Michael Hunter F'11
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
Sayings of Confucius, Deselected
Arguably the most influential text in the East Asian tradition, the Analects (Lunyu, or the “Selected Sayings”) continues to be read as the most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius. This dissertation disputes the standard view of the Analects’ origin by arguing from a comprehensive survey of early Confucius sayings that the text is a product not of the fifth-century BCE but of the early Western Han empire (206 BCE–9 CE), a conclusion with major implications for the study of early Chinese thought. In addition to developing new ways of reading the Analects against the backdrop of earlier textual traditions, it also introduce readers to the plethora of non-Analects Confucius sayings preserved in early texts, material that is typically ignored in studies of the period.