Tung Chung-Shu

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Tung Chung-Shu

 

Born c. 179 B.C.; died 104 B.C. Chinese philosopher, on whose suggestion Confucianism was proclaimed the official ideology in 136 B.C.

In his work Ch’un-ch’iu Fan-lu (The Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals), Tung Chung-shu endowed heaven (tien) with the attributes of a god possessing moral consciousness who punishes for criminal administration by causing natural disasters and who points out improprieties in the conduct of the ruler and his associates with the aid of unusual natural phenomena that upset the natural order. Confucian officials tried to make use of this theory to limit the emperor’s despotism. The cosmological speculations of Tung Chung-shu combine Confucianism with the theories of yin-yang and the five primal elements.

REFERENCES

Franke, O. Studien zur Geschichte des Konfuzianischen Dogmas und der chinesischen Staatsreligion: Das Problem des Tsch’unts’iu und Tung Tschung-schu’s “Tsch’un-ts’iufan lu.” Hamburg, 1920.
Shryock, J. K. The Origin and Development of the State Cult of Confucius. New York, 1966.
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The neglect of the authenticity question is made less serious by the fact that the work translates a section of the Chunqiu fanlu where this problem is less severe than it is elsewhere--there is general agreement these essays are early Gongyang material, whether Dong Zhongshu or someone else was their author.
For instance, when translating the discussion of music in the first chapter ("Chu Zhuang wang"--Gassmann does not mention that this essay must originally have been entitled "Fanlu"), no reference is made to the question-and-answer exchange on this topic between Dong Zhongshu and Emperor Wu which forms part of the memorials preserved in Dong's Hanshu biography (juan 56).
12) The service to stop the fall of rain along the lines prescribed by Dong Zhongshu thus appears to have begun under Emperor Cheng in the year 31 B.
We have a sacrifice for rain specifically attributed to Dong Zhongshu, by a Later Han writer, which mentions the "Five Lords," deities intimately connected with Five Forces thought.
His investigations brought him to a close study of Dong Zhongshu and his assumed authorship of a work that espoused Confucianism during the Han dynasty.
Dong Zhongshu, a 'Confucian' heritage and the Chunqiu fanlu.
Sima Qian may have studied with Dong Zhongshu around 120 B.
Gongyang zaiji and Gongyang Dong Zhongshu zhiyu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE
Dong Zhongshu, Chun chiu fan lu (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuguo, 1991), chap.
Dong Zhongshu explained that, before sacrificing, the emperor performed a divinatory practice.
Indeed, one can pass enjoyable hours simply by starting with any major figure--say, Zhang Liang [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or Dong Zhongshu [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--and following up that initial entry by consulting those for every other figure mentioned in it; the ramifications are almost endless and are always enlightening.
In the Shiji the only person Sima Qian associated with the Gongyang commentary was Dong Zhongshu, while in the Hanshu the list was expanded: Gongsun Hong and his teacher Scholar Huwu--both of whom Sima Qian identified as experts on the Annals--were presented as experts on the Gongyang tradition.