has come to be regarded as a theoretical Pandora's Box, flooding the historical world with questions and problems of agency, dependency, hegemony, epistemology, ontology, dualism, and definitions. Of course, Said was not the first to articulate the notion of "orient as other," or to point up the inventive nature of understanding "the east." In the 1750s W. Whitehead wrote, that of all the alleged Chinese things then available in England, not one in a thousand has the least resemblance to anything that China ever saw. Our Chinese ornaments are not only of2our own manufacture, but of our own invention. Still, Said's work has become a fetish in the world of Asian studies. Revered or reviled, Said asks us to seriously consider statements such as Whitehead's and realize the dual nature of the project of critically reexamining the east. Further, he has provided us with a vocabulary for examining the intricate relationships between: east and west, colonizer and colonized, orient 85

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and occident, self and other. The orientalist critique asks us to confront the epistemological construction of the genealogy narrative and asks: who decides what is authentic, what is sacred, what is original, which texts are privileged, which are disregarded? In short, who controls knowledge? Said sees in the collection and definition of eastern texts, and in the project of orientalism, an assertion of western primacy and, thus, of power. He writes: Orientalism depends for its strategy on this flexible positional superiority, which puts the Westerner in a whole series of possible relationships with the 05ient without ever losing the relative upper hand. These series of relationships that necessitates this positional superiority, developed congenerically along with the breakdown in narrative and the epistemological shift in the eighteenth century. This shift was outlined by Foucault who reasoned that: From the nineteenth century, History was to deploy, in a temporal series, the analogies that connect distinct organic structures to one another. This same History will also, progressively, impose its laws on the analysis of _production, the analysis of organically structured beings, and lastly, on the analysis of linguistic groups. History gives place to analogical organic structures, just as Order opened the to successive identities and differences. 86

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In the language of Foucault this is the shift from the taxonomy, or table, to the hierarchy. The flexible positional superiority is therefore embedded in this shift, which entails the desire to define a European as well as a "unique"5 British identity. Consequently, the genealogy of translation should be reread in this light. The shift from Biblical genesis to sui generis "nationalism" undeniably altered the studies of originary material and the search for origins between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. We have seen the effusive nature with which the CSP and its English cousin The Morals of Confucius were met in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Through this lens, China was hailed as a moral exemplar, and its government the perfect form of enlightened despotism. The taxonomy of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries allowed distinct cultures coterminous existence; signs were "Christianly interpreted," as in Mendoza, and Chinese antiquity was indexed to Biblical chronology, yet this was done in a series of rough, sometimes even fantastic, equivalences that remained basically nonthreatening. The Morals of Confucius was clearly intended and accepted as a guide for moral life alongside Christian teaching, 87

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with no thought given to one necessarily supplanting the other. We have also seen how this view shifted, at least in Britain, as the eighteenth century progressed, with authors becoming critical of China at best, and arrogantly intolerant at worst. I have pointed out the dissonance of the ''imagined geography" that began to force a reassessment. Sacred eastern texts were still indexed to Christian texts, but came to be placed in specific hierarchial relations. This will become more evident as we examine closely the works of James Legge, but can already be seen in the radical reworking of the Sishu by Loomis. The genealogy of translation accepts this shift by explaining, that as contact increased, and empirical data previously unavailable came to light, the disparity between popular Chinoiserie and the reality of the trade missions broadened. The critique of orientalism, however, engenders additional explanations; it was not that the natively acquired information was necessarily more accurate, rather that the interpretation of this information was molded by a very different Europe, or more specifically, by a part of that continent struggling to define itself as a British nation and engaged in viewing itself as 88

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fundamentally different from the rest of Europe. Thus, concomitant with the increased contact with China came the epistemological shift in the use and production of a more detailed knowledge. Orientalism therefore, encourages us to look at some other sacred subjects, in order to understand the interpretations of the nineteenth century. In her work on the formation of a British national identity, Linda Colley has argued that Protestantism was a formative issue. Especially in the long series of wars fought primarily against France and its allies during the eighteenth century, Protestant Britain opposed Catholic France.6 This division played itself out in the vociferous attacks on China which increased throughout the century. In the film Horsefeathers, Groucho Marx in the guise of Professor Wagstaff takes over the presidency of Huxley College by declaring, "Your proposition may be good, but let's have one thing understood, whatever it is, I'm against it!'' Could there have been a similar attitude present in the British critique of China? This "Marxist'' analysis is perhaps not as flippant as it first appears. While it remains speculative vis-a-vis the first eight decades of the eighteenth century, this attitude became more visible 89

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in the years following 1789. Until the Macartney mission in 1793, there was no significant increase in empirical information about China, yet criticism intensified. As the vast majority of information was filtered through both Roman Catholics and the French, the British may have felt as apprehensive as Professor Wagstaff. Compounding the defining nature of Protestantism, the insistence on the uniqueness of the British political system was given full voice in the years following the Revolution. Although articulated long before, the "ancient constitution" of Britain was advocated anew as an essential and defining element, most famously 7 by Edmund Burke. The persistence and popularity of Burke's organic view of British constitutionalism is fully evident in subsequent histories written by both sides of the emerging political system.8 The fear engendered by the French Revolution, and the linking of an ancient and organic constitution to the definition of the Protestant British self cast aspersions on any idea espoused by the Ancien Regime, including the physiocratic Le despotisme de la Chine. The rejection of China as a moral exemplar and a legitimate form of government was therefore compounded by both French advocacy and the emerging myth of 90

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Britain's own unique antiquity. The "ancient constitution", "the Norman yoke", "Saxon freemen", even the monarchy itself, all became tropes emblematic of the apostolic succession of all that was good and right and essential to the British self. China could not have the model form of government, even in textual antiquity, because Britain had. This organic lineage was given further cachet by anchoring it in the textual antiquity of ancient Greece. The preponderance of classical material in nineteenth century Britain is incontrovertible, and the use made of those texts and the myriad contemporary critiques is well documented, I will only bring out a very few points here. Classical authors and topics served in much the same capacity in the nineteenth century as they do today--to highlight, buttress, or critique some current polemic end. Clear cut parallels between the ancient world and the contemporary one, e.g., the pax Romana and the pax Britannica, fostered discussion and gave imaginative depth to topical debates. The appeal to the great authority of these ancients was considered both rhetorically sound, and politically expedient. As the world of ancient Greece and Rome existed only in the transmitted texts of Aristotle, 91

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Homer, Virgil, Cicero etc., it posed no actual threat to the positional superiority of the British interpreters9 China, however distant the imperial bureaucracy of the Qing dynasty was from the model found in their Classics, remained a system to contend with. As we have seen, a similar appropriation of Chinese antiquity was adopted by the authors of The Morals of Confucius, John Webb, and even by Goldsmith as late as the eighteenth century; however the emerging hierarchial configuration vitiated the political authority of Chinese antiquity. By the middle of the nineteenth century, as contemporary commentators continued to divorce religion from politics and set them on independent trajectories, ''Confucius" ceased to function as a political figure. The Sishu and their ostensible author could remain instructors of morality, and metonyms for ''Chineseness," but they were classified as sacred, and ''Confucius" became a foundational, religious figure. British perceptions of China altered in the nineteenth century for reasons other than simply rectifying a dissonant popular image. Protestant propaganda, knee-jerk Franco-phobia, the grounding of British political institutions in their own "unique" 92

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past, plus the continued subscription to ancient, western authority delegitimized both the Chinese text's political authority, and subsequent French valorization of it. This, and the continued cleavage of the religious and the political past, the so-called "secularization f h E d "10 h "1 h d h" h"ft o t e uropean m1n eav1 y we1g te t 1s s 1 in favor of viewing the Sishu as a purely religious text. The separation of Church and State was never fully completed, and many interpretive strategies can be seen reflected in these twin hierarchies. The earliest sources were consistently valorized; Homer d v 11 d L was g1ven prece ence over 1rg1 an egge, as we will see, prefered "Confucius," and the Lunyu because of their alleged antiquity. Concomitant with the promotion of the most ancient was the persistence of the politically expedient. This dual allegiance can be seen in the simultaneous conflation of Cicero, whose ambiguous political philosophy was used by many in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to give weight to beliefs as disparate as traditional republicanism and utilitarian individualism,12 and the establishment of the Brahman's as the defining caste of Hinduism, the positioning of the ''historical" Buddha, as well as the 93

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continued maintenance of ''Confucius" established by the Jesuits. All were perceived to carry the necessary weight of antiquity. In addition, they were linked by the British, to certain imperial structures, and thus, could serve as conduits to the sinews of power. However, as disruptions in the political-religious taxonomy grew more pronounced, exploring, and establishing regnant traditions as a means of insinuating oneself into "eastern" power structures became less a matter of politics, and more a matter of theology. Therefore, we must now turn to the establishment of religious hierarchies, and discover how religions of the east came to be established, and how they operated within this evolving structure. "Discovering" the Sacred Constructing a Religious Hierarchy of the East If orientalism arose in the empty space created by the enclosing definitions of nationalism, i.e., as the "nation" became the historical subject, oppositional others were either discovered or constructed (often both) in order to form the banks that defined and constrained this subject. So too, religious knowledge in the nineteenth century was situated in a world both flush with evangelical fervor and skeptical of the 94

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usefulness of theology in an increasingly secular and scientific age. Indeed, the development of the nation as a historical entity and the view of Christianity, especially Protestant Christianity, as the historically developing religion are intimately linked and cannot be as easily separated as either secular scientists, or religious theologians would have us believe. broadly across disciplines today we can see this 13 congeneric development take place Reading Raymond Williams has convincingly argued that the reification of terms such as culture, art, industry, and nation became apparent in the early years of the nineteenth century, and are indicative of the fundamental shift from taxonomies to hierarchies in the western episteme pointed out by Foucault. Williams, in Culture and Society and its companion Keywords argued that these terms became abstract and absolute, for example, Where "culture'' meant state or habit of mind, or the body of intellectual and moral activities, it means now, also, a whole way of life. This development, like each of the original meanings and relations between them, is not but general and deeply significant. This same argument is echoed by Foucault, the domain of the pure forms of knowledge becomes isolated, attaining both autonomy and sovereignty in relation to all empirical knowledge, causing the endless birth and rebirth of a project to 95

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formalize the concrete and to const}sute, in spite of everything, pure sciences. This process I have designated as bifurcating hierarchies; religion and politics were split apart, as were literattire and history. While both religion and politics retained a history, the genesis of each was different; politics, and its offshoot civilization, according to Said, rested in the "Athens to Albion" d 1 d b h . f 1" 16 mo e constructe y t e act1ve proJect o or1enta 1sm, whereas religion became located in its transcendent, therefore defining capacity. Echoing the secular studies taken on by Williams and Foucault, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, in The Meaning and End of Religion, argued that the term religion became reified at much the same time as culture, art and the other "keywords" explicated by Williams. He argued that the formative belief of Christian faith, or more simply, the religious beliefs of those who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ, transmogrified into ,first, a distinct Christian religion and ultimately into Christianity--a species of the genus religion. Furthermore, he postulated that this process is purely a product of nineteenth century Europe; no other language has a word that can translate religion, as an actual institutionalized form of organized worship, essential 96

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to the formation of individual faith and group tradition. In addition, only a handful received proper name status, e.g., Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc. We feel no embarrassment speaking of the Greek religion, or the religion of the Hopi's, Smith argued: For the major living religious traditions of the world, however, modernity has conferred names where they did not exist. I [Smith] have not found any formulation of a named religion earlier than the nineteenth century: 'Boudhism' (1801), 'Hindooism' (1829), 'Taouism' (1839), 'Zoroasterl1nism' (1854), 'Confucianism' (1862), and so on. The reasons for this reification of terms was not haphazard. Smith believed that he had discerned a pattern: The transition to a specific name did not take place in any of those cases where a people's religious life remained integrated and coterminous with their social existence. Thus the West [sic] has never developed a name for the religion o-f-the Incas, of the Samoans, of the Babylonians, and so on for a long list. In cases, however, where the religious tradition of one community developed historically to transcend the boundaries of the people among whom it first arose, so that on a considerable scale men of other communities became converts to that tradition, or in those where, on the other hand, religious practices were followed by markedly less than all the members of a given society, then a name did arise to distinguish 'the religion' from the social group. This process normally took the form of adding the Greek suffix '-ism' to a word used to designate the persons who are members of the religious or followers of a given tradition. Therefore, a religion was nominated after these 97

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cumulative traditions were perceived as being no longer vibrant in their native contexts. "Religion" arose as a means of defining, codifying, and explicating differences between groups and emphasizing similarities within communities. It developed congenerically, and simultaneously with concepts of culture, of nation, and of history and in accord with the shift in the western episteme outlined by Foucault. I have allowed myself this brief digression into theoretical concerns, because I believe it is important to situate the study of religious matters, and sacred texts in a much broader field. Disengaging it from the process of secular theory leaves it adrift in a realm of imagined empirical certitude, or mere theological significance. Far from the maddening crowd of hermeneutic concerns, "religion" becomes unanswerable to any secular theory, and can therefore be viewed as inconsequential: either a tradition, the "truth" of which cannot be proved but can only be discerned by comparing it to other similar traditions, or as a more primitive mode of thought reluctant to step into the light modern science. Yet, theorfes of post-modernism argue that no subject is sacred, and that all been constructed to a certain extent. Orientalist theories 98

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have added that the construction of epistemologies in the nineteenth century was often undertaken, though not always transparently, for the purpose of creating an exotic, essentialized other that would reinforce the similarity of the discriminating self. Construction of religions and religious knowledge was different, but these were differences in kind. These differences can be explicated in the construction of Hinduism, the "discovery" of Buddhism, and the positioning of "Confucianism" within this constructed taxonomy, that took place throughout the course of the nineteenth century. I should stress that this process was never an entirely one-sided hegemonic effort designed for the sole purpose of colonizing and converting the east. The ''discovery" and reification of Asian religions took place in the spirit of acquiring scientific knowledge, and often with the help of specific . f 19 nat1ve 1n ormants. However, the acquisition of this knowledge was filtered through certain late eighteenth and early nineteenth century ideological prisms. What came to be defined as the great religious systems were all indexed to certain ideas or practices common in the Christian tradition: a body of texts revered as sacred; generally, but not always, a 99

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foundational figure; a recognizable priesthood, and devotional practices that delineated a coherent system. Further, there was, as Philip Almond has pointed out with respect to the British discovery of Buddhism, an a priori incapacity to treat it [the east] on equal terms. Rather, the West [sic] was able only to deal with it from the position of its20 own essential and unquestionable superiority. It was from this unquestionable position that the British set out to acquire, quantify, delineate, "interpret Christianly" information in order to understand the myriad religious traditions of the east; and they did this predominantly through the study of texts. Creating a Canon The study of the east and the study of orientalist projects remains a study of texts; whether it is Sir William Jones translating the Vedas in the 1780s or a Masters candidate doing work on the Sishu in 1996, the text is the thing upon which sinology hangs. Perhaps because of the vast problem of dealing with multiple and myriad local cultures and traditions; textual analysis gives one a sense of stability and place in an otherwise fluid and chaotic environment. The local traditions of the east were to the British mind, if not fluid then certainly chaotic, and in order to 100

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understand the chaos, and establish a foot-hold in local power structures, the British sought ancient native laws, and ended by classifing the various traditions as distinct religions. Thomas Metcalf has noted this process: Men like [William] Jones saw themselves not only as rescuing India's ancient laws, but as ordering their ''original texts' in a 'scientific method.' This 'method' involved the assumption, foreign to indigenous Indian scholarship, that somewhere there existed fixed bodies of prescriptive knowledge in India--one for Hindus and one for Muslims--and that the closest approach to certainty was2io be gained by establishing the oldest. texts. It is interesting to note the reflection of this endeavor, just as the British sought justification for their own laws in their own ''ancient constitution" and the authority of Greece and Rome, so they also rescued India's ancient laws from ancient texts, in divining them they delineated whole new religious systems. However, in terms of Hinduism the search for origins was not purely textual. In endeavoring to discover the ancient laws of India, the British started with what they believed to be the essential religion of eighteenth century India. However, the British carefully selected this religion excluding the more apparently textual or minor religions (Buddhism, little practiced in eighteenth century India, Jainism, a faith 101

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of a small minority, and Islam, an imported religion) and focused instead on the traditions of the Brahmans. Thus, as Ronald Inden has argued, The religion they [the British] wanted was the one that they considered integral to caste, India's essential institution, the religion that was itself fundamentally concerned both with the maintenance of a 'natural' society which transcended the economic and political and, at the same time, with escape from it. The symptom of that predominance of the otherworldly over the worldly in the land of caste was the superior position of the Brahmans, the caste of priests, those concerned above all with representing the social and religious in their texts. The essential religion of India must, therefore, be the philosophy) in the charge of these priests. To be sure, in this endeavor the British had the full cooperation of many of the Brahmans themselves. This is important to note, for, as we will see, the construction of a Hindi religious system for the purpose of defining a culture and based upon originary texts filtered through a priesthood that embodies what are considered to be essential qualities of a given area, bears remarkable similarities to British understanding of China viewed through the lens of "Confucianism." It is precisely these qualities that the British imagined they saw in the Jesuit project. Buddhism remained more purely textual. Therefore, the British construction of it illuminates similar 102

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textual work they carried out on "Confucian" texts. The definition of Buddhism in Asia is problematic. This is ironic because, as Philip Almond has pointed out, Generally, around the 1820s, this congeries of religious phenomena throughout Asia is being classified as the religion of Buddha or Buddhism . by the mid-1830s, 'Buddhism' had come to define the beliefs and practices of most of Asia. Yet, Buddhism was not exemplary of any particular culture because it was not essentially linked to any specific country. It could not define India--it hardly existed there; it could not define China (though it was very much in evidence)--China had already been defined as "Confucian." Buddhism transcended, and because it transcended, it paradoxically remained locked in a textual realm designated by western interpreters. Though prevalent throughout Asia, the understanding of it did not rely (to the extent that the understanding of Hinduism or "Confucianism" did) on native informants. Donald Lopez said of the study of Buddhism, "Once the texts have been gathered and the languages deciphered, 24 the native interpreter is superfluous." Almond concurs saying, By the 1850s, the textual analysis of Buddhism was to be the major scholarly task. Through the West's [sic] progressive possession 103

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of the texts of Buddhism, it becomes, so to say, materially owned by the West [sic]; and by virtue of this ownership, ideologically controlled by it . It was to become progressively less and less a living religion of the present to be found in China, Nepal, Mongolia, etc. and more a religion of the past bound by its own textuality. and understood as a textual object. Similarly, once Hindu ''Scriptures" had been delineated (the Rig the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita etc.) Brahman interlocutors were also dispensed with. Both Hinduism and Buddhism can therefore be seen as coming 26 to exist, materially, as part of western culture. That is, they existed in the libraries and universities of Europe in a form Europeans believed to be coherent with Asian practices, yet, these forms were removed, fundamentally different, "unique," wholly other, from the native traditions in Asia. Another aspect of Buddhism, which resonates with the British understanding of "Confucianism," was its index to Christianity. In addition to nonlocalized transcendence, Buddhism was invested with preference by the exclusive position of its founder. The accepted insistence on the foundational primacy, and historically verified person of the Buddha explicitly linked Buddhism with other singular foundational religions within the religious taxonomy, such as "Confucianism," Daoism, 104

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and especially, Christianity. However, this also appears to be a construct of nineteenth century Britain. Until the 1830s Buddhism had no historic founder; the Buddha was presumed to exist as part of the Hindu pantheon. However, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the foundational myth of the Gautama Buddha had been firmly established in British scholarship. Though exact dates remained contested, the accepted range for his life was sometime between the fifth and sixth centuries B.C.E. This is significant for as Almond notes, the placement of the Buddha in the fifth to sixth centuries B.C. or later brought him within near reach of the beginnings of Indian history in the strict sense, that is to say, close to the reign of Chandragupta Maurya in the late part of the fourth century B.C. In effect, this made quite unviable the earlier tendency to see the Buddha as essentially a divine being located in mythic time, and initiated the quest an historically viable account of his life. As a Hindu god, the Buddha was seen as a kind of rebel angel dissenting from the tenets of Hinduism; as a historical personage, he could be seen as a reformer, 28 opposed to the corruption of the Brahman caste. Here, once again, we see linkage of a religion and the historically defined nation. They complement and validate one another; the Buddha exists historically because of his proximity to the beginning of Indian monarchical time, and the unique character of Hindu 105

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India can be seen (in certain ways) to begin with the original rejection of his "reforms." A similar historical religious taxonomy was created by the Jesuits for "Confucius," who placed him near the beginning of Chinese imperial time, a placement which was accepted by the British. The British in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries constructed religious systems from the myriad indigenous traditions with which they came into contact. They fit the range of traditions into a framework of religion that they understood--Christianity, and by so doing, they created Asian Religions set in opposition to Protestant Christianity. It was a new and essentially liturgical taxonomy. Again, this is undoubtedly more self-reflective than not, echoing the predominantly liturgical differences used to differentiate dissenting churches, one from another, and from the Anglican establishment. Thus, the doctrinal debates, which dominated theological discussions in the early years of the nineteenth century, carried over into the study of the east. The liturgical taxonomy at home was transposed into a religious hierarchy abroad, which helped in explaining (creating?) the essential differences between cultures and nations. In this 106

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process of creation the British established these Asian religions as textual objects to be studied in and defined by the west, removed from native tradition and indigenous interlocutors. I have given much space to British interpretations of Hinduism and Buddhism, because they can help establish the field of nineteenth century criticism and interpretation of which "Confucian" China was a part. Many of the same concerns were addressed by the British in regard to China, as we will see. Yet, it is difficult to use "Confucianism" as an example of British constructions of knowledge about China because, as I have pointed out, they were not the primary interpreters of China. They interpreted interpretations; the "manufacture" of "Confucius" had already taken place.29 Therefore, we must first briefly look at: the Jesuit positioning of "Confucius," the vocabulary and conceptual frame they established, i.e., sacred referents such as shangdi, tianzhu, and tian, as well as their reading of the Sishu, in order to understand the mimetic recurrence in the nineteenth century. 107

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Ceci N'est Pas La Chine: Jesuit 'Trompe L'oeil', the Conceptual Frame of Sinology When the first Jesuit mission was established in China in September 1583 there was no ''Confucius." The Jesuits, like the British in India two centuries later, found a land of tremendous diversity with a myriad of competing schools and traditions, i (Buddhist), dao, and ru ("Confucian") to name but three of the most prominent. The state cult centered around the ru tradition, and its celebrated ancestor Kongzi who was viewed by the Chinese as shengren, a man-god, and who was worshipped as, "xianshi, 'first teacher, 1 zongshi, 'ancestral teacher,' or . xiansheng, 'first sage.'" 30 The task before the Fathers was daunting to say the least, "accommodation'' (the official policy of the Jesuits),31 for the purpose of conversion of the Chinese, required a rigorous study of indigenous texts and an intimate knowledge of local customs; what this resulted in was the enculturation of Ricci and his followers. However, this did not immediately result in a hagiographic construction, on the part of the Jesuits, of the xianshi of the ru tradition, Kongzi. The tremendous popularity of the various i traditions, Tiantai, Chan, Huayan, or Jingtu, led the Fathers into a pursuit of those traditions as a means of 108

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accommodation. It was apparent to the early Jesuits, as it remains to many today, that there are a great many more similarities (theological, doctrinal, liturgical, and organizational), between Buddhism and Christianity, than there were between and Christianity. Appleton pointed out that in Buddhism, the Jesuits found, "a disturbing inversion of the Catholic ritual."32 Not so disturbing, however, that they rejected it outright as a mode of accommodation, that came later after their "conversion" to the ru t d . 33 ra 1.t1.on. Yet there were many problems for the Fathers living as Buddhist monks in sixteenth century China, not the least of which was their discovery that Buddhism was not an indigenous faith; this coupled with the derision heaped upon them by the ru scholars who inhabited the imperial bureaucracy encouraged the Jesuits to abandon their fo robes for the scholars caps. Like the British singling out Brahmans as their primary interlocutors, the Jesuits adopted the ru tradition for politically expedient reasons. It was in their incarnation as ru scholars that the Jesuits invented "Confucius".34 A brief glance in any dictionary or encyclopedia 109

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allows one to discover the etymology of "Confucius" as being, the Latinization of Kong Fuzi or "Master 35 Kong." However, the honorific title Fuzi was not applied to the progenitor of the state cult before the Jesuits arrived. In fact none of the Sishu contains mention of Kong Fuzi; there is a Kongzi (elder son Kong) throughout the Lunyu, just as there is a Mozi, Mengzi, Laozi, and Xunzi scattered throughout the books they ostensibly authored. There are five different philosophers listed in the first book of the Lunyu alone. So where did the honorific Fuzi come from? Much current scholarship has adduced evidence to suggest that Kong Fuzi was an imaginative construction of the Jesuits. In order to solidify their position as ru scholars in China, and to bolster their success as accommodationists back home, Ricci and the others raised the icon of the cult to honorific status in China and simultaneously translated him into santo (saint) or sapientissimo (wise man) status in the west.36 The position they assumed as scholars, which they translated to the west as "la legge de' letterati" ("the Order of the Literati") enabled them to embark on a mission of cross-cultural invention, the effects of which continue to reverberate today. The iconographic 110

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image of "Confucius" emerged in the west, as we have seen, as the sage-exemplar, the "supreme apostle" (both the Christian image and the superlative modifier should be noted), "of the orderly status quo." However much rectification of this image the British undertook, they nevertheless succeeded in maintaining the regnant position of "Confucius" within their reified hierarchy. Yet, this imaginative creation of the cultic personification of ''Confucius/Kong Fuzi" was perhaps the least of the Jesuits accomplishments. Concomitant with their beatification of the Sage was their delineating the literature of their sect. The translation of the "Confucian" canon, specifically the Sishu zhijie, a sixteenth century recension of the Four Books, as well as a wealth of other material such as the Tianzhu shiyi (The Real Significance of the Heavenly Master) a catechistic work authored by Ricci, and the Zuchuan Tianzhu Shijie (The Ancestrally Transmitted Heavenly Master's Ten Admonitions, i.e. the Ten Commandments) penned by Fr. Ruggieri,37 framed their encounter by giving it a cross-textual index. The books the Jesuits wrote and translated, some of them in Ricci's own hand with Latin and Chinese script "bleeding" into each other,38 became the textual map that defined China. 111

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The reassertion of some of these texts as defining of an eastern canon will be seen in the hierarchical positioning of "Confucianism" among competing indigenous traditions. Anxious to distance themselves from their previous Buddhist incarnation, the Fathers vilified Buddhist teachings and delved into the literature of their la legge de' letterati, their ru Order. There they "discovered" references to an ancient monotheism, something quite like the Golden Rule, concepts of morality, virtue, humaneness, and fealty. Thus unequivocally establishing "Confucianism" as the system most compatible with Christianity. The arguments that the Jesuits framed in their discourse with Chinese texts established a vocabulary for discussing the universality of God, and the eternal truth of all religions. God was truly omnipresent, because shangdi (Sovereign on High) was worshipped in China much the same as God was worshipped in Europe, therefore shangdi was God, or as Lionel Jensen puts it, All men, as they were born of God and endowed with a soul, possessed a congenital awareness of Him which was nurtured through worship, and the prosecution of an ethical life. Shangdi is a term attested to in the ancient texts, 112

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thus the Jesuits appropriated it as a sacred referent. However, they also adopted the popular term tianzhu (Heavenly Maser), and argued its existence in China established a kind of pre-figurative Christianity. The translation of shangdi/tianzhu as God would engender and inform European debates for centuries; not only was it a key issue in the Papal decree of 1704, ending the Rites controversy, it became a major point of contention between English and American missionaries h h 40 ln t e nlneteent century. Again, I believe this can be viewed in terms of the shift from taxonomy to hierarchy. The Jesuit position on tianzhu/God, threatened papal authority because it emphasized the mutual compatibility of ''Confucianism" and Christianity. In the nineteenth century, as we will see, the British rejected the use of tianzhu, and instead advocated the use of shangdi when translating "God." The existence of shangdi in ancient texts made it the preferable term for Protestant interpreters intent on establishing textual authority and exerting the hierarchical supremacy of Christianity. In privileging this term, Protestant missionaries established that the Chinese knew the one true God, what they lacked was the knowledge of the saving act of Christ. 113

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Indexing Chinese and western sacred and revered secular texts, one to the other, the Jesuits furrowed a fertile textual, symbolic ground, where the seeds of both Chinese and western imagination could flourish. They created in effect a trompe l'oeil, one of Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities," not China itself, but an image of thina that entered into western discourse where it came to define the essential nature of that country of which it was never wholly a part. This image of China was not pieced together or "discovered" in Europe, as Hinduism and Buddhism would be, but rather was translated whole from the CSP. It was an image that was never fundamentally questioned by the British; only the subsequent European interpretationi were. The trompe l'oeil of the CSP, therefore, established the interpretive as well as the textual limits of British sinology. The interpretive center of the CSP was the first three of the Four Books, and so it would remain; gathering adherents in the west until they could be declared the, "Scriptures, the holy books of the Chinese."41 Ultimately the "Confucian" texts translated by the Jesuits, and taxonomically understood by many of their contemporaries, were as a palimpsest, retranslated by nineteenth century British 114

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interpreters, and classified and hierarchically arranged in relation to Buddhist Sutras, Hindu Vedas, Daoist and Zoroasterian texts under the heading The Sacred Books of the East. They became part of a textual discourse, understood and controlled by the west, and therefore part of the "citational" discourse of orientalism. which, as Said points out, "is after all f . k d h "42 a system or c1t1ng wor s an aut ors. The orientalist critique argues further, that this citational discourse not only created and defined the textual canon of eastern religions, but did so in such a manner that essentialized all Asian societies into irredeemably inferior positions in relation to the west. The positional superiority of the west vis-a-vis The Sacred Books of the East, functioned on two levels. First, by being defined as sacred, they could be judged against the sacred texts of the west; the "distorted" theology of the east could then be discerned in the light of the necessarily "true" theology of Christianity. The very definition of these texts as "sacred" therefore vitiated their sacredness. Second, existing predominantly as a textual discourse, The Sacred Books of the East not only reenforced western superiority, but gave critics in the west a platform 115

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from which to view the perceived inferiority of the east. The texts themselves served as a litmus for observing (constructing?) the degradation of the eastern world. By how much were the inhabitants of the eastern world not living up to the standards discovered in their sacred works? Certainly, the authority of the ancients remained of primary importance in the west as well, nevertheless, the full ramifications of reversing this question seems to have occurred to only a handful of 1 h h 43 0 1. h peop e 1n t e n1neteent century. r1enta 1sm as b d h 11 d "44 f th een v1ewe as t e const1tut1ve 1scourse, o e nineteenth century, defining both the east and oppositionally the west, and it is to the functioning of this discourse that we now turn. Yet as we begin to examine the manifestations of this discourse in the nineteenth century, it is perhaps wise to pause and ponder Ronald Inden's warning, that the orthodoxy of eastern religions was, itself as much the product of the Anglo-German imagination and of its shifting desires in the nineteenth century. Among these was a wish to create a purely masculine, spiritual, transcendent Reason for itself. This construct implied its opposite, a feminine, visceral, immanent Imagination, one that remained ever necessary to Reason, but also always a threat to it. Without a civilization in which this internal Other could be externalized, and worked 116

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upon, it is hard to see how our ancestors could have convinced themselves had succeeded to the extent that they did. Siting "Confucius" Positional Strategies and the Sishu The intense textual accumulation and criticism which emerged out of the wonderfully inventive, and highly reflective caldron of eighteenth century Chinoiserie, was driven in large part by evangelical zeal. The purpose of translating Sanskrit texts may have been to uncover the ancient laws of the Hindus for the purpose of rule,46 but the translation of the Four Books into English was undertaken predominantly for the purpose of enabling missionary conversion. Marshman worked concurrently on his translation of the Lunyu and on the Chinese version of the Gospel of Matthew. To those who did the work, the translations were seen primarily as a pedagogical tool useful mainly for the purpose of increasing one's ability to translate Christian texts more effectively into native languages. Yet, in the much broader world of orientalist studies they took on a considerably deeper significance. It has been argued that on one level, the translations of texts allowed missionaries subtly to shift the balance of power, with the missionary student and the native 117

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speaking teacher changing roles as the textual authority f Ch 0 0 4 7 shifts rom native to r1st1an. On another level, in the western discourse, the translated texts of the east highlighted, the perceived superiority of the west over the east. We must now examine how the texts of "Confucianism,'' though neither discovered constructed by the British, fit into this larger taxonomy of orientalism; first by continuing to look at the privileging of certain texts, which I began in the last section, but now wish to expand to explore more precisely how the British maintained the superiority of the Sishu; and second to examine how the maintenance of this privileged textuality, allowed British interpreters to view the contemporary east as not only opposite the west, but also in opposition to its own past. The canonization of certain texts was integral to the construction of a religious hierarchy of the east, as we have seen. The beliefs and texts of the Brahmans were integral to the establishment of Hinduism. Similarly, prominence was give to the Sanskrit texts of Buddhism, while vernacular texts were virtually ignored, or studied until an older and therefore more 48 authoritative, text was found. Yet, as we have also 118

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seen, the British did very little to establish the canon of "Confucianism." However, it is not the establishment of the "Confucian" canon by the British that is crucial, rather it is their maintenance of it as a set of canonical texts which places it within the discourse of orientalism. For if the construction of a canon of texts and the tradition that surrounds it is used to prove, as it often is, continuity over time, i.e., the more things change, the more they stay the same; then the maintenance of that same tradition over time, necessarily implies the opposite, viz., the more things stay the same, the more they change. The first example of this I would point out is the shift and preference given to the Lunyu. You will recall that in the CSP and its English cousin The Morals of Confucius, the Lunyu was placed third, after the Daxue and the Zhongyong. This is the ordering that Collie maintained, arguing The Four Books, as the title denotes, consist of four separate pieces, which are by the Chinese in the following order. Despite the primacy of Zhu Xi's ordering and his admonition, which Legge translated at the beginning of the Daxue as, "Learners must commence their course with this,"50 Legge rearranged the text and placed the 119

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Lunyu first, followed in oTder by the Daxue, Zhongyong, and the Mengzi. This ordering has remained preferred to this day, with the Analects frequently being published in separate, d 1 d . 51 an popu ar e 1t1ons. Legge's reasoning for this shift is instructive for it illustrates the British rectification of what they perceived to be faulty continental thinking, as well as faulty Chinese history. In addition it highlights the nineteenth century's predilection for the most ancient of sources. Legge argued, This arrangement of the Classical Books, which is commonly supposed to have originated with the Sung [Song] dynasty, is defective. The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean are both found in the Record of Rites, It thus appears, contrary to the ordinary opinion on the subject, that the Ta Hsio [Daxue] and Chung Yung [Zhongyong] had been published as separate treatises before the Sung [Song] dynasty, and that Four Books, as distinguished from the greater Ching had found a place in the literature of China. Legge is correct in this assessment. However, his chronological argument does not necessarily disprove Zhu Xi's ordering, only that all the parts of the Lunyu existed before the Song editors got a hold of them. Legge doesn't deny and in fact went to great lengths to show the tremendous number of editions of each part at the time of the original Han redactions, "229 collections of the Lun Yu, and kindred fragments, 120

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f 1 d" d 1 "53 rom twe ve 1n 1v1 ua s. He further takes pains to point out the disordered nature of all of the parts, and of the myriad redactions and commentaries upon all of them. He reiterated the point that original authorship was probably impossible to determine, concluding that the Lunyu was most likely compiled by 54 "disciples of 'the disciples of the sage, the Zhongyong was attributed to Kongji the grandson of Kongzi, and the authorship of the Daxue was entirely doubtful. None of this, however, suggests the Lunyu was the most and therefore the most authoritative. This authority derived from a story Legge believed that revolved around the infamous Burning of the Books by Qin Shihuangdi (ca. 221 B.C.E.). Here is Legge's rendering of the standard account: When the work of collecting and editing the remains of the Classical Books was undertaken by the scholars of the Han, there appeared two different copies of the Analects, one from Lu, the native state of Confucius, and the other from Ch'i [Qi], the state adjoining. Between these there were considerable differences But a third copy of the Analects was discovered about B.C. 150. One of the sons of the emperor Ching [Qing] was appointed king of Lu in the year B.C. 154, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull down the house of the K'ung [Kong] family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived. While doing so, there was found in the wall copies of the Shu-ching [Shujing], the Ch'un Ch'iu [Chunqiu], the Hsiao-ching [Xiaojing], and the Lun Yu [Lunyu] or Analects, which had been 121

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deposited there, when the edict for the burning. of the Books was issued. They were all written, however, in the most ancient form of Chinese character [what were known as 'tadpole characters'], The recovery of this copy will be seen to be a most important circumstance in the history of the Analects. It is referred to by writers as 'The old Lun Yu [Lunyu]. The discovery of this sequestered edition was enough to establish the primacy of the Lunyu, in Legge's mind, as the most ancient and therefore the authority. A second reason is much more reflective of a changed view of British polity after the mid-nineteenth century. The Morals of Confucius emerged hot on the heels of the Glorious Revolution, Collie's Four Books, while never very popular, nevertheless came out during the reign of George IV, and the ministry of Wellington; before the Reform Act of 1832. Legge's work was first published in 1861 with subsequent editions surfacing throughout the rest of the century; it was a time when the ''cult of the common man,"56 was foregrounded in the socio-political view. This shift is echoed in Legge's reasoning in moving the Daxue to the secondary position. The political aim of the writer [of the Daxue] is here at once evident. He has before him on one side, the people, the masses of the empire, and over against them are those whose work and duty, delegated by Heaven, is to govern them, culminating, as a class, in 'the son of Heaven,' 122

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'the One man,' the sovereign. But the above object of the Great Learning leads us to the conclusion that the student of it should be a sovereign. so/hat interest can an ordinary man have in it? It is clear in reading Legge that it is the Lunyu to which an "ordinary man" should turn for instruction in morality. The Daxue was for princes, the "Analects" 58 11 were for people. Though the existence of the old Lunyu" remains questionable, Legge sought, through sound philological arguments, the benchmark of Protestant theology, to rectify the centuries old ordering of the Sishu, which had been reduplicated by the Jesuits. His argument was grounded in both Protestant philology and the social world of the nineteenth century. However, there is also, in this repositioning, an imaginative recurrence to the Jesuit project; which is Legge's translation of Lunyu as "Analects." The term "Analects" has endured for well over a century since Legge first used it. "Analects" is however a very specific way in which to translate Lunyu, and one with many layers of meaning in a western context. The Morals of Confucius translates the term Lunyu as, "Discourses of several Persons that Reason 59 and Philosophize together. Collie gives it as "Dialogues."60 Legge initially translated the characters 123

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to say, as "Discourses and Dialogues," he went on The characters may also be rendered 'Digested Conversations,' and this appears to be the more ancient signification attached to them, the account being that, after the death of Confucius, his disciples collected together and compared the memoranda of his conversations which they had severally preserved, digesting them into the twenty books which compose the work. Hence the title 'Discussed Sayings,' or 'Digested Conversations.' Then without further comment he states, "I have styled the work 'Confucian Analects,' as being more descriptive of its character than any other name I could think of.1161 "Ancient signification'' or not, Analects was the term the work came to be known as. But why was this term more descriptive to Legge than any other? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term is derived from the singular "analect" which means choice, the select part or essence. The plural has the sense of things gathered or picked up, leftovers from a feast, and the most common use, of this less than common term, was selected miscellaneous writings or literary gleanings. It was no doubt the literary gleanings that Legge wished to invoke, however, the term had been used since the mid-seventeenth century to refer specifically to extracts from classical authors such as Plutarch, Pliny and Cicero. By resurrecting this terminology 124

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and consciously applying it to the Chinese work Legge resurrected "Confucius" as an Ethnic Philosopher, a sapientissmo, and the Lunyu itself as an acceptable 62 part of the western canon. A further appropriation of the Jesuit interpretation, in the active maintenance of "Confucianism," was the effort to keep it the "analect" i.e., the essence, the select part, to the exclusion of all else. This is clearly seen in the relative treatment of "Confucianism," Buddhism and Daoism. Again this three-fold construction of Chinese Religions owes h h J 63 muc to t e esu1ts. Their attacks on Buddhism can be seen as a dramatic distancing of themselves from their initial and rejected attempt at accommodation; their carving out of Daoism is indicative of their attempt to assert themselves as a very specific type f . h 1 64 o rUJlao sc o ars. In the British maintenance of these traditions, "Confucianism" is consistently reestablished as the primary, and therefore essential religion of the Chinese; Daoism is persistently vilified, and Buddhism is maintained in a liminal position, not native to China, yet important to it. The doctrines and theology of the Buddhists, as understood by the 125

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west, could therefore be used to bolster or undermine 65 a wide range of arguments. Legge made this very clear in his introduction to his translation of A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, by the Chinese monk Fa-hien (Faxian). He quite flatly d "C f h h d of Ch1"na."66 state on ucianism is t e ort o oxy Elsewhere he reiterated, "Confucianism is the religion par excellence of China, but both Taoism and 67 Buddhism have a legal standing in the country." The prevalent belief in the nineteenth century was that the three religions existed coterminously in China and that to some extent they worked upon, modified and supplemented each other. Joseph Edkins in 1859 outlined this belief in his work The Religious Conditions of the Chinese where he asserted: We have there three great national systems existing in harmony. Three modes of worship, and three philosophies underlying them, have been there for ages interacting on each other. Sometimes they have been in conflict, but usually they have preferred a state of peace. It is quite a common thing in China for the same 68 person to conform to all three modes of worship. Edkins went on to argue that this supplemental nature is necessary as no one religion is complete in and of itself; Confucianism speaks to the moral nature Taouism is materialistic. Buddhism is different from both. It is metaphysical. It 126

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appeals to the imagination, and deals in subtle argument. These three systems, occupying the three corners of a triangle--the moral, the metaphysical, and the material--are supplemental to each other, and are able to coexist without being mutually destructive. They rest each on a basis of its own, and address each to different parts of man's nature. This triumvirate established however, the missionary interpreter, specifically Legge, was at pains to maintain "Confucianism" in its privileged position. This Legge was able to accomplish in a variety of ways. First and most obviously, the texts of Daoism were themselves not admitted into the canon of Sacred Texts of the East until late. They remained indigenous longer than any other. The first translation of the Dao De Jing was done in Latin in 1788. A French version was completed by Stanislas Julien in 1842, but Legge did not undertake a translation until he was back in England in 1879. I do not mean to suggest that there was any kind of active suppression of the texts of Daoism, rather, focusing on the Sishu as the pedagogical and theological work of choice instructed the British to read Daoist texts in certain ways which, a priori insisted on the deficiency of the Daoist works. This can be illustrated by the second method of privileging "Confucianist" texts, which is Legge's obdurate refusal to as Dao in the context 127

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of the Sishu. This is most noticeable in the first section of the Zhongyong; here Collie translated the first lines as, What heaven has fixed, is called nature. To accord with nature, is called Taou. To cultivate Taou, is called learning. Taou may not be departed from for a single moment. That which is departed from, is not Taou. In the translation of the commentary on this passage, Collie parenthetically translates as "Path of 70 Duty." Further into the Zhongyong Collie, in one of the notes containing his own commentary, says, This Taou of which such lofty, and incomprehensible things are uttered, is sometimes said to be eternal, uncreated, omnipresent and the original cause of all changes in the Universe. In fact, the Chinese Taou, as it is sometimes defined, seems to come nearer to the scripture character of the supreme being, than any thing that we have with in their writings respecting their deities. This appears to be a fairly straight forward assessment of the Dao as it is found in the Dao De Jing as well as many passages of the Zhongyong. However, Legge drew some interesting distinctions. In his introduction to the Texts of Taoism Legge argued that while the terms nature and road or path, both come close to defining Dao, he ultimately rejected both of them for, as he says, "The Tao is a phenomenon; not a positive being, but a mode 128

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of being." In a footnote he explicitly stated that, -1; ,72 is equivalent to the Greek ochein the way. Further, he goes on to argue that, "the best way of dealing with it in translating is to transfer it to the version, instead of trying to introduce an English 1 f "t ,73 equiva ent or 1 Consequently, in the Texts of Taoism, he transferred the untranslated term into the English text, thereby increasing its exotic and mysterious cachet. However, in the same passage of the Zhongyong, where Collie offers the term untranslated, Legge insists on translating it; What Heaven has conferred is called THE NATURE; an accordance with this nature is called THE PATH OF DUTY; the regulation of this path is called INSTRUCTION. The path may not be left for an instant. 74f it could be left, it would not be the path. Indeed, throughout the Lunyu Legge is insistent on finding English equivalents for the term even when, as he admits himself, it seems difficult to do so. For example in Lunyu 4:8, Legge admits, "One is perplexed \>f.. to translate the here." Perplexed indeed, especially when it is in the context of what could be read as a very coherent Daoist sentiment; i.e., "The Master said, 1 If a man in the morning hear the right way [Dao ... .>f: ], he may die in the evening without regret." Zhu Xi, according to Legge, here glosses the 129

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term as "the principles of what is right in events and things," but Legge even rejects this and glosses it as, "the path 75 of action." Though Legge went further than most in even translating Daoist works, in refusing to transfer the term into the context of the Lunyu, Legge ensured that 'the "Confucian" texts remained accessible, and relatively transparent. They were works were amenable to nineteenth century sensibilities; whereas Daoism, with its untranslatable key term, remained obscure and codified as a .mystery--metaphysical and superstitious. He also, according to Lauren Pfister, once again, linked the "Confucian" tradition to western, specifically Aristotelian thought.76 Finally, and integral to its position as a religion, was the British maintenance of ''Confucianism's" chronological superiority and valorized antiquity. Throughout his work, and especially in his lectures delivered to the Presbyterian College in 1880, Legge persistently argued the antiquity of "Confucianism" over Daoism. In fact, he rejected the notion that Daoism was even a religion until even after the beginning of the "Christian era." Further he insisted that Daoism 130

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was modified and in some ways perverted by the introduction of Buddhism into China. It is not an ancient religion like that followed, illustrated, and transmitted by Confucius. It was begotten by Buddhism out of the old Chinese superstitions. Its forms are those of Buddhism; but its voice and spirit are from its superstition, fantastic, base, and cruel. Legge took pains, throughout his work to draw distinctions between the religion of Daoism and the Dao De Jing, which he felt were antithetical to each other. Perhaps because Laozi, the ostensible author of the Dao De Jing was supposed to have known and conversed with Kongzi. Still, "Confucius" remained the sage transmitter of the most ancient wisdom, and "Confucianism," at least to nineteenth century Britons, remained the state sanctioned, living embodiment, of that ancient knowledge. But, its persistence in that position took some imaginative work. The texts were rearranged, renamed, retranslated, and finally placed in opposition to other religious systems. Philip Almond has pointed out, The status of the Buddha was enhanced enormously by the perception that he had been an opponent of Hinduism, .. [thus] himself with the vast majority of Victorians. So too, "Confucianism" was valorized by its opposition to both Buddhism and Daoism. Daoism, which 131

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"as a system of superstitions, is antagonistic to This does not mean that "Confucianism'' was valorized to the same extent that it had been on the European continent just the century before, or even at all. On the contrary, the maintenance of the "Confucian'' canon and the establishment of the other textual religions, provided the British with a new critical tool: the religious hierarchy embodied in the pristine texts from the imagined Golden Age. The reestablished text was not to be emulated by the Europeans, but by the Asians. And their failure to reach the expectations set by the canon fueled the west's image of itself in eternal progress against an east in perpetual decline. Reflections on Orientalism The crisis of orientalism came, Said argues, when the textual trompe l'oeil was applied back onto the actual Orient. The paradox of orientalism is that the more the British increased actual contact with the east, the more textual material they were able to translate; and the more textual material they had increased their ability to see the east only on their terms, as dictated by the critical work done on the 132

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canon. It was in this way that, to quote Said, n80 "Orientalism overrode the Or1ent. There was tremendous dissonance created between what the texts said about the east and what the British actually discovered there. This is not to say that the texts always came before and informed the contact, nor that the texts were necessarily created in order to insure the superior position of the west, however taken in sum, orientalism argues, this was the effect. Indeed, it has been attested that without the textual object the decline of the east vis-a-vis east was impossible to imagine. Almond explicitly states this in his work, where he opines that: From that time when Buddhism is for the West primarily delineated from its texts--that is from the middle of the nineteenth century --contemporary Buddhism is seen as being in a general state of decay. This is in marked contrast to the first half of the century. During this period, the beginnings of a Western discourse about Buddhism did not hint of Buddhism a as decaying degenerate religion. In the absence of an ideal textual Buddhism with which to compare what was encountered in the East, it could not. In contrast, those who saw Buddhism in the East in the second half of the century could not but measure it against what it was textually said to be, could not but find it wanting and express this in the of decay, degeneration, and decadence. It was the text, therefore, that supplied the British 133

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with a commensurable object against which the east could be measured. In terms of China, the works of "Confucius" had long been intimately linked with the state cult, the bureaucracy, and the Chinese imperium. As the British came into more intimate contact with these aspects of Chinese life, the more the Four Books came to be used as models from which to deduce the intricacies of contemporary life. This can be seen in a comparison between Collie and Legge. Collie's comments, while vitriolic at times, generally tend to focus on the fallacies of "Confucianism" in relation to Christianity, and tends to remain aloof from any direct comparisons with contemporary Chinese character or trait. Legge, on the other hand, could be quite explicit in his denunciation of "Confucianism." Legge also pointed out the major discrepancies with Christianity, but went much further than Collie and criticized both the Chinese subsequent degradation of original ''Confucian" thought, and the deficiencies within "Confucianism" itself. In his introduction to the Chinese Classics he stated, The government which Confucius taught was a despotism, but of a modified character. Confucius's views of government are adapted to a primitive, unsophisticated state of society his views want the comprehension which would make them of much service in a great 134

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dominion. Within three centuries of his death, the government of China passed into a new phase There has been a tendency to advance, and Confucius has all along been trying to carry the nation back. Principles have been needed, and not 'proprieties.' The consequence is that China has increased beyond its ancient dimensions, while there has been no corresponding development of thought. Its body politic has the size of a giant, while it still retains the mind of a child. I do not charge the contemptuous arrogance of the Chinese government and people upon what I deplore that he left no principle on to check the development of such a spirit. Thus we see threaded through this single argument, several lines of critique, and while, elsewhere, Legge 83 valorized "Confucius" for expounding the Golden Rule, for Legge the whole remained less than the sum of its parts. The linking of the religious traditions of the east with the contemporary governmental institution was important to the understanding and prevalence of orientalism. The pristine texts, translated and controlled by the British, provided the essential clues which, once "discovered'' by the west, enabled orientalists to establish each Asian society's specific deviance from the European norm. That is, Hinduism's feminine, imaginative irrationality prevented a strong central state from developing, consequently India was eternally subject to conquerors from the outside. 135

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Conversely, China, with "Confucian" hyper-rationality, and its concomitant centralized bureaucracy, evolved as too strong a central state, mostly impervious to conquerors but also almost completely resistant to change. Again, a trompe l'oeil portrait imported to the west by the Jesuits. The orientalist critique therefore functions on a number of different levels. It argues that by privileging what was ancient and therefore presuming its originary status, it excluded living traditions, and debilitated historical development by treating as deviations from the pure, ancient tradition, anything that refused to fit into the preexisting taxonomy. In this, it echoes nineteenth century Protestant criticism, which strove to imagine the pristine text of the Bible and cast it as inerrant. Further the originary tradition was itself criticized as the essential element of deviation, the defining characteristic which made the east east, and the west west. However, as we have seen the construction of Asian religions, and the maintenance of the Asian texts imaginatively worked together; some of the texts were reworked in order to reimagine or reinvent their superior positions in the taxonomy of The Sacred Books of the 136

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These constructions and repositionings had, in fact, much to do with maintaining the "positional superiority" of the west in the west, and the actual, (economic and military) superiority of the west in the east. Yet there are also other issues involved, issues that are more highly reflective of specifically British concerns; and more importantly, issues that contended with each other within the discourse of orientalism. These we have seen in the imaginative appropriation, and critical reworking of Jesuit interpretations, undertaken by the British in the repositioning of religions within the nineteenth century's liturgical taxonomy. It is these reflective issues that I wish to address in the next chapter. While the orientalist critique is helpful in questioning the lineage of genealogy, and explicating aspects of canonical construction, it too often, ironically, completes the very project it has set out to dismantle; reifying both orient and occident in a set of hierarchical strategies. What I propose to do in the following chapter is to, once again, reposition this imaginative relationship; this time with a wider aperture 137

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focused on the mutual entailment of the Sishu and the contested world of nineteenth century British theology. 138

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NOTES 1. See Qian Zhongshu, "Seventeenth Century," 351-384, emphasis in the original. 2. W. Whitehead, The World 4 val. (London: Printed for & J. Dodsley, 1753-1757), val. 1 68-72. Quoted in Qian Zhongshu, "Eighteenth Century, (II)," 42. 3. Said, Orientalism, 7, emphasis in the original. 4. Michel Foucault, Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Random House Inc., 1970), 219, emphasis in the original. 5. I have bracketed unique here to point out the problematic of the term. As used in conjunction with the past it frequently refers to that which is sui generis, as Jonathan Z. Smith points out, an ""''ntological rather than a taxonomic category." That is, a British past so radically different that it is viewed as "wholly other." See Jonathan z. Smith, Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 37-38. 6. See Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 11-54, and Colley, "Britishness and Otherness." Journal of British Studies 3 (October 1992): 309-329, also John Wolffe, "Evangelicalism in mid-nineteenth century England," in Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, val. 1, History and Politics, ed. Raphael Samuel, (London: Routledge, 1989), 188-200. 7. See J. G. A. Pocock, "Burke and the Ancient Constitution: A Problem in the History of Ideas," Chap. in Politics, Language and Time: Essays on Political Thought and History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 202-232. 8. Raphael Samuel, "Continuous National History," in Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, val. 1, 13. 139

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9. Frank M. Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority: Essays in Victorian Intellectual Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 288. 10. See Owen Chadwick, The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), passim. 11. Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority, 292. 12. Peter N. Miller Defining the Common Good: Empire, Religion, and Philosophy in Eighteenth Century Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 1-127. 13. See Smith, Drudgery Divine, 36-53 and 85-115. See also Jonathan Z. Smith, Adde Parvum Parvo Magnus Acervus Erit," chap. in Map Is Not Territory: Studies in the History of Religions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), 240-264. 14. Raymond Williams, Culture and Society: 1780-1950, 2d ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), xviii. 15. Foucault, Order of 248. 16. For a critique of Said and the "Athens to Albion" model see, Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (London: Verso, 1992), 159-219, also James Clifford, "On Orientalism," chap. The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Literature, and Art (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 198), 255-276. 17. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, The Meaning and End of Religion (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1978), 60-61. 18. Ibid., 61-62. 19. See Eugene F. Irschick, Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994) 1-13 and 67-114. See also Thomas R. Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, vol. 3, bk. 4 of The New Cambridge History of India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 12 and passim. 140

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20. Almond, British Discovery, 36, emphasis in the original. 21. Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, 12. 22. Inden, Imagining India, 85-86. 23. Almond, British Discovery, 10-11. 24. Donald Lopez, Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism Under Colonialism (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995), 5. 25. Almond, British Discovery, 24f. 26. Said, Orientalism, 2. 27. Almond, British Discovery, 64. 28. See Almond, British Discovery, 69-77. 29. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism". 30. Ibid., 169. See also, Jensen, "Invention of 'Confucius'," 415 and passim. 31. See Mungello, Curious Land, 13-19, 44-73, 247-299. 32. Appleton, A Cycle of Cathay, 39. The conjoining and accommodation of these two theologies, Buddhism and Christianity, continues to this day. Indeed it has become almost rampant in the last twenty-five years, see for a Christian example any of the works of Thomas Merton, and from a Buddhist perspective the most recent work by Thich Nhat Hanh is a most explicit example, Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ (New York: Riverhead Books, 1995). 33. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 92-131. See also Lionel M. Jensen, "The Limits of Essentialism: Matteo Ricci, Hu Shi, and Ecumenical Nativism," (Prepared for the Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Washington D. C. April 6-9, 1995). 34. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 82-94, Jensen, "Limits of Essentialism," and Jensen, "Invention of 'Confucius'." 141

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35. Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., s.v. "Confucius." 36. The distinction is fine and theological, sapientissmo was a category reserved for pagan philosophers, i.e., Greeks and Romans whose thought was admired but, because they lived before the saving act of Christ could not be canonized. Santo was generaly reserved for early Church fathers such as Augustine. Ricci was careful never to overtly represent "Confucius" or "Kong Fuzi11 as either santo or sapientissmo, nevertheless the Chinese sage acquired such status through weste.rn interpreters. See Jensen, "Invention of 'Confucius'," 436f, and Manufacturing "Confucianism", 66-166. 37. Translations are from Jensen, "Invention of 'Confucius'," 425. 38. Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 238-239. 39. Ibid. 115. 40. See below Chapter 4. 41. Loomis, Confucius, xii. 42. Said, Orientalism, 23. 43. See for example, William Howitt, Colonization and Christianity: A Popular History of the Treatment of the Natives by the Europeans in All Their Colonies (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Greene and Longmans, 1838; reprint, New York: Negro University Press, 1969). 44. Ahmad, In Theory, 178. 45. Inden, Imagining India, 130. 46. See Inden, Imagining India, 49-130, and Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, 1-65. 47. See Ruth H. Lindeborg, "The 'Asiatic' and the Boundaries of Victorian Englishness," Victorian Studies 37:3 (Spring 1994): 381-404. 142

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48. Charles Hallisey, "Roads Taken and Not Taken in the Study of Theravada Buddhism," in Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism Under Colonialism, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 31-61. 49. Collie, trans., Four Books, iii. 50. Legge, Analects, 355. 51. See for example, Soothill, Analects, also, Waley, Analects of Confucius. In terms of continuing popularity Dover has recently re-issued the Soothill version as part of its "Thrift Editions" series. Consequently the unabriged Soothill translation of the Lunyu is currently available in paperback for .98 cents. Popular editions of the Lunyu exist in China as well, with one version mimicking the form of Mao's "Little Red Book;" Lionel Jensen, personal correspondance. 52. Legge, Analects, 2f. 53. Ibid., 5. 54. Ibid., 16. 55. Ibid., 12-13. 56. Patrick Joyce, Democratic Subjects: The Self and the Social in Nineteenth Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 145, also 136-204. See also, Patrick Joyce, Vision of the People: Industrial England and the Question of Class 1848-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 27-86, 145-192, and 329-342. 57. Legge, Analects, 28-29, emphasis in the original. 58. Collie agrees that the Daxue was for the instruction of the sovereign, but this remains unproblematic for him. Only after mid-century does this quality become, as Legge termed it, "a defect." cf. Collie, Four Books, 1-14 and Legge, Analects, 27-34. 59. Morals of Confucius, 93. 143

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60. Collie, Four Books, iv. 61. Legge, Analects, 137. 62. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 552-555. 63. Marshall, Great Map, 107f. and Mungello Curious Land, 55-73. 64. See Jensen, Manufacturing "Confucianism", 185-219, and "Limits of Essentialism.'' See also Mungello, Curious Land, 55-73. 65. See Almond, British Discovery, 80-131, and Lopez et al., Curators, 1-62. 66. James introduction to A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms by Faxien [Fa-hien] (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1886; reprint, New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1965), 7. 67. James Legge, The Religions of China: Confucianism and Taoism Described and Compared with Christianity (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1880), 160. 68. Joseph Edkins, The Religious Conditions of the Chinese (London: Routledge, Warnes and Routledge, 1859), 54-55. 69. Ibid., 59-61, emphasis in the original. 70. Collie, Four Books, 2. 71. Ibid., 8. 72. Legge also pointed out that in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible the Greek term is translated as Way, which is precisely how Waley translates Dao in the same Lunyu passage, i.e., Lunyu 4:8, cf. Legge, Analects, 168 and Waley, Analects, 103. 73. James Legge, The Texts of Taoism, part 1, The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu and The Writings of Chuang, val. 39 of The Sacred Books of the East, ed. F. Max Muller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1891; reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1962), 15. 144

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74. Legge, Analects, 383f. 75. Legge, Analects, 168. 76. Pfister, "New Dimensions I,'' 353-9. 77. Legge, Religions of China, 201f. 78. Almond, British Discovery, 70. 79. Legge, Religions of China, 296. 80. Said, Orientalism, 96. 81. Almond, British Discovery, 37, emphasis in the original. 82. Legge, Analects, 106-108. 83. See Legge, Analects, 177 and passim, also Religions of China, 137ff. 145

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CHAPTER FOUR IN VISIBLE CITIES: THE MUTUAL ENTAILMENT OF THE SISHU AND PROTESTANT BRITAIN If, "it is indeed the image of the Self that appears through the mirror that we call the Other,"1 then it should be a portrait of nineteenth Britain that we can glean through the readings of their translations of the Sishu, and the appended commentary. If the image created by the Jesuits in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and by the British in the eighteenth and nineteenth is an "imaginative geography'' of the east, created for the purpose of maintaining it in a position of alterity and subordination, then the image of the British self seen in this mirror, should be one of centrality and power. Indeed, this is the image conjured up by a host of orientalist critics, both in the west and elsewhere.2 However, this view, like the genealogy narrative which preceded it, has its own limitations; the facile reification of epistemological constructs, e.g., 'history,' 'nation,' 'religion,' into objects merely to be defined and understood, rather than seeing them as historically bound, social forms of knowledge which 146

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are perpetually contested and negotiated. We may understand better the appropriations and construction of knowledge undertaken by interpreters, but we may view these as defining what a "nation" or a "religion" is rather than as exploring what these concepts might be. While the overt racism and self-conscious constructions of imperialism cannot, and should not be ignored within orientalist discourse, what should emerge is a more accurate, even if less cohesive, portrait; one rife with contradictions and contestations, negotiations and definitions. One where both east and west are mutually entailed in a horizonal field of equivalences. It is my contention that the translation, interpretation, and maintenance of texts always takes place in flux, in a process of definition from both within as well as without. Certainly at times, the translation of Chinese texts functioned as narratives which privileged the exceptional aspects of both Britain and China, in order to valorize one while denigrating the other. Yet, it must be remembered that they were produced and maintained in a field of self-definition, and, as such, they were made to negotiate difference and dissonance within Britain itself.3 In this way 147

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they remain linked to the imaginative and highly reflective literature of the preceding centuries: the avis of Goldsmith becomes the missionary interpreter, and the missionary interpreter occupies the position of "Citizen of the World," simultaneously creating and being created in the confluence of. translation. My own belief is that the imaginative relationship between Britain and China operates less as a dialectic, and more as a Derridean "supplement"; that is, "not either/or but both/and. Seemingly opposed entities in fact constitute each other, The 'other' is 1" d h lf "4 1mp 1cate 1n t e se Or as Ian Hacking has described, there is a "dynamic nominalism" of sorts at work, that is, not that there Britain, or China merely to be discovered by the accumulation of empirical knowledge or by the invention of imperialists, but rather that the idea of a Britain or a British self, was as much a process of "discovery" as that which delineated the oriental other. The "discovery" of self and other took place through the negotiations and 5 contestations of the imaginative inventions of the same. Within this imaginative vortex runs a number of contrapuntal lines of force, which wove together 148

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these expanding definitions: "science" and "religion," "evolution" and "degeneration," the denomination of a common "religion of humanity," as well as strategies which sought, to rework evangelical doctrines such as Atonement, Salvation, and rediscover humanities moral center. In renegotiating this terrain, which collectively bas been called the ''Victorian crisis of faith," interpreters reasserted certain patterns of traditions which mutually implicated, Christianity and "Confucianism," as well as Britain and China. In this chapter I will explore the entailment of these lines of force by examining how "Confucius" and the readings of the Sishu reflectively mutated and informed a discourse previously held to be sacred, i.e., discrete, to Britain, specifically nineteenth century Protestant theology, and the social world in which it was set. My methodology in attempting to show this follows Prasenjit Duara's conception of "Bifurcated histories;" The past is not only transmitted forward in a linear fashion, its meanings are also dispersed in space and time. Bifurcation points to a process whereby, in transmitting the past, Historical [sic] narratives and language appropriate histories according to present need, thus revealing how the present shapes the past. At the same time, by attending to the very process of appropriation, bifurcation allows us to recover a historicity beyond the appropriating discourse. Thus, through this conception, [one] tr[ies] to salvage historicity even while overcoming, 149

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or at least, becoming self-conscious of the repressive teleolggies of linear and simple, causal histories. Therefore, we will continue to look at the construction and maintenance of the canon known as the Sacred Books of the East, specifically that part of it known as the Sishu, but we will do so with an eye more focused on the narratives, and negotiated terrain of nineteenth century Britain, rather than on the increased (in)accuracy of their information about China, or on their perceived/imagined ''positional superiority". Degenerationist Genesis and the Humanity of ''Confucius" Running strongly through the nineteenth century was the degenerationist view of savagery, which towards the end of the century, contrapuntally engaged the emerging theory of evolution. This view held by many of the leading philologists, especially Max Muller (1823-1900) the general editor of the Sacred Books of the East, argued that man had been noble and pure at the beginning of time, but had been corrupted and degenerated ever since. Following Johann Herder (1744-1803) and Christian Karl Bunsen (1791-1860), Muller that "myth was a disease of language,'' that "fetishism, which most evolutionary anthropologists 150

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regarded as the earliest form of religion, [was] merely a corruption of it," and that this "degeneration in religion occurred when the symbol became an f b 1 d 117 end in itself, taking the place o what it sym o 1ze This popular and romantic view of the history of man, predated the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, but remained a cogent critique of "natural selection" throughout the rest of the century. It is, unsurprisingly, evident throughout all of the Sacred Books of the East. We have seen how distinguishing a sui generis core informed the "positional superiority" of the west: the construction of a Golden Age, against which contemporary Asian societies could be judged and found wanting; the privileging of the "oldest" texts irrespective of living traditions; the valorization of certain traditions, to the detriment of others, and we have glimpsed how self-reflective this exercise could be. Now we can begin to examine how these arguments and constructions functioned within alternative discourses of nineteenth century Britain; the othering of the orient was not their only, or perhaps even, their primary purpose. Through the degenerationist argument therefore, we can begin to move through the looking 151

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glass of orientalism, as it were, and enter the realm of contested and bifurcated narratives among British observers. The degenerationists were not the only people opposed to the ideas of Darwin in the nineteenth century, yet, a few rival biologists notwithstanding, they were so_me of the few to challenge "nat ural selection" on scientific, not theological, grounds. The science upon which they based their challenge was philology and linguistics, and what Muller referred to in a published lecture as The Science of Religion (1873). Degenerationist theory reiterated the belief in the creation of an original singular humankind, possessing an original language. By the nineteenth century, this language was known to be irredeemably lost. However, philologists struggled to prove its existence by noting the linguistic similarities between the earliest religious language of disparate cultures, because in the degenerationist scheme religious language was, origine uncorrupted. The heart of this belief which negotiated the intellectual landscape and contested scientific theory throughout the nineteenth century rested on an unswerving insistence upon a primitive monotheism. Echoing the 152

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early Jesuits' feeling, that as all were created by God, all had an awareness of Him, degenerationist linguists reasserted this prisca theologia by insisting on the transparent ability to translate the names of God across languages; rendering .a Iswara, and shangdi J:. 8 God as: Elohim, Theos, Legge had adopted this same position long before he had made the acquaintance of F. Max Muller. Between 1850 and 1852 Legge engaged in a series of public debates on the shangdi controversy. The debates themselves seem to have been driven less out of doctrinal or pedagogical disputes than by nationalistic antipathies. Legge and the British contingent held to the shangdi/God line, while the Americans, especially the Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States headed by Bishop William J. Boone, insisted on translating God as shen Boone held that the Chinese had no knowledge of God and therefore could have no word for God. He argued that the best the Chinese language could offer was a nonlocalized term for "gods" in general. This term, shen 'l""'f was therefore, how he instructed missionaries to translate Elohim and Theos. Legge, following rather closely the Jesuit line, as well as 153

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degenerationist strategy, countered by arguing that the Chinese did know the one true God and the term for God in Chinese was J,. shangdi J_ ff3 or in certain contexts di Consequently, he asserted that, as there was no "general or generic name" for God, the terms Elohim, Theos and God were all relative terms, specific to iheir own languages but all referring to the same entity. He even extended this argument to include the Hindu Iswara, as the relative term by which missionaries were rendering Elohim, Theos and God into H d. 9 l.n 1. After returning to England and receiving his chair at Oxford, Legge became both contributor to Muller's Sacred Books series, and Muller's colleague at the school. Under Muller's influence Legge modified and tightened his arguments regarding the shangdi/God controversy and Chinese primitive monotheism. In the 1880 Spring given to the Presbyterian Church, Legge quoted Muller directly asserting that tian j( while meaning sky or day, was linked to the Aryan, i.e., the Indo-European, term also meant God. However, Legge went on to posit that tian was better translated as "heaven," while -.b:. the primitive Chinese name for God was di He noted that the terms tian, di, and shangdi were 154

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constantly interchanged in the ancient books, but held that "Since its earliest formation, Ti [di] has properly been the personal name of heaven," and further asserted that, "Ti [di] was to the Chinese fathers, exactly 10 what God was to our fathers." Legge continued to emphasize these aspects by giving privileged position to the Lunyu which, as we have seen, he believed to be the oldest and most representative text of the ancient religion of China. This preferential treatment for what Legge believed to be indicative of Chinese monotheism, also carried over into his translation, 11 and rearrangement of the Book of Odes. The degenerationist linguistic theory that insisted on China's ancient monotheism was important, not only in countering the scientific determinism of popular evolutionary theory, but also in feeding a growing desire to rethink evangelical morality. In addition, the effect of this argument, as worked through Legge's recensions of Chinese classics, is evident in the reimagining of the valorized position of "Confucius." "Confucius" went through a rehabilitation in the course of the nineteenth century. It was a rehabilitation necessitated in part by the degenerationist argument for primitive monotheism and 155

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which also reflected the contested nature of Protestantism in nineteenth century Britain. In this third incarnation, "Confucius" went from a universal figure of reason and morality to a common man of uncommon virtue. This shift in emphasis can be clearly seen within the works of Legge alone, but also in the larger field of sinology. When Legge's first edition of the Chinese Classics emerged in England in the 1860s, the Edinburgh Review noted, Dr. Legge has, however, a fault which is not less vexatious because it is unusual. He is possessed with a passion the very converse of that which usually besets biographers. The more closely he examines his hero the less he likes him. Fami1iarity appears almost to have bred contempt. This contempt was palpable in the first edition, but as Lauren Pfister has pointed out, after thirty more years of study, Legge's position on the Sage had almost entirely reversed. For example, in 1861 Legge complained, There is a want of freedom about the philosopher. He is somehow less a sage to me, after I have seen him at his table, in his undress, in his bed, and in his carriage. He concluded in a manner that must have informed the author of the Edinburgh Review article, 156

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I must now leave the sage. I hope I have not done him injustice; but after long study of his character and opinions, I am unable to regard him as a great man. He was not before his age, He threw no new light on any of the questions which have a world-wide interest. He gave no impulse to religion. He had no sympathy with progress. His influence been wonderful, but it will henceforth wane. In the second edition, however, published for the Sacred Books of the East series Legge softened his strident rhetoric, and reversed his conclusions. I must now leave the sage. I hope I have not done him injustice; the more I have studied his character and opinions, the more highly I have come to regard him. He was a very great man, and his influence has been on the whole a great benefit to the Chinese, while his teachings suggest important lessons to who profess to belong to the school of Christ. The softening of the charges against "Confucius" and the reassessment of his life and work, can have no simple explanation. Legge was obviously a very intelligent man, and deeply influenced by the world around him. Many others of this world informed his work: British colleagues, Chinese scholars and friends, contemporary Biblical criticism, western philosophic traditions (especially Aristotelian logic), and shifting missionary attitudes on how best to bring Christ to China. There was also his own dynamic thought which appeared to change as he plunged deeper ibto his own studies, and tried to understand better his own life and work.15 157

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Yet, while the precise causes of Legge's perpetually renewing vision remains ineffable, some of the general trends which informed and were reflected in it can be demonstrated. Legge was not alone in this renewal of ''Confucius," for many participated in the renaissance that granted him a more favorable treatment. Early in the century, when the alleged aim of sinology was to "correct" the flawed Jesuit and continental version, opinions about "Confucius" and his philosophy were very much in line with Legge's of 1861. In 1828, Rev. Collie said, In the whole compass of his writings, there does not appear to be a single idea above the reach of any plain man at all accustomed to reflection. As to the all important points, for the certain development of which, Divine Revelation seems to us absolutely necessary, Confucius leaves them entirely untouched. On the nature and Government [sic] of the Supreme Being, he says little;--of a-future state, almost nothing;--and on the method by which a guilty world may be restored to the image and favor of God, he has given us no information which is not as much at variance philosophy, as it is with revealed truth. John Francis Davis in 1840 asserted that, "His doctrines, constitute rather a system of philosophy in the department of morals and politics, than any particular 17 religious persuasion." Although few went as far as Legge in praise of "Confucius" (as faint as that 158

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may have been), the feeling toward him appears to have softened by century's end. G. M. Grant, writing from Canada, said of him in 1895, He was a student, canonist, scribe, and historian rather than a prophet or poet; in his own words, "a transmitter, not a maker." [He] was only a man, inferior, in his own estimation, to the master minds, who in former ages civilised the people by instructing them how to live in conformity to divine laws of nature, and who, therefore, were credited with originality or with having received revelations from Heaven, while he was only their humble student and imitator. Yet, while the ancient kings and sages whose names and services he celebrated are forgotten, he has swayed the minds of countless millions. The criticism remains but there is a degree of empathy not evident in the earlier writings; here he is both humanized and valorized. Grant even went so far as to reinstate ''Confucius" to his eighteenth century position as the equivalent of the Clavis Sinica; "It may almost be said that, to know China, it is necessary to only to study the life and work of Confucius."18 Herbert Giles, in his 1914 Hibbert Lectures, returned to an ancient source himself in order to sum up the life and work of ''Confucius;" by simply recalling Sima Qian's (fl. 100 B.C.E.) influential eulogy of him, Confucius, though only a humble member of the cotton-clothed masses, remains among us after many generations. He is the model for such as would be wise. By all, from the Son of Heaven down to the meanest student, the supremacy of 159

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his principles is fully and freely admitted. He may indeed be pronounced the divinest of men. Giles went on to add, in his own voice, Confucius is usually regarded as a teacher of morals only, and it is considered wrong, therefore, to class his doctrines as a religion. This is no doubt true, in the sense that he laid stress almost entirely upon man's duty to his neighbour, thinking, perhaps without going so very far astray, that the liver of a blameless life would not be far from the kingdom of God. But it is certain that he believed firmly in a higher power--the God of his fathers, Not only did Confucius, believe in the existence of this Deity, but he was conscious, and expressed this consciousness openly, that in his terhings he was working under divine guidance. The renaissance of "Confucius'' in the nineteenth century is a paradoxical exercise in reverse euhemerization, reflective, as we have seen, of the increasingly valorized position of the demos in British society. Like Willy Loman, "Confucius" is once again raised to mythological status, not despite his common humanity, but because of it. Much of this interpretive view remained contested throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth centuries. Legge's position, especially his stance on shangdi/God and his reformed view of ''Confucius" and "Confucian'' morality, came under attack at the First General Missionary Conference (1877).20 Yet, it was not the portrait itself that was debated. "Confuciu" 160

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never again reached the zenith of adoration he had achieved in the eighteenth century, but the overtly xenophobic critiques of the early nineteenth century were ameliorated as well. It had come to be established and generally accepted that, as Joseph Edkins put it, A true sage was Confucius, one who reasoned soberly and practically on human duty: a man to attract towards himself high veneration on account of his personal character and the subjects and manner of his teaching. He found a religion already existing in China, with a very practical system of morals, No character in history is less mythological than Confucius. He is no demigod whose consists chiefly of fable, but a real person. Today, we may be able to more readily debate the relative reality or fabulousness of his existence, but in the last half of the nineteenth century his position as a living man of high moral character seems to have been fixed. I say seems to have been fixed, because the fixity itself depended, in large part, on his ability to be many things to many people. It was a reflective fixity. For example, the British (Legge specifically, but others as well), tended to praise him for his humility, filial piety, temperance, virtue, and deference--qualities with what are commonly known as "Victorian" values. Americans, at the same time, regarded him as "A good citizen and patriot."22 Each of the portraits 161

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resonate strongly with the assessment William Temple had made of him in the seventeenth century. What remained contested, was the discursive field from which this portrait emerged. Within this field, this ubiquitous portrait assumed a privileged role, which enabled those who worked on these texts to offer alternative paths in the negotiated terrain of nineteenth century Britain. The Luther of China? The Protestant Imaginatioti and the Religions of China Throughout his work Legge insisted on "confirming the good and supplementing the deficient'' in all textual criticism, "Confucian'' and Biblical. In addition to, and concomitant with, his belief in an ancient religion, he also espoused a theory of ''progressive revelation," i.e. that God could reveal Himself anywhere in the world, and continued to do so, even though this revelation would undoubtedly become degenerate almost immediately. This critical dialectic is easily discernible in all 23 of Legge's work, but it was not unique to him. In the early years of the century Karl Gutzlaff (1803-1851), a Prussian who became associated with Walter Medhurst in the early years of the Chinese missions, and who later became the official interpreter for the British 162

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superintendent of trade, and ultimately Chinese secretary to the government of Honk Kong,24 articulated similar points. In his Religions of China (1834), Gutzlaff set out his argument for primitive monotheism, degeneration and progressive revelation: We can trace, however, in them [the Chinese], a primeval adoration of one Supreme Being, under the name of Shang-te [shangdi] . Though there are some passages in the Shoo-king [Shujing] and the She-King [Shijing], which allude to the omniscience and omnipotence of the Supreme Being, there are others more numerous, which induce us to believe, that idolatry gained ascendancy at a very early period. yet this is an honourable testimony in favour of the superior morals which resulted from even the partial maintenance of the true religion; a religion founded on the revelations which God made to the progenitors of mankind, and which was spread far as thi5migration of their prosperity extended. Here, then, is a reading of the ''Confucian system" as viewed through the lens of a pietistic evangelical. The Chinese religions (especially "Confucianism" less Daoism or Buddhism, for reasons that will become clearer as we follow this line of thought), as they were originally ordained by God were not totally corrupt, therefore what was good in them must have come from God. However, the gulf between God and man was unbridgeable, and man, because of his original sin, necessarily distorted the revelation of God and fell 163

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into degeneracy. Only the atonement of Christ on the cross bridged the gap and restored man to God's favor. This was a standard evangelical view in the nineteenth century, and one which Legge drew upon for his understanding of the "Confucian" texts. Within the rhetoric of degenerationism and progressive revelation many religions were viewed this way. Judaism was imagined to be "completed'' in Christianity, in the same way Christianity was believed to "supplement" "Confucianism." Legge was very explicit about this when he wrote, Confucianism is both more ancient and of a higher type than Taoism; but Christianity far transcends Confucianism in all the points we have considered. What is good in Confucianism appears more full and complete in it; what is wrong in Confucianism is corrected in it; what is def2gtive in Confucianism is supplied in it. Yet because of man's fallen state, the Doctrine of Atonement implied that, even Christ's sacrifice on the cross could not guarantee salvation. One's salvation was more a matter of individual conscience and one's own faith. Indeed, the belief that Chr2stianity itself had degenerated from the time of the resurrection was 27 implicit in much Protestant theology. At the juncture of this contested doctrine, contrapuntal lines of force emerged which transfigured 164

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the santo/sapientissmo of the Jesuits, and the sage "philosopher king" of the eighteenth century, into a uniquely Protestant image. These dissonant views can be seen emerging in the roughly contemporary assessments made by Collie and Gutzlaff. Collie proclaimed, He seems to have lived in times of great degeneracy, especially among the higher ranks of and it does not appear that his labours a general or very permanent reformation. Gutzlaff assigned to "Confucius" a much more active role, From the time of Kang-foo-tsze, (Confucius,) [sic] a new era begins. He reduced the traditions of antiquity into a system, added his own opinions, and became the moral as well as political lawgiver of his country. Whatever is praiseworthy in his system, comes from God, the source of all wisdom; and which is2vil, is the product of man's corrupt heart. While both are heavily imbued with degenerationist thought, Gutzlaff refocused attention on "Confucius," but in an interesting new way. He clearly imagined "Confucius" to be the pivot in early Chinese history, and more than a "transmitter," Gutzlaff viewed him as an iterpreter and a lawgiver. This image of the sage was taken up by F. D. Maurice in his Religions of the World and Their Relation to Christianity (1847). Maurice remarked, "Because they [the religious beliefs of the Chinese] fell into decay, and the social order with 165

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them, it was necessary that a Reformer [sic] should 30 appear. The reformation of "Confucius" that we have seen in Legge's work implied, at least to some, that "Confucius" was reformer. Legge's own view, which was potentially enhanced by contemporary Chinese critics and reformers (Liao Ping and Kang Youwei among others), who also souiht to establish "Confucius'' as a reforming icon, was a nuanced extension of this contrapuntal view. By the 1870s Legge asserted that, "Confucius, did feel that he was in the world for a special purpose. But it was not to announce any new truths, or to initiate any new economy. It was to prevent what previously been known from being lost. What had previously been known was the ancient monotheism, the "true" religion of China. This scheme implied that, "Confucius" had done what Luther in Germany, and Tyndale and Wycliffe in England had done, i.e., attempted to reform the degenerate religion by returning to the only source that remained relatively pure--the texts of antiquity. "Confucius" was therefore valorized for many of the same reasons the Protestant reformers were: emphasizing the textual past, compiling, editing, and "transmitting" the ancient and textual "truth," and by insisting that everyone is capable of discerning this "truth" through diligent study and 166

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self-awareness. And like the Protestant reformers, "Confucius" remained: historically bound, imbued with a common humanity, endeared to the truth of the ancients, and less than the movement he inspired. Legge in 1880 summed him up as such: China does not owe its national religion to Confucius. He received it, as did others, from prehis'toric time, And if Confucius did not originate the religion of his country, neither did he discountenance it, or alter it in any sensible degree. K'ung [Kong] was a great and wonderful man; but I think that the religion which he found, and did so much to transmit to posterity, still greater and more remarkable than he. This construction of "Confucius" as a specific type of religious reformer, while reflective of those who translated "Confucian'' texts, was also dialectically encouraged by the ubiquitous persistence of Rev. Collie's criticism. The Edinburgh Review eschewed flattery, and opted instead to reassign the alleged "inscrutability" of the Chinese to the humanity and doctrines of "Confucius": Large allowance must be made for the peculiar structure of the national mind. Paul was not more decidedly a Hebrew of the Hebrews, Luther was not more decidedly a German of the Germans, than Confucius was a Chinese of the Chinese. The Chinese have a language without an alphabet, a religion without a God, and a profound veneration for the dead without a belief in their immortality. These contradictory and imperfect conceptions of the loftiest truths have arrested the growth of the Chinese intellect, and thrust 167

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it into degrading superstitions. And to some extent their great Sage must be responsible for these lamentable consequences. Rev. Loomis also, though drawing heavily from Legge (albeit from the first edition), concluded that the Chinese had no clear knowledge of God; that the men of "Confucius's" time were no better than pantheists, which they Far from the reforming image of "Confucius," Loomis compared him to the Pharisees, who had "perverted" the image of God. "The Chinese religion," Loomis claimed, "lacked the main element--the principal root from which all true morality must ,34 F 1 h spr2ng, i.e., the irst Commandment to ave t e one true God. He concluded that, "Christianity ha[d] put in possession of everything that we enjoy which is superior to what our neighbors have attained."35 However, to the Protestant British translators who had adopted the progressive revelation, degenerationist line, the linking of the monotheism of the Chinese and the positioning of "Confucius" as reformer were intimately interdependent. Without the acknowledgment of the authority or "truth'' of the ancient texts, "Confucius" remained, at best a mean philosopher of worldly doctrines, at worst a perverter, or rather a transmitter of perverse doctrines. Furthermore, the 168

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"truth" of the ancient texts, the proof of the ancient monotheism, was contingent upon his capacity as a conduit, and his position of "regenerator'' of the degenerated ancient truth. This singularly Protestant conception of the works of "Confucius" did not rely solely on this particular reciprocal argument. Alternative positions were marginalized, as we have seen, in order to give preference to certain texts and schools. The rhetoric of this marginalization is again highly reflective of this particular Protestant construction, as well as being instructive of the missionaries imagined position in China. The morality found in the works of "Confucius" was more highly esteemed than any other of the "Three Teachings," although the theological underpinning remained contested. Nevertheless, a broad consensus was reached in terms of the other two, and their relative position to the rujiao, or "Confucian school." Buddhism was easily maintained in its position of alterity; it was a foreign religion, introduced to China in the first century of the common era. This was established in Chinese texts and maintained by the British from early on and never really challenged. Regardless of its popularity and the almost two millennia of perpetual 169

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existence in China, it remained, according to the British, virtually unassimilated. Daoism, however, remained more problematic. It was without doubt and indigenous belief, with claims to antiquity at least as plausible to those attested to by the "Confucians." Sima Qian told of a meeting between Kongzi and Laozi, and the subsequent proponents of these competing teachings had been sniping at each other 36 ever s1nce. We have seen some of the ways in which Legge maintained "Confucianism" in its regnant position; however, with Daoism he was forced to draw some fine distinctions. In 1880 he said, I have often been asked what Taoism is, the question is a difficult one, and I will not anticipate myself by attempting a definition of the name at the outset. It has two different applications;--first, to a popular and widely spread religion of China; and then to the system of thought in the remarkable treatise called the Tao Teh King [Dao De Jing], In other words, Taoism is the name both of a religion and a philosophy .... but there is no 3'idence that the religion grew out of this book. In other words, one should not confuse the degenerate popular religion, with the philosophical system of its founder. A decade later, Legge had slightly modified his views. In his introduction to The Texts of Taoism (1891) Legge proclaimed a Daoism older than Laozi; in a sense denying Laozi of his foundational position. 170

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Admitting the probable existence of an ancient Daoism, however, challenged the superiority of the "Confucian" texts. It became a matter of critical exegesis to maintain them in their proper position. Legge followed Sima Qian for the cHronology of Laozi, and allowed that in ancient times, long before these beliefi were passed on to the sages of the sixth century B.C.E., the two systems may not have been all that different. However, the historical validity of Daoism, Legge insisted, was shrouded in indefinite terms. If Daoism had existed, as he believed it did, then, he concluded by the time Laozi emerged it had already degenerated to a virtually unrecognizable state. Unlike "Confucianism" with its clearly marked 11historical"38 actors, Daoism's past was clearly unrecoverable--lodged II k b d ,39 1n an un nown reg1on eyon ant1qu1ty. Further, Laozi's biography was never accepted in the way "Confucius's" was. Therefore, lacking historical veracity, Laozi could not, and did not, function as a reformer. The view of "Confucius" as a reformer was established by the British based on his imagined historical biography and the perceived antiquarian authority of his texts. In this way he was indexed to other historical Protestant reformers, but also 171

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isometerically linked to a British nineteenth century conception of themselves as reformers of China. This multiple indexing of Protestant, nineteenth century Britain and "reforming Confucianism'' can be exhibited further in Legge's assessment of Daoism. In seeking to maintain "Confucius" in his regnant position as a kind of prefigurative Protestant icon, Legge struggled to uncouple the ancierit, "true" teachings of "Confucius" from the "false" and degenerate instructions of Laozi. He extended this program by also linking Daoism to Roman Catholicism. Again, giving contemporary resonance to a centuries old debate. The cause of Daoism's increasing degeneracy after the time of Laozi and Zhuangzi (fl. fourth century B.C.E.), was typically ascribed, in the nineteenth century, to the influence of Buddhism.40 However, Legge's went further, and asserted that its degeneracy was also a result of its stand opposing the accumulation of knowledge. "By the time of Lao and Kwang [Zhuangzi] the cultivation of the Tao had fallen into disuse," Legge informs us, The cause of the degeneration of the Tao and of all the evils of the nation was attributed to the ever-growing pursuit of and of what we call the arts of culture. It was the pursuit of knowledge that the Daoists railed 172

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against, Legge argued. He illustrated this by quoting the nineteenth chapter of the Dao De Jing, If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we could renounce our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the people would again become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our artful contrivances and discard our (scheming !2r) gain, there would be no thieves nor robbers. According to Legge, the pursuit of knowledge, specifically the knowledge embodied in the ancient literature, was anathema to the Daoists. Thus, the Daoists were set in opposition to the "Confucian" school. However, Legge continued his critique and set Daoism in opposition to nineteenth century beliefs as well. "Taoism was wrong in its opposition to the increase of knowledge. ,43 Man exists under a law of progress. This could also be read as a Protestant critique of the Roman Church's stand on people such as Copernicus and Galileo. However, this is an abstract linkage. Yet, in addition to Daoism's perceived variance with, the "law of progress," that was clearly antithetical to nineteenth century beliefs, Legge further extended the critique, and more explicitly cross-indexed Daoism with Roman Catholicism. As the Kong family was generally supposed to have been the descendants of "Kong Fuzi," the Zhang 173

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family held the hereditary title of Tianzi (Heavenly Master) in the Daoist tradition. In his Religions of China, Legge stated, I understood that the K'ungs [Kongs) were the descendants of Confucius, whose representative has always the title of 'duke,' ; but it was a considerable time before I ascertained that [Zhangs) were the popes of Taoism." This was a departure from the more common linking of Buddhism with Roman Catholicism, which as we have seen was a persistent interpretation from the time of the first Jesuit missions in the sixteenth century, right through to the nineteenth. Legge expanded this interpretation by outlining the Daoists "purgatory" and "hell.'' Further, he explicitly denounced previous Roman Catholic missionaries for attempting to conflate .. Daoist texts into "wonderful harmony with the teaching f d . "45 f. 11 d o our sacre scr1pture, spec1 1ca y 1n regar to the doctrine of the Trinity. The Daoist ''Trinity" stemmed from the influence of Buddhism, according to nineteenth century hermeneutics. The San Qing or "Three Pure Holy Ones" of the Daoist belief, according to Legge, were derived from the San Bao or "Three Precious Ones" of the Buddhist.46 This, however, was not what the Roman Catholic missionaries of the eighteenth century believed 174

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they had "discovered," Legge argued. Fr. Joseph-Marie Amiot (1718-1793), translated the fourteenth chapter of the Dao De Jing to reveal the names Yi for that which is visible but unseen, He for that which is listened to but not heard, and Wei for that which is tangible but untouched. Jean-Pierre-Abel Remusat (1788-1832), building upon Amiot's translation, pronounced the syllables, yi, he, wei, and concluded that it was Chinese 47 for the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh. This idea was in keeping with a seventeenth and eighteenth century Jesuit theory of ancient theology known as ''Figurism,"48 but Legge characterized it as a great error and a "d 1 1149 and d 1"t h "f 1 b 1 f f e us1on, use tJ.e t e a se e ie s o Daoists and Roman Catholics together and separate them from Protestantism. With Daoism and Roman Catholicism, and "Confucianism" and Protestantism, thus linked, Legge ended his third introductory chapter on the meaning of the Dao by reiterating Daoism's resistance to the progress of knowledge; "It is by the spread of knowledge, which it [Daoism] has always opposed, that its overthrow 50 and disappearance will be brought about before long." The popes of Daoism and Catholicism are both indexed to a hierarchy of error, and set in similar positions 175

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relative to the preferred Protestant/"Confucian" synthesis. I do not use this term loosely, because it appears that for Legge it was a synthesis. It is clear from his cross-cultural indexing of traditions that he viewed both "Confucianism" and Protestantism as foundational and conceptually compatible because of their insistence on God's existence in the world as revealed through the authority of primary texts; while Daoism and Roman Catholicism were simultaneously viewed as being intolerant, superstitious, and idolatrous. Legge carefully constructed a very specific existence for "Confucius" and "Confucianism." In many ways he was not far from the "Figurists" himself. His insistence on a vrimitive Chinese monotheism in case in point; however, he constructed his "Figurism" in very specific ways. Maintaining "Confucius" and the "Confucian" texts always in the regnant position, he created a very Protestant view of the Sage. Though he drew heavily upon his Jesuit predecessors, he renegotiated this interpretive terrain and staked his own claim as Protestant Christian. However, there was another aspect to Legge's interpretive stance. Though he was obviously greatly influenced by 176

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his own background, theology, and view of history, all of which came to him from his home in Scotland and England, he was affected by Chinese thought as well. Specifically, he was aided by Chinese commentators both living and dead. Zhu Xi (1130-1200) the great commentator on the "Confucian'' canon and Han Yu (768-824) the Tang. Scholar were both very influential in Legge's translation work. Hong Rengan the Shield King of the Taiping Rebellion; Luo Zhongfan, a "Confucian" scholar from Guangzhou; and Wang Tao the nineteenth century reformer, all aided Legge and informed his work. With all this in mind Lauren Pfister has unequivocally stated, "in his approaches to Buddhism and Daoism, Legge assumed a traditional Confucian position which was completely in harmony with his Ch . "51 r1st1an v1ews. What we have in the works of James Legge then is a confluence of traditions. Working from the interpretive material left from the Jesuit accommodationist project, and Protestant, Non-conformist theology, Legge remapped this imaginative landscape for himself and for nineteenth century Britain. How this map functioned in the wider world of the nineteenth century will be the object of the next section. 177

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"Confucius" and the "Victorian Crisis of Faith" The reading of eastern texts in terms of a prisca theologia (Ancient Theology), though hotly contested, enabled those who engaged in translation and interpretation to creatively the sixteenth and seventeenth century Jesuit project, as well as, they thought, speculate on the pristine condition of the human race. It also aided them in the negotiation of the labyrinth that has come to be known as the "Victorian Crisis of Faith." Of course there wasn't one "crisis of faith," but many. The most facile dialectic, one that is too often uncritically accepted as a truism is that Victorian faith entered a crisis as the progress nf science--(geology, evolution, and positivist social science)--undermined the "truth" of biblical teaching. However, this view, though accurate to a point, misses the nuances of the debates and too neatly packages the problem into a battle between science and religion where the outcome, from our position in the late twentieth century, appears all but preordained. However, Biblical hermeneutics began to be challenged in the early part of the eighteenth century, and the paradox of the nineteenth that must be kept in mind, as Frank Turner has recently pointed out, is that, 178

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' Victorian faith entered a crisis not in the midst of any attack on religion, but rather during the period of the most fervent religious crusade the British nation had known since the seventeenth century, indeed during the last great effort on the Ps2t of all denominations to Christianize Britain. Also in the midst of growing religious plurality and toleration. The ''crisis" occurred during the time of the great revival movements, the evangelical crusades, the Hampden controversy and the Oxford Movement, the rise of the Chartists and F. D. Maurice's Christian Socialists, and also during the time of the accumulation and translation of the Sacred Books of the East. As Turner also points out, "It is an expansive, intensified 53 religion that establishes a faith to be lost," and a faith to be tested, contested, reimagined and reestablished. Therefore, in order to examine the entailment of the Sishu we must first, briefly, explore this contested terrain. Victorian literature is rife with narratives of faith lost, regained and renegotiated. While the novel has been, and continues to be, a form conveniently worked over for clues into the psyche of Victorian writers, it is to another form of narrative that scholars have recently turned for insight into uncanonized Victorians. The autobiography, which by its very nature 179

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is highly self-reflective and whose narrative form by definition the negotiations, whether real or imagined, between the margins of the author's self and h . h b" d 54 t e soc1ety 1n a 1te Victorian autobiography, from all groups, participated in the creation of what Reginia Gagnier calls "the modern literary subject," i.e. ''a mixture of introspective self-reflexivity, middle-class 55 familialism and genderization, and liberal autonomy." The modern literary subject is, in other words, the autonomous individual who simultaneously constitutes and is constituted by the relationships formed with and against other individuals in society. The modern subject, the self, thus both establishes and defines, as well as reflects and submits to societal nominations. Agency is therefore maintained in the acquisition and use of knowledge, or as Patrick Joyce has written, "[The subject] is forced to know, in a sense of having to pursue a forever elusive past meaning with a present 56 one." In the nineteenth century then, yet another sacred subject was the individual historical agent. It is interesting to note, though I realize the tenuous links, that of the religions of the world in the nineteenth century, the only ones taken seriously were the ones with established historical founders. 180

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With Das Leben Jesu (1835) by David Friedrich Strauss translated by George Eliot and published in England in 1846, and Joseph-Ernest Renan's La Vie de Jesus in 1863, the search for historical Jesus became a major theological undertaking, and one which persists to this day. Christianity was a priori taken seriously however, the others were given preference contingent upon the historical veracity (real or constructed) of their founders. Judaism had its Abraham and Moses, Islam its Mohammad; Philip Almond has noted the chronological proximity of the first nineteenth century biographies of Jesus and the establishment of the life of the 57 Buddha. Whereas Laozi's genealogy was constantly called into question, shrouded in mystery, and generally highly suspect to many commentators, "Confucius," on the other hand, remained intensely historical; Joseph Edkins declared, "No character in history is less h 1158 myt ological than Confuc1us. The reverse euhemerization of Protestant interpreters made him so. From here it is a small step to the conflation of ''Confucius" and the Buddha, along with Socrates and Jesus, into what Karl Jaspers called "paradigmatic individuals." Jaspers also considered Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Laozi, Mohammad and even Pythagoras for this 181

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nomination, but ultimately rejected these for "lack of historical influence of equal breadth and duration." Mohammad especially was singled out for lacking "individual depth."59 It appears that at times it was their mere historicity which was important rather than anything any of them ostensibly said or did. That is by being fully historical they could be seen as more if not reliably, transmitting the revealed truth of God. However interesting, it remains a highly speculative proposition, but it does point out that the "paradigmatic individuals" were constituted as literary subjects in their own right; their lives read as texts, instructive for morality, if not spiritual guidance. It was in the internal realm of Victorian autobiography was where much of the so called "crisis of faith" played out. Narratives of faith loss and conversion, faith gained and challenged are common, almost crucial to the genre. The canonized examples are legion: Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle; David Copperfield by Dickens; Eliot's Mill on the Floss; "non-fictionalized" examples include: John Ruskin's Praeterita, J. S. Mill's Autobiography; John Henry Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua; Beatrice Webb's 182

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Apprenticeship, the list goes on and on. Working class 60 examples are perhaps even more numerous. Common themes were the struggle for moral existence, exercising the better angels of our nature and suppressing the bestial side, self-improvement, including autodidact efforts. Religious rhetoric ran all through these writings, with those who had lost faith more frequently claiming the 61 moral high ground. Yet, secular morality retained much of the religious speech while simultaneously moving away from organized forms of religion. Patrick Joyce points out, Religion also worked in a more pervasive way, as the often unstated and assumed 'common sense' of how the world was thought about and felt. In this regard religion migg2 have little to do with organized religion. There can be discerned in these self-reflective writings, Joyce believes, a sense of religious feeling and sentiment that moves beyond established and organized forms. Echoing Comte, it is a sense he calls "the religion of humanity," and though in his work he uses it specifically to describe class structure and formation, he also realizes its far reaching implications, and asserts: What I have called the 'religion of humanity' was far more than the rhetorical expression of some underlying class identity, Social relations were at once conducted and constituted 183

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through it, and one may say that the discursive subject of 'humanity', and talk about this humanity, were perhaps the chief means by which the contemporary social was lived. Its heightened form in the 'religion of humanity', like its other forms, enforced all 'social' closure, unity, and difference. This is not a surrogate form of religion, which has been used to explain the "secularization" of nineteenth century Britiin, e.g. that nationalism, or science became new forms of religion, filling the void left when Christianity was proven unviable. Rather, it is a much broader understanding of the religious sentiments which undergirded much of nineteenth century British society; a symbolic fund which could be drawn upon by individuals or groups, and rhetorically used for unifying and/or divisive purposes. The "crisis of faith" then, is more than simply a matter of science tearing away the veil of religious ignorance; it was a way of conducting and delineating social relationships. Manifestations of these negotiations can be seen in the nineteenth century narratives of the "romance of improvement," and the cult of the family. The "romance of improvement" is palpable throughout the nineteenth century, from the writings of Carlyle, and especially Samuel Smiles, to working class diaries and almanacs.64 It gave rise to fantasies of free-market 184

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entrepreneurship as well as a thriving autodidact culture. Smiles' best known work is illustrative, SelfHelp (1859), itwas the self that was the agent of improvement, and the cultivation of the self resulted in culture, which was beneficial to a11.65 Indeed, as Joyce, following Foucault, points out culture could refer to a well ordered, well functioning society; therefore, "the self and its disciplines can be seen as a key to social discipline."66 A common link between the self and society, which functioned as an instrument of social discipline was the family. The cult of the family is also reiterated throughout the period, whether it provided a kind of stoical cold comfort to the lives of the working poor, i.e., to those who have "'Few wants an' just enough to meet 'em' Something to do, a good wife and children, good health, are the riches of the 67 poor;" or whether it was used as a social frame within which individuals could negotiate the boundaries of class, gender, familial and societal roles.68 The role of the family is especially important in the "crisis of faith" narratives, for many of them revolve around a child reacting to a particular kind of evangelical upbringing. The "romance of the improvement" and the 185

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cult of the family work interdependently here, for it is the autobiographical self, seeking edification and moral improvement, who rejects evangelical upbringing and renegotiates the familial frame. It is this interdependency that produces what is sometimes referred to as the "paradox of Victorian doubt: the sense turning on the evangelical n69 doctrines which had helped to shape 1t. This is important in terms of grappling with the "crisis of faith," in which the revalorization of the common man icon of "Confucius,'' and the morality of his teachings were implicated. Certainly increase in scientific knowledge challenged the established historicity of Christian teaching and Biblical "truth,'' but that was not necessarily the main issue. As Robin Gilmour has argued, It has become increasingly clear that their [the Victorians] objections to Christianity were overwhelmingly moral rather than scientific, objections to certain key doctrines of evangelical religion in which some had been reared but all had experienced in the religious culture of the time, [i.e.,] The Atonement, chiefly, hell,70 everlasting punishment, [and] original sin. This renegotiation of the moral landscape among the imagined and contested categories of religion, science, history, family, class and nation, ossified in some aspects, and opened in others. 186

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For some like J. H. Newman, it led to a complete reassesment of Anglican theology and a dedication to the Roman Church. For others such as Darwin it led to a moral agnosticism; others such as Charles Bradlaugh pushed further into atheism. For many such as F. D. Maurice, it enabled them to "spiritualise all of life, and all mankind, and so retain a religious outlook and temper and yet reject the evident failures of so much organised religion."71 The opening of the evangelical field encouraged many to reimagine the moral center of their world; some found it in the rhetoric of class, of science, of the "religion of humanity," and some, like Annie Besant and the theosophists, found it in the philosophy and religion of the east. This then is the context in which we should view much of the critical work done on the works of "Confucius." For in as much as many of them contain aspects of orientalism, in constructing an alterity out of Asian texts, they nevertheless also contain contrapuntal lines of force which operated reflexively within the field of Victorian faith. These can be seen in the topics singled out as praiseworthy in the "Confucian system'' and also in the more general critique offered. 187

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Preeminent among the topics considered praiseworthy by the nineteenth century British was the "Confucian" doctrine of "reciprocity." Reciprocity, defined as, "the quality or state of being reciprocal," Webster's Third goes on to note that reciprocal, "describes an equivalence, balance, equal equal return, or equal sharing.1172 However, it was not the simple quid pro quo of this doctrine to which the advocates of "Confucius" ascribed so much importance, rather it was in the belief that the Golden Rule lay at the heart of it. In this, again, Legge hardly .varied from the sixteenth century Jesuit interpretation. Ricci had declared that a negative statement of the admonition "do unto others," appeared in "Confucian" teaching.73 Interestingly, when the CSP was first translated into English, the translators recast it in its positive form, "Do unto another as thou wouldst be dealt with thy self; Thou only needest this Law alone; 'tis the Foundation and Principle of 74 all the rest." Legge returned to the negative assertion, Tsze-kung [ Cikong] asked, saying, 'Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one 1 s life?' The Mas.ter said, 'Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do n95 want done to yourself, do not do to others.' 188

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Legge reappropriated to Ricci's reciprocal negative construction of the "Confucian" Golden Rule, yet, unlike the Jesuits, he was returning to the text and insisted that this particular distillation was original with "Confucius." His greatest achievement in the inculcation of morality was his formulating the golden rule, which is not found in its condensed expression in old classics. The merit of it is his own. Here again Legge positioned "Confucius" as "transmitter" qua reformer. The moral idea itself predated "Confucius," this remained essential to Legge's ancient monotheism argument, but the easily retainable, aphoristic form was the invention of the sage. The recasting of it in its negative form can be seen as a way in which Legge worked to establish ''Confucianism" as anteceding, but still needing the completion of Christianity. Of course the Golden Rule operated on a number of levels all through the nineteenth century, most specifically, it cut across boundaries and functioned as a moral goal irrespective of religious affiliation. From the conservatism of Carlyle, to the liberalism of Mill, the Golden Rule allowed people to negotiate moral terrain no matter whether they believed in the 189

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Trinity, Atonement, the Incarnation, natural theology or natural selection. It functioned as easily within the "religion of humanity" as the "body of Christ." The importance of reciprocity as a moral guideline lay in its relational quality; morality was to be discovered within societal relations, as it always had been, still, with the reaction against evangelical, and dogmatic morality; reciprocal, societal, morality assumed a more exalted position. This was no less true of Mill than it was of Maurice. Mill's individuality was contingent upon the society which it both shaped and questioned, just as Maurice's Christian ethics arose from people 1 h. 77 l.n re atJ.ons 1p. Reciprocity was therefore an important element in both "Confucian" scholarship and Victorian faith literature. It was for the many commentators a laudable, perhaps the only laudable, aspect of the "Confucian system," and as George Grant pointed out, it not only was, "characteristic . of the system of Confucius; [it was] much more easily explained than Taou [Dao].rr78 This tautology aside, however, it was not only the "doctrine of reciprocity'' which many British commentators found laudable, but its practical 190

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manifestations; specifically as embodied in the wu lun "Five Relationships." The "Five Relationships," which were also d b d b R 79 bl h f. t escr1 e y 1cc1, ostens1 y portray t e 1ve correc relationships by which society is regulated, i.e., that of a ruler to subject, husband to wife, father to eldest son, eldest ion to younger son, and finally friend to friend. Although they were sometimes given in slightly different form, Edkins has "three relations" and "five n80 1 1" k constant v1rtues, nevertheless, the conceptua 1n s between the "Five relationships" and the paternalistic cult of the family should be easily discernible. However, some important and interesting distinctions were drawn. Many commentators noted the benefits of the regulation of self, family and nation as interpreted through the "Confucian" texts, specifically the Daxue, in the form of "filial piety." Legge in summing up the influence of the Daxue said, The insisting on personal excellence in all who have authority in the family, the state, and the kingdom, is a great moral and social principle. Still more important than the requirement of such excellence, is the principle that it must be rooted in the state of the heart, and be the8atural outgrowth of internal sincerity. This is clearly couched in the rhetoric of self-help, 191

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and paternal familialism, and is not far from the advocacy of the autodidact culture. Though Legge preferred the Lunyu, as we have seen, he advocated the use of the Daxue, and its "eight minor wires," for all who "have authority," whether father, minister, or prince. The Edinburgh Review was even more reflective of this view in their review of Legge. There, Legge's translation of "illustrious virtue"82 was glossed as "personal virtue," and the "system of ethics'' outlined in the Daxue, was given as such: Man at his best should possess a character which combines intelligence and piety . He attains this moral and intellectual place by personal. virtue, by right feeling, by correctness of purpose and intelligence of mind. Thus equipped with moral and mental qualities, his duty is to aim at social improvement by the discipline of the family. Should his circle widen, the same principles will be found helpful to uphold and improve the government of the Empire, and perhaps in the fulness [sic] of time to the reduction of the world to-obedience, There is much that is admirable in these propositions, [and they are] not unworthy to take rank with those which have been framed and professed by the the sages, and the divines of the West. Again, the rhetoric of self-help, and the "romance of improvement," are quite palpable in this passage. There was, as the reviewer noted, much to admire; much that was consistent with nineteenth century views of morality, and self-reliance. In short, there was much that a 192

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Briton of the nineteenth century could recognize as valuable and pertinent: purifying or improving the inner self, deference and the proper ordering of families, the of families, and the moral negotiation of the self in society without necessarily the superimposition of a religious creed. The founder of Christian Socialism, F. D. Maurice even concluded, They [the "Maxims" of "Confucius"] may generally be read with interest, often with admiration, as hints for as helps to internal self-discipline. However, these commonly held values were not in and of themselves enough to recommend "Confucian" ethics, reciprocity, or filial piety, to the British public. In fact it was on these points of agreement that much dissension hung. In the critique of "Confucianism" in the nineteenth century, it was not only the perceived (constructed?) alterity of China that was at issue; in the rendering of this alterity the British discovered (invented?) some problematic similarities to themselves. At the level of these similarities, these shared values, the critique of "Confucius" and "Confucianism" opens into a much broader history than the simple "positional superiority" of orientalism. It becomes clear through examining these critiques, that many British interpreters 193

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did not view "Confucianism" as wholly other. Rather, they embraced it as a tradition commensurate with their own Protestant, self-help ethic, and criticized it on its own merit. What emerged was more than the hierarchical positioning of discrete "religions." It also appears that many British accepted the traditions of "Confucian.ism" and Christianity as coexisting in a series of interlocking equivalences. This can be easily shown in a number of critiques, where the initial proposition of self-cultivation is fundamentally accepted, but the direction and degree of the practical applications are treated as problematic. The deleterious effects of the "Confucian" principles all commentators were quick to point out; Rev. Loomis felt that, in the ''Confucian" scheme parents were honored too much, and the conflation of parents and ancestors to the highest points of reverence and worship was nothing short of idolatry.85 Legge argued that "Confucius" had focused too much on what was external, As he thus lays it down that the mainspring of the well-being of society is the personal character of the ruler, we look anxiously for what directions he has given for the cultivation of that. But here he is very defective. 'Selfadjustment and purification,' he said, 'with careful regulation of his dress, and the not making a movement contrary to the rules of propriety;--this is the way for the ruler to cultivate his person.' [He] never recognised 194

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a disturbance of element in the constitution of man. George bluntly declared, "Filial piety ha[d] ,87 I I swallowed up every other form of .p1ety. t wasn t so much, they argued, that the ideas themselves were wrong, but they had been misapplied, taken too far, corrupted, or lacked a central "truth'' that would have rectified them. These criticisms, however accurate or pertinent, remain criticisms in detail. The overarching critique remained, generally more subtle and less transparently self-reflective, yet equally indicative of the quid EEQ quo nature of this discorse. One shade of this critique that was not terribly subtle came from John Stuart Mill. He saw in the doctrines of ''Confucius" not a "religion of humanity" or a singular morality to be studied, but a system of indoctrination and the "tyranny of custom:" China--a nation of much talent, and, in some respects, even wisdom, owing to the rare good fortune of having been provided at an early period with a particularly good set of customs, the work, in some measure, of men to whom even the most enlightened European must accord, under certain limitations, the title of sages and philosophers. They are remarkable, too, in the excellence of their apparatus for impressing, as far as possible, the best wisdom they possess upon every mind in the community, Surely the people who did this have discovered the secret of human progressiveness, On the contrary, they have become stationary They have succeeded beyond all hope what English 195

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philanthropists are so industriously working at--in making people all alike, all governing their thoughts and conduct by the same maxims and rules; and these are the fruits. The modern regime of public opinion is, in an unorganised form, what the Chinese educational and political systems are in an organised; and unless individuality shall be able successfully to assert itself against this yoke, Europe, notwithstanding its noble antecedents and its professed 88 Christianity, will tend to become another China. The implications are clear, China remains other but the similarities are problematic. In fact they serve as a premonition--there, but for the grace of God. This portentous reading of "Confucianism" was also taken up by missionary interpreters, who saw within the cult of the common man, and the renegotiation of Victorian faith, a dangerous recurrence, to materialism. Early in the century, Karl Gutzlaff articulated this fear when he wrote: The mind of Confucius was so much engrossed with the things of this world, and with the necessity of establishing human happiness by human laws, that he entirely lost sight of the most important duty of man--gratitude towards his Creator and Preserver. His peculiar care was bestowed upon and the material part of man; he never pretended to enter the world, or to speak of a future destiny. It is no doubt a tautology to state that the religiously minded are concerned with people's relationship with God; whether those people be Chinese or British. 196

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However, the self-reflective and prophetic nature of these critiques is striking. The overarching critique of "Confucianism'' was its unspiritual, and materialistic nature. Earlier commentators were more pointed about this, as in the Gutzlaff's previously cited remark. Legge more carefully traced the coritours of this, and maintained that '"Confucius" transmitted the knowledge of the one true God known, but refused to be pinned down on other . 90 matters. This, he argued, resulted in the materialism and the worldliness of the Chinese. "Confucius, it seems to me did not think of reciprocity coming into action beyond the circle of the five f "91 relations o soc1ety, Legge argued. Moreover, "What the sages have taught are the duties binding on men in society. The scheme says nothing about men's duty to God."92 Grant went further and proclaimed, To Confucius, society was the great reality. Civilisation, with its material splendour, social order and settled government, was an unspeakable blessing. For its preservation he trusted mainly to the combined of education, example and rigid ceremonial. The "religion of humanity" and the search for a morality outside the confines of the established Church could be shown to bode ill for those too insistent upon denying faith a place in contemporary life, by juxtaposing the 197

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reciprocal values held in common by Britain and China against the perceived progressive difference. In this critique, as in that of Mill's, China, once again provided an example for the west; not of what a society ruled by custom could become, but of what fate awaited a too secularized society. Loomis was very blunt in threatening this, when he wrote: Remove our candlestick [i.e., the Paschal Candle, the light of Christ], and how before we will be where are at present hour the 400 millions of people, nearly all of whom daily hear or repeat portions the Confucian philosophy and Confucian morality. This was not, however, merely missionaries creating a demonic imminence, a kind of secular, historical hell, in order to frighten the masses back into faith. Rather, what more often emerged was a rather thoughtful questioning of many aspects of "Confucian'' thought, and the relationships between faith and society in nineteenth century Britain. Faithful Dissent: "Confucianism," Evangelicalism and the Nature of Humanity A confluence of such questioning occurred around the writings of Mengzi, the second century B.C.E. philosopher deemed second only to "Confucius" as a sage exemplar in China. He too was valorized by the Jesuits, 198

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who Latinized his name as "Mencius," and whose works formed the fourth of the Four Books. In his extension of "Confucian" morality, Legge and other British commentators found an open space of equivalence which allowed for a renegotiation of evangelical doctrines. Joseph Edkins, in 1859 pointed to what we have seen as an established view towards the "Confucian" system, i.e., According to the Confucian school, the universal obligation to love mankind must be carefully 95 limited and regulated by the social relations. In other words, the Golden Rule was proscribed by the Five Relationships. However, Edkins' use of this Janus-faced, valorized problematic, was not the closing off of discussion, but instead the opening of a more nuanced one. He went on to describe the debate between Mengzi and "Mih-tsze" [Mozi] (fl. fifth century B.C.E.) in terms of British philosophy. Mozi's doctrine which emphasized universal love (jian'ai), Edkins described as being founded on "utilitarianism." Further, Mengzi's critique of Mozi's doctrine, Edkins argued, insisted, as writers of the school of Butler might do against Bentham and Paley, and the Socialists, that the consciousness of right and wrong implanted by Heaven in the human breast must be made judge in matters of duty, and that the distinctions in the social commonwealth, arising from the political and domestic relations 199

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of men to other, must be carefully preserved. In this passage Edkins makes reference to: Joseph Butler (1692-1752) Bishop of Bristol, and Durham, and Dean of St. Paul's, author of The Analogy of Religion (1736); Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) English jurist and utilitarian philosopher; William Paley (1743-1845) another utilitarian philosopher and theologian, author of Natural Theology (1802). However, it is not the explicit use of British philosophical figures as hermeneutic devices that is intriguing. Rather, it is the linking of Mengzi's, and by extension "Confucian," philosophy with the school of Bishop Butler. Legge carried this analogy much further. In his Prolegomena to the Mengzi he unequivocally stated, it will be presently seen that his [Bishop Butler's] views and those of Mencius are, as nearly as possible, identical. There is a difference of nomenclature and a combination of parts, in which the advantage is with the Christian prelate. Felicity of illustration and charm of style belong to the Chinese 97 philosopher. The doctrine in both is the same. And Grant, following Legge, concluded, He ["Confucius''] taught, as clearly as Bishop Butler in his celebrated sermons, that our nature is a system, with reason and conscience supreme, and_that to against its. laws is to rebel aga1nst Heaven. Initially, this coupling of Butler's Analogy and the 200

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"Confucian system" is unsurprising. Butler, like the British conception of the Chinese sage, was another apostle of the orderly status quo. His sermons were used by Whigs and Tories alike to buffet arguments for social order, and his ubiquitous quote, Civil liberty, the liberty of a community, is a severe and restrained thing; implies in the of it, authority, settled subordinations, subjection, and obedience; and is altogether as much hurt little of this kind, as by too much of it, could be and was extended analogously to the Five Relationships of ''Confucianism," without much comment. However, both Edkins and Legge pressed the analogy much further. It was not necessarily the "settled subordinations" that interested them, but the question of the essential nature of man. Edkins specifically linked Butler's ambiguous treatment of the term ''nature" with the rujiao's similar treatp1ent of the term "sing" [ xing] 1\'-! and argued that both the "Confucianists" and Butler, "defined virtue as consisting in the following of our nature, and vice as deviating from it."100 Legge followed and amplified this argument in his prolegomena to the Mengzi.101 At the root of this argument lay the belief that f o 11 owing our 11 nature w a s vi r t u o us the r e fore the essential nature of humanity must be good. "Man was 201

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102 formed for virtue," Legge argued. This view is consistent with Legge's degenerationist beliefs; fallen humanity struggling to return to its pristine, noble, virtuous origin. Yet, it was antagonistic to the evangelical view that human nature was essentially evil. Both Edkins and Legge were aware of this and took pains to draw attention to it in order to enforce their own interpretations. Edkins outlined the problem as follows: When the European reader takes in hand the little "Three Character Classic," that forms the first reading-book in Chinese day-schools, he finds in the opening sentence the doctrine broadly stated, that man has originally a good moral nature . and he thinks he sees in it a direct contradiction of the Christian doctrine of man's original depravity. He then noted some hermeneutic changes that occurred in the intervening centuries and concluded: Many centuries after [Mengzi's writing], during the time of our middle ages, discussions on the moral nature of man led to the adoption of a new phraseology by the orthodox party. _They said, that there is a principle that leads men to do wrong, together with a principle leading them to do right, which two principles grow up together. The good nature is bestowed originally by Heaven, as was always held by the Confucianists. The bad came from the union of the soul with matter, and the existence of the passions. This explanation should be remembered before the Chinese doctrine, "that the nature of man is good," is condemned. If we say the good principle . is the moral sense or conscience, and the evil principle original depravity, we have a coincidence with the 202

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Christian doctrine of which we should not lose sight, on of certain differences in nomenclature. Legge, drawing arguments from St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, extended this argument and staked his claim along side Bishop Butler: Fallen as he may be,--fallen as I believe and know he is,--his nature still bears its testimony, when interrogated, against all unrighteousness. Man, heathen man, a Gentile without the law, is still a law to himself. So the apostle Paul affirms; and to no moral teacher of Greece or Rome can we appeal for so grand an illustration of the averment as we find in Mencius. I would ask those whom his sayings offend, whether it would have been better for his countrymen if he had taught a contrary doctrine, and told them that man's nature is bad, and that the more they obeyed all its lusts and passions, the more they would be in accordance with it, and the more pursuing the right path? Such a question does not need a reply. The proper use of Mencius's principles is to reprove the Chinese--and ourselves as well--of the thousand acts of sin of which they and we are guilty, that come their sweep and under their comdemnation. Legge's cross-contextual situation, and his insistence on the moral nature of humanity, of all humanity, creates a tangible ambiguity. To whom is this passage and the one from Edkins directed? Certainly, one of the thrusts remained the conversion of the Chinese to Christianity, Legge did not swerve from this. Yet, he remained. persuaded that the teachings of Mengzi, as all of orthodox "Confucianism" were, "defective rather 203

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than erroneous,11105 lacking only the revelation of Christ. Nevertheless, there is also an intentional shift in the interpretation of Christianity itself, and a call for reassessment of some of its core doctrines. This interpretation of Chinese texts entailed a challenge to the interpretation of Christian texts. If, as Legge insisted, human nature. was created by a single being to be good and virtuous, and if, even through their own imperfect and degenerate nature, all of humanity retained some autochthonous knowledge of this divine and benevolent being, then many orthodox Christian doctrines, specifically the Atonement, salvation, revelation and even the unique Christian eschatology, while never denied, nevertheless had to be reworked and reinterpreted. Thus, Legge, in addition to positioning the texts of the Sishu vis-a-vis other Chinese texts, did so out of his own Christian beliefs as well as his own interpretations drawn from his P o s i t ion as an 11 or tho d ox Con f u c ian 11 as we have s e en He also, in positioning and interpreting these texts in such a manner vis-a-vis Christian texts, allowed them to function not only in alterity, but within his own Christian tradition. That is, at times the Sishu 204

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functioned not as set dressing, not as literary conceit, nor as examples of the false gods and beliefs of the poor benighted Chinese; rather, at times, they functioned as acceptable counter-points to Christian texts, as cogent and relevant pieces of theological discourse, which enabled interpreters to redefine their own faith and stake out territory somewhere other than scientific agnosticism or evangelical dogmatism. These critical views runs contrapuntally with the readings of genealogy and orientalism. Genealogy presumes a simple accumulation of knowledge about a distinct cultural other; orientalism views the collection of knowledge about this other in terms of positional strategies designed to maintain it in alterity. Yet, in the work of Legge and others we can also see the faithful dissent of critical equivalences. Here we can the Protestant imagination engaging "Confucianism" in a polyvalent manner, and opening spaces where British interpreters could simultaneously cast "Confucius" as a reformer of China, and potentially Britain, and themselves as reformers of both the "Confucian" and Christian traditions. These protean renderings, which amounted to a k d f th 1 1 1 . 106 t d th h t 1n o eo og1ca 1nc us1v1sm, resona e roug ou 205

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nineteenth century Britain, and especially with F. D. Maurice whose views were intensely controversial at the time. Maurice's belief that God's revelation came in many forms, both secular and religious, and his faith in the universal love of God, which emerged in his 11 [ ] n107 statement that everyman 1s already 1n Chr1st, were cause to have him removed from his position at King's College in 1853. However, in his 1847 publication The Religions of the World and Their Relation to Christianity he anticipated Legge by also contending that other religions were "defective rather than erroneous," and by pointing out that, the proper missionary procedure, "is to show not that the religion of the people is false but that what is true in it is more richly exhibited in Christ.11108 In this same publication Maurice criticized the theologies of the eighteenth century in a manner that more forcefully redirected the material critique of "Confucianism" back onto English deists: Englishmen of the last century seem almost to have persuaded themselves that man is not in any sense a mysterious being, that the Gospel does not address him as such, that its main use is to make servants respectful to their masters, to keep the humble classes from interfering with the privileges of their superiors, that the kingdom of heaven is a place where certain rewards are bestowed hereafter for decency of conduct here. And those who did not act upon these 206

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maxims, but earnestly devoted themselves to a spiritual life, fancied, not unnaturally, that the desires of which they were conscious did not properly belong to human beings; that all men ought to have them, but in fact scarcely any had them; that world is for the few, not for mankind. Deism, Maurice asserted, had removed, or attempted to remove, the mystery from religion, and had become a nonspiritual Evangelism had attempted to restore the mystery, but in its strict adherence to the Doctrine of Atonement had only emphasized deference and position, and had removed from humanity the potential for moral choice, yet nevertheless insisted upon the regulation of the outward forms of religious expression. Christianity, as far as Maurice was concerned, either had become, or was in danger of becoming, nonspiritual and materialistic. The belief in inherent goodness of humanity was resurrected in the intersections of religious hierarchies and the polyvalent confluence of equivalent traditions. Within this vortex, humanity's "natural'' relationship to its benevolent and omnipresent creator was re-revealed and advocated as a messianic guide for a people wandering in the wilderness of unfolding definitions of self, nation, and empire. The self-reflective critique is palpable in the translations and commentaries of these 207

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texts; the valorized similarities leading to cautionary critiques were read in terms of positional superiority and externally defining alterity as well as enlightening equivalences. Certainly Legge's own Christian beliefs were not unaffected by his years spent mining the rich vein of Chinese "Sacred Texts''--a point made cogent by the often unpopular and controversial positions he tenegotiated. By engaging the "Confucian'' texts within the discourse of ''world religions" Legge and others reestablished a role for Christianity that was not necessarily antagonistic to science or secular humanity, nor necessarily locked into traditional dogmatism. Within the fissures created by the "Victorian crisis of faith," and the ''Scientific Revolution" alternative theologies emerged that sought to retain the good and repair the defective of all religious traditions. That Legge ascribed the ultimate good to his own faith should not be surprising, nor should it be viewed merely as an act of colonial conversion or orientalist construction. Divining the "truth'' of all religions through the equivalences of ''Confucianism" and Christianity, was itself an act of faith, at once divorced from contemporary dogmatism, yet open to reimagined traditional appropriations. As in every 208

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act of faith, it was an act of faith formation, with author and text, subject and object, combining in a truly supplemental relationship, wherein creator is formed and reformed by its creation, even from the moment of conception, and with each reconstruction. Viewing the English translations of the Sishu alongside of and functioning within the theological and religious debates of the nineteenth century opens avenues into both. Certainly, the initial point of translation remained pedagogic, to aid missionaries in the more effective conversion of Chinese to Christianity. To which Christianity, is a question that may now be legitimately asked, for it is clear that not only the internal mechanics of translation were contested, but also the larger world of Christian hermeneutics. Missionaries working in outposts as distant, geographically, from Britain as China, did not work in complete isolation from either the "Middle Kingdom" or "England's green and pleasant land." The remapping of the ''imaginative geography" in which both Britain and China were implicated produced more than a "singular listlessness" on the part of the British. Just as the collection and maintenance of sacred texts resulted in more than just the "positional superiority" 209

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of Protestantism. Clearly, the theological debates in Britain, as well as debates "Confucian" scholarship in China, affected the ways in which the Sishu was translated, read, understood, and assimilated. Moreover, the translations themselves, functioned within a series of interlocking equivalences, wherein the hierarchical boundaries of "Christianity," "Victor ian," "Religion,'' etc. were contested, softened, renegotiated and reasserted. It was a project taken on in faith, and faithfully rendered. As such, the confluence of sacred subjects which swirled through the Victorian imagination, may be read not as a "crisis" of definitions, but as an always problematic, faithful act of defining. 210

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NOTES 1. Zhang Longxi, "The Myth of the Other: China in the Eyes of the West," Critical Inquiry 15 (Autumn 1988): 124. 2. Edward Said is the most obvious example, see Orientalism, and Culture and Imperialism (New York: Random House lnc., 1993); but see also Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988); and Barry Milligan, Pleasures and Pains: Opium and the Orient in Nineteenth Century British Culture (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1995). 3. For more on the problems of essentialism as it pertains to China see Jensen, "The Limits of Essentialism." 4. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, 14. I quote Joyce because his is the most concise and memorable explication of Derrida I have come across. See also Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 141-164. 5. Ian Hacking, "Making Up People," in Reconstructing Individualism, ed. Thomas C. Heller, Morton Sosna, and David E. Wellerby (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986), 222-236. 6. Prasenjit Duara, Rescuing History From the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 5. See also, Duara, "Bifurcating Linear History: Nation and Histories in China and India," positions 1 (Winter 1993) 771-804; and Duara, "Deconstructing the Chinese Nation," in Chinese Nationalisms ed. Jonathan Unger (New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1996), 31-55; cf. Robert F. Berkhofer, Beyond the Great Story: History as Text and Discourse (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 243-283. Berkhofer refers to it as "Reflexive (con)textualization," but the overall program is similar. 211

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"A recipricol concern with the historicity of texts and the textuality of history." Louis A. Montrose, "Professing the Renaissance: The Poetits and Politics of Culture," in The New Historicism, ed. H. Aram Veeser (London: Routledge, 1989), 20, quoted in Berkhofer, Beyond the Great Story, 243. 7. J. W. Burrow, "The Uses of Philology," in Ideas and Institutions of Victorian Britain: Essays in Honor of George Kitson Clark, ed. Robert Robson (New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1967), 201. 8. had used shangdi not only to refer to God generally, but also to specifically describe Christian monotheism in traditional Chinese terminology. See Mungello, Curious Land, 93. 9. See James Legge, Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits: with an Examination and the Defense of an Essay, on the Proper rendering of the Words 'Elohim' and 'Theos', into the Chinese Language, By William J. Boone, D.D. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Register Office, 1852); and W. H. Medhurst, A Dissertation on the Theolo of the Chinese (Shanghae [Shanghai]: Mission Press, 1847 10. Legge, Religons of China, 11. 11. Pfister, "New Dimensions, I," 45f. For more on Muller's influence on Legge see also, Pfister,"New Dimensions, II," 33-48. 12. Edinburgh Review, April 1869, 304. 13. James Legge, The Chinese Classics: with a Translation, Critical, and Exegetical Notes, Prolegomena, and Copius Indexes: vol. 1 Confucian Analects, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean (1861), 90-113, quoted in Pfister, "New Dimensions, II," 45-46. 14. Legge, Analects, 111; see Pfister, "New Dimensions, II," 45-46. 15. See Pfister, "New Dimensions, II," 47-48. 16. Collie, Four Book, xii. 17. Davis, The Chinese, 199. 212

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18. G. M. Grant, Religions of the World (New York: Anson D. F. Randolf and Co., 1895), 55. 19. Herbert A. Giles, Confucianism and Its Rivals (New York: Charles Scribners and Sons, 1915), 66-67. 20. See Pfister, "New Dimensions, I' 46-48. 21. Edkins, Religious Conditions, 9. 22. Nation, 16 January 1868, 52. 23. se e Pfister, "New Dimensions, I. 24. See Jessie Lutz, "Karl A. Gutzlaff: Missionary Entrepreneur," in Christianity in China: Early Missionary Writings, ed. Suzanne Wilson Barnett and John King Fairbanks (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1985), 62-68. 25. Karl A. Gutzlaff, Journal of Three Voyages Along the Coast of China in 1831, 1832, and 1833 (London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, 1837; reprint, Taipei: Ch'eng-wen [Chengwen] Publishing Company, 1968), 371-372. 26. Legge, Religions of China, 278. 27. See Claude Welch, Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century vol. 1 1799-1870 (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1972), passim. 28. Collie, Four Books, xiii. 29. Gutzlaff, Journal, 373-377, emphasis mine. 30. Frederick Denison Maurice, The Religions of the World and Their Relation to Christianity (London: John W. Parker, 1847), 88. 31. Legge, Analects, 95. 32. Legge, Religions of China, 123-149. 33. Edinburgh Review, April 1869, 330. 34. Loomis, Confucius, 395. 213

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35. Ibid., 425, emphasis in the original. See also the whole of Loomis's "Editorial Review" in Ibid., 394-425. 36. See Lionel M. Jensen, "The Genesis of Ru (Confucian): Ambiguity, Tradition and Fellowship in Ancient China," 1987 TMs, [photocopy], author's personal collection. 37. Legge, Religions of China, 159. 38. I have bracketed "historical" in this instance because I wish to highlight the distinction between Legge's nineteenth century view and my own twentieth century one. Legge clearly believed that much of what was recorded in the Shujing and Shijing were actual historical occurances rather than the stuff of legends. 39. James Legge trans, The Texts of Taoism pt. 1, 29, emphasis mine. 40. See Legge, Religions of China, 157-230, and Edkins, Religious Conditions, 1-71. 41. Legge, Texts of Taoism pt. 1 28-29. 42. Ibid. 29 and 62, Legge's translation. 43. Ibid. 29. 44. Legge, Religions of China, 163. 45. Ibid., 210. 46. See Legge, Religions of China, 166-167, and Edkins, Religious Conditions, 146-148. 47. Legge, Religions of China, 210-211. 48. Figurism, which derived from Hermeticism, held that all cultures were originally in union with God and with enough historical work one could find the point of divergence from the Judea-Christian tradition. See Mungello, Curious Land, 307-328. 49. Legge, Religions of China, 241. 50. Legge, Texts of Taoism pt. 1, 33. 214

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51. Pfister, "New Dimensions II," 40. 52. Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority, 75. 53. Ibid., 79. 54. cf. Joyce, Democratic Subjects; Joyce, Visions of the People; Regenia Gagnier, Subjectivities: A History of Self-representation in Britain 1832-1920 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Craig Calhoun ed., Social Theory and the Politics of Identity (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1994); John Freccero, "Autobiography and Narrative," in Reconstructing Individualism: Autonomy, Individuality, and the Self in Western Thought, Thomas C. Heller et al., eds. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986). 55. Gagnier, Subjectivities, 31. 56. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, 14, emphasis in the original. 57. See Almond, British Discovery, 66-67. 58. Edkins, Religious Conditions, 7. 59. See Karl Jaspers, Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, part of val 1. Great Philosophers, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Ralph Manheim, (San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1990), 87. 60. See Joyce, Democratic Subjects, and Voice of the People; Gagnier, Subjectivities; Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority; for a compliation of actual working class biographies see, John Burnett ed., Useful Toil: Autobiographies of Working People from the 1820s to the 1920s (London: Allen Lane, 1974; reprint London: Routledge, 1994). 61. Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority, 81. 62. Joyce, Voice of the People, 51. 63. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, 29. 64. See Joyce, Voice of the People, 259-263, and Democratic Subjects, 72-82. 215

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65. See Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society rev. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 87-93 for a critical etymology of the very complex term "culture." Here I an using it to refer to that which is either materially or spiritually produced. 66. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, 174. 67. Ibid., 77. 68. See Gagnier, Subjectivities, 171-219 and 239-278. 69. Robin Gilmour, The Victorian Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1830-1890 (London: Longman, 1993), 87. 70. Ibid. 71. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, 47. 72. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (1981), s.v. "reciprocity" and "reciprocal." 73. See Mungello, Curious Land, 63. 74. Morals of Confucius, 122. 75. Legge, Analects, 301, emphasis in the original. 76. Legge, Religions of China, 137. 77. See, John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Norton Critical Edition, David Spitz ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1975), 70-87, and F. D. Maurice, Reconstructing Christian Ethics: Selected Writings, Ellen K. Wondra ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), ix-xxx, 1-36, 129-180. 78. Grant, Religions of the World, 76. 79. See Mungello, Curious Land, 63. 80. See Edkins, Religion in China, 156. 216

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81. Legge, Analects, 33-34. 82. See Legge, Analects, 356. This translation and the subsequent review are taken from Legge's interpretation of the Daxue contained in the same volume with the Lunyu. 83. Edinburgh Review, April 1869, 324f. 84. Maurice, Religions of the World, 89. 85. See Loomis, Confucius, 400f. 86. Legge, Analects, 105. 87. Grant, Religions of the World, 67. 88. Mill, On Liberty, 67-68. 89. Gutzlaff, Journal of Three Voyages, 375. 90. The basis for this was given in Lunyu 11:11, where Qi Lu asks about serving the spirits of the dead and "Kongzi" replies, "While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits. While you do not know life, how can you know death?" Legge, Analects, 240-241, emphasis in the original. 91. Legge, Analects, 109. 92. mine. Legge, Religions of China, 105, emphasis 93. Grant, Religions of the World, 78. 94. Loomis, Confucius, 412. 95. Edkins, Religion in China, 156. 96. Ibid. 97. James Legge trans., The Works of Mencius: Translated, and with Critical and Exegetical Notes, Prolegomena, and Copius Indexes by James Legge, vol. 2 The Chinese Classics 2d. rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895; reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1970), 56-57. 217

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98. Grant, Religions of the World, 76. Grant is specifically refering to ''Confucius" in this passage, but as it is part of his chapter that deals with "Confucianism," and because he follows Legge's analysis so closely, I take him to mean ''Confucius" and other writers of the "Confucian" school, i.e., Mengzi. Grant, writing after Legge, has extended the analogy back in time to include "Confucius;" something Legge never specifically did. 99. Quoted in J. C. D. Clark, English Society 1688-1832: Ideology, Social Structure and Political Practice During the Ancien Regime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,' 1985), 193. 100. Edkins, Religion in China, 158. 101. Legge, Mencius, 56-76, 79-91. 102. Ibid., 64. 103. Edkins, Religion in China, 159f. 104. Legge, Mencius, 64-65, emphasis in the original. 105. Ibid., 67. 106. Here I am following John Hick and others who use Alan Race's typology to describe alternate views of theology, i.e., the exclusivist or extra ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the church there is no salvation); the inclusivist, that there are various means to salvation and truth but that all of the variant means are only possible through the saving atonement of the Christ act, in other words it may called Buddha or Mohammed or shangdi in those respective cultures, but it's really Christ the Logos with a different name; and the pluralist which attempts to histroicize religions into localized responses to a single reality, without asserting a priori truth claims. See John Hick, A Christian Theology of Religions (Louisville, KY: -Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), 11-30 and passim, also Diana L. Eck, Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banares (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 166-231. 218

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107. F. D. Maurice quoted in Maurice, Reconstructing Christian Ethics, xiii, brackets are Wondra's. 108. Bernard M. G. Reardon, Religious Thought in the Victorian Age: A Survey from Coleridge to Gore 2d. ed. (London: Longman, 1995), 142. 109. Maurice, Religions of the World, 243. 219

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EPILOGUE MULTIPLICITY AND SACRED SUBJECTS When Marco Polo comes to the court of the Great Khan in Italo Calvina's novel Invisible Cities, he describes for the emperor the entirety of his domain. His descriptions form an atlas of possible places; each page unfolds as a portrait of a city, "unique" among all others, yet somehow also inextricably linked to each of them. The details of these cities float through Polo's narratives. They linger in the memory, are dropped, replaced, discovered anew, redescribed, conjoined and juxtaposed with others. They condense and disperse, coalesce and diverge. The myriad cities described by Marco Polo (or perhaps it is only one city, shot through the prism of Polo's imagination, and refracted in a thousand different ways), helps the mighty Khan recapture the totality of his empire in the waning days of his reign, when the vastness of his previous glories is being replaced by the void of time. Calvina eloquently describes this process: There is a sense of emptiness that comes over us at evening, It is the desperate moment when we discover that this empire, which had seemed 220

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to us the sum of all wonders, is an endless, formless ruin, that corruption's gangrene has spread too far to be healed by our scepter, that the triumph over enemy sovereigns has made us heirs of their long undoing. Only in Marco Polo's accounts was Kublai Khan able to discern, through the walls and towers destined to crumble, the tracery of a pattern subtle it could escape the termites' gnawing. That sense of loss, the concrete knowledge of the void, is apparent in most contemporary literature, including historical writing. It is palpable in the work I have presented. I share with Kublai Khan the sense of worlds "lost" in translation: lost in the ambiguity of native texts, lost in the incomprehensible risk of translating, lost in the palimpsest of historiography. I also share his joy at rediscovering those things which are "found" in translation: the equivalences, the creative appropriations, the faithful examination of the "other" I and the congeneric discovery of the "self.'' This sense of a paradoxical coupling of things lost and found is discovered and made poignant in the accumulation and exploration of details. Shortly before his death in 1985, Calvina prepared a series of lectures that he was to give at Harvard. Now bound together under the title, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, these lectures form, both a manifesto advocating the positional superiority of "literature,-'' 221

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and an epilogue to his life and work In them he again articulated the paradox of details accumulated in a void, of emptiness understood by complexity, of space defined by form. He wrote that, "the feeling of 'today' is made from accumulations of the past and the f h 'd 2 vert1go o t e vo1 He understood literature as a vast net, ihat simultaneously expands and constricts its subject. With these thoughts in mind, I will essay an impressionistic review of the ground we have covered in the preceding four chapters. What I have attempted to elucidate in this excursion are a few of the multiple renderings of the Sishu as they were translated and understood by the British of the nineteenth century. I have attempted to trace the imaginative congruences, appropriations, contingencies and negotiations that formed British understanding of these works. I have also tried to show the dispersal of this knowledge, and its entailment in the British imagination. In doing this, I have presented three discrete, but interdependent narratives that begin to describe the conceptual net which encloses this topic. I consciously adopted this literary form in order to underscore the multiplicity of readings offered by several generations of British translators. 222

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The three narratives have been rendered, genealogically, theoretically or conceptually, and finally, reflectively. Genealogy provided an easily palatable linear narrative, a lineage, or chronology of descent. Yeti we discovered that this traditional structure collapsed on itself, as it evident that what had occurred was not a progressive accumulation of knowledge but a continual recurrence of preestablished forms. Chapter 3 allowed us more effectively to situate British renderings of the Sishu in their historical context by examining the translations in terms of taxonomies, hierarchies, and the shifts in European epistemology. However, this examination, which went deeper than genealogy, exposed problems inherent in the orientalist critique, namely the a priori assumption of reified categories such as "east," "west," "China," and "Britain." In Chapter 4 an attempt was made to break these categories down and expose the cross-textual equivalences which were derived through the translations of the Sishu, and show the entailment of these equivalences in the "Victorian crisis of faith." All of these readings are "sacred," in that they are set apart, one from the other, yet none is complete. They are contingent upon 223

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each other, and work within and through each other to form a whole, which begins to illuminate the network of understanding from which they were drawn. The effect, I hope, has been one of critical empathy. A position which encourages us to examine the details of the past rigorously, in order to come to a better, even if implicit, understanding. The imaginative relationship between Britain and China, which I have described by closely and multiply viewing the translated texts of the Sishu, is productive of results. The appropriations, and inventions of the Protestant British translators, occasioned discussion, and informed debates which enabled them to renegotiate the terrain of their own traditions. We are now the heirs of these brokered positions. The significance of this entailment lies in our ability to critically assess the depth and variety of equivalences and disparity between the traditions, of "Confucianism" and "Protestantism", and of "east" and "west." As the inheritor of this legacy, and in my efforts to map out a position within these inherited traditions, I am compelled to view these vast expanses as a horizon, and to apprehend it by closely examining the accumulations of details from the past which have 224

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previously attempted to describe it. Through this effort I have come to view the translated texts of the Sishu as an aperture through which Chinese cultare moved into the European imagination. There the shared values of "Confucian" morality and "Victorian" piety worked together to form a poignant critique of the materialism and non-spiritual nature of contemporary society. Further, these critiques were .not exclusive to sinology, they were embedded in a larger enterprise known as the "Victorian crisis of faith." This "crisis" and the entailment of eastern traditions in it is deserving of a thesis all its own. However, in my brief assessment of it, I have apprehended the term "crisis" to mean, not the irrevocable turning point of an event, as in a disease, but as an unstable state of affairs. Faith, as a noun, implies passive and ineffable acceptance. However, faith, in practice, requires the active and perpetual negotiation of traditional forms. As such, it can be said to be constantly in crisis, eternally occupying an uneasy position in the instability created by the dynamic relationship between human beings and the world around them. Reflecting on these legacies of entailment and crisis, it appears clear to me that, we are not far 225

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removed from the group of people we collectively define as "Victorians." We are also undergoing a ''crisis of faith," in which both Christian and non-Christian traditions are also entailed. This is evidenced by the plethora of material in which the publishing industry is currently awash: revisitations of Genesis, efforts to resituate Jesus in history, and Jewish traditions, as well as an ever-growing wealth of literature on Buddhism and Daoism, and their compatibility with and enlightening importance to Christianity. Because of this, it also appears that there is a dissatisfaction with singular narratives. No one story is sufficient to bridge the gap between the facts of the reality we experience everyday and Calvina's "vertigo of the void." We must trace and retrace again the terrain covered by Ricci, Legge, and others. Like these translators, I too am a product of a era; an era where many are struggling to map the unstable terrain of both past and present. Therefore, the form and content of this thesis is both self-reflective and self-critical. In this respect, they are reflective of my desire to renegotiate these mutually entailed traditions, and critical of my ability, or anyone else's, to traverse this chasm with a single 226

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unified narrative. Therefore, I have presented these variant readings in order to open space for the possibility of further interpretation. In doing this, I have self-consciously recurred to projects undertaken by British and Jesuit interpreters, for they also selected from a wide range of possibilities those items which amplified their own concerns, and resonated in their lives. They constructed a multiplicity of brokered relationships between themselves and the sacred subjects. they sought to understand. In my efforts, I have tried to be faithful to this legacy. 227

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NOTES 1. Italo Calvina, Invisible Cities, trans. William Weaver (San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1974), 5. 2. Itilo Calvina, Six Memos for the Next Millennium: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, 1985-86 (New York: Random House, Inc., 1988), 121. 228

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