Chinese Studies Forum: Lecture 6 | Han Yu and Chinese Writing Tradition
On the morning of May 11, 2019, the 6th session of IIAS Chinese Studies was held at Conference Room 205 of the Central Main Building of Tsinghua University, with the topic “Han Yu and Chinese Writing Tradition”. Prof. Liu Ning, Researcher at the Institute of Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, presented the lecture.
This session was divided into three parts, namely Han Yu’s influence on Chinese history, Han Yu and the revival of Confucianism, and the Confucian connotation of Han Yu’s ancient prose.
At the beginning of the lecture, Prof. Liu Ning cited “Chaozhou Han Wengong Temple Stele”, “Three Poems of Sending Mei Boyan to Jinling”, “On the Improper Abolishment of Ancient Prose”, “The Key to Ancient Prose”, “The Eight Great Masters of Tang and Song Dynasties”, “Ancient Lexicography” and other classic documents and pointed out that Han Yu had a profound influence on Chinese writing tradition.
In the second part, Prof. Liu mentioned the relationship between Han Yu and the revival of Confucianism, specifically expounding the fact that Han Yu’s essays revitalized the style of writing that had been on the decline in the previous eight dynasties, ancient prose and social transformation in the Tang and Song Dynasties and the characteristics of “modern times”. Furthermore, from Han Yu’s promotion of tradition and advocation of teaching, he elaborated Han Yu’s contribution to the revival of Confucianism in detail.
Finally, he introduces the Confucian connotation of Han Yu’s ancient writings from three features of rectification, uprightness and magnificence. Prof. Liu specifically reviewed the profound connotation by citing documents such as “Mencius”, “The Analects”, “Xunzi”, “Shishuo”, “Original Rui” and “An Elegiac Address to the Twelfth Nephew”.
Liu Ning, Researcher at the Institute of Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Member of CPPCC National Committee.
From 1987 to 1997, he studied in the Chinese Department of Peking University and obtained his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. From 1997 to 1999, he worked at the post-doctoral mobile station of the Chinese Department of Beijing Normal University. From 1999 to 2009, he was Associate Professor at the School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University. Starting from July 2009, he has served as Researcher at the Institute of Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently Director of the Chinese Tang Dynasty Literature Research Association and Director of the Han Yu Research Association. His research interest focuses on the study of Tang and Song poetry and literature, in particular the history of thought and the history of classics.