An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Sun Shi 孫奭

Nov 11, 2023 © Ulrich Theobald

Sun Shi 孫奭 (962-1033), courtesy name Zonggu 宗古, from Bozhou 博州 (today’s Renping 荏平, Shandong), was a Confucian scholar of the early Northern Song period. In 989, he obtained the degree of expert on the Nine Classics, and served for a long period as 大理寺評事、國子監直講. During the reign of Emperor Renzong 宋仁宗, he was made 翰林侍講學士、判國子監. 大理評事、國子監直講、工部郎中,擢為龍圖閣待制。后為兵部侍郎、龍圖閣學士 Sun was a disciple of Wang Che 王徹 and became the latter’s sucessor as instructor for the core corpus of the Five Classics (wujing 五經). Also during his time as canonical expert in the central government, he was regularly consulted because of his deep insight into the texts and their interpretations. For instance, the plan to carry out the sacrifices to Heaven and Earth of Mt. Taishan 泰山 was criticized by Sun Shi because it was, according to the Chunqiu “Spring and Autumn Annals” an expression of a dynasty’s decline. He was a general oppontent of the superstitious belief in “heavenly symbols” and “prophetical signs”, for example, Zhu Neng’s 朱能 Qianyou tianshu 乾祐天書 that was heftily discussed at the court. Sun compiled the book Jingdian weiyan 經典微言 „Subtle words from the Classics“ as a guideline for political decisions. Another important compilation was created in cooperation with Xing Bing 邢昺 and Du Hao 杜鎬, namely a textual collation and revision of important Confucian and Daoist texts. Sun’s studies on the book Mengzi yielded two texts, namely the semantic interpretation Mengzi zhengyi 孟子正義, and the phonetic commentary Mengzi yinyi 孟子音義.

Feng Fang 馮方 (xxx). "Sun Shi 孫奭", 遼寧人民出版社 《諸子百家大辭典》 第132.
Liu Jianli 劉建麗 (xxx). "Sun Shi 孫奭", 遼寧人民出版社 《中國儒學辭典》 第52.