An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Zhangzi quanshu 張子全書

Feb 19, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhangzi quanshu 張子全書 "Complete writings of Master Zhang" is a collection of the philosophical writings of the Northern Song-period 北宋 (960-1126) Neo-Confucian scholar Zhang Zai 張載 (1020-1077). The 14-juan-long book contains the writings Dongming 東銘 "Eastern inscription", Ximing 西銘 "Western inscription", Zhengmeng 正蒙 "Correcting the ignorant", Jingxue liku 經學理窟 "The well-ordered cave of the teaching of the Classics", Lishuo 禮說 "Explanation of the Book of Rites", Yishuo 易說 "Explanation of the Book of Changes", Yulu 語錄 "Discourses", and the miscellaneous collected writings (wenji 文集).

The Zhengmeng is Zhang Zai's most important philosophical writing. The original was not very long and was later enlarged by disciple Su Bing 蘇炳 to a size of 17 chapters. Together with the small books Ximing and Yishuo is represents Zhang Zai's interpretation of the world. The book Jingxue liku focuses on social aspects and transfers the Neo-Confucian interpretation of the world onto society. Zhang Zai wished to revive the putative tradition of the well-field system (jingtian 井田) and the rural lineage system (zongfa 宗法) described in the classic Zhouli 周禮. The book Yulu contains discussions on philosophy, politics and human relations.

Not all of Zhang Zai's writings have survived. Some commentaries on Confucian Classics, like the Shishuo 詩說 "Explanation of the Book of Songs", Mengzi jie 孟子解 "Explaining the Mengzi", or Chunqiu shuo 春秋說 "Explanation of the Spring and Autumn Annals" are lost. Some titles are even only known because later scholars mentioned them, like Li yue shuo 禮樂說 "Explanation of the chapter on music in the Book of Rites" and Lunyu shuo 論語說 "Explanation of the Confucian Analects", which are mentioned by the great Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200).

In different sources, the juan-size of the books Yishuo, Jingxue liku, Jili 祭禮 "Offering rites" and Mengzi jie is not equal. This shows that there were different versions in circulation during the Song period. The Yishuo, for example, is known as a book of 3 juan, and alternatively as one with a length of 10 juan. Apart from the Zhengmeng, most other separately published books of Zhang Zai have sizes identical to those in the or the Zhangzi chaoshi 張子抄釋 "Draft commentaries on the writings of Master Zhang". Not all books in the Zhangzi quanshu have been written by Zhang Zai himself. Some are compilations of remnants, and others were written by his disciples. The Hengqu xiansheng yulu 横渠先生語錄 "Discourses of Master Hengqu", for example, is a later compilation, and the Jingxue liku was, according to Chuo Gongwu 晁公武 (1105-1180), a compilation by a certain Master Jinhua 金華先生 that included also statements by other Neo-Confucian scholars.

It is actually not known at which point of time and by whom the Zhangzi quanshu was compiled. It is probably a work done by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholars Shen Zizhang 沈自彰 (jinshi degree 1601) or Lü Nan 呂楠. It is rather probable that versions including Zhu Xi's commentaries on the Ximing and Zhengmeng are of later date. Some scholars attributed the compilation of the Zhangzi quanshu to Zhu Xi. It might also be that the Yuan-period 元 (1279-1368) scholar Wu Cheng 吳澄 (1249-1333) had compiled the collection Zhangzi quanshu, but there is no proof about this in any catalogue.

The earliest printed version is that by Shen Zizhang from 1620. A facsimile is included in the series Guoxue jiben congshu 國學基本叢書. In 1662 it was printed by Li Yuegui 李月桂. A modern print was published in 1936 by the Zhonghua shuju Press 中華書局. The Zhangzi quanshu is included in the series Sibu beiyao 四部備要.

Table 1. The series Zhangzi quanshu 張子全書
1806 edition from Guli 故里, Meixian 郿縣; 1877 edition of Master Li from Xiazhou 夏州李氏 edition
I 西銘 Ximing The Western Inscription
西銘總論 Ximing zonglun General discussions on the Western Inscription
II-III 正蒙 Zhengmeng Correcting the Ignorant
1. 太和篇 Taihe The great harmony
2. 參兩篇 Sanliang The three and the two
3. 天道篇 Tiandao The Heavenly way
4. 神化篇 Shenhua Deification
5. 動物篇 Dongwu Moving objects
6. 誠明篇 Chengming Sincerity and clearness
7. 大心篇 Daxin The great mind
8. 中正篇 Zhongzheng Rectification of the centre
9. 至當篇 Zhidang The utmost appropriate
10. 作者篇 Zuozhe The creator
11. 三十篇 Sanshi Thirty
12. 有徳篇 Youde Having virtue
13. 有司篇 Yousi Having control
14. 大易篇 Dayi The great change
15. 樂器篇 Yueqi Musical instruments
16. 王禘篇 Wangdi The offerings of a ruler
17. 乾稱篇 Qiancheng Heavenly designations
IV 周禮 Zhouli On the "Rites of the Zhou"
詩書 Shi-Shu On the "Book of Songs" and the "Book of Documents"
宗法 Zongfa Ancestral lineages
V 禮樂 Li-Yue On the ritual and the musical classics
氣質 Qizhi The nature of matter
VI 義理 Yili Etiquette and the Heavenly order
學大原上 Xue dayuan A The grand origin of learning
VII 學大原下 Xue dayuan B
自道 Zidao The own way
VIII 祭祀 Jisi On sacrifices
月令綂 Yueling tong Comprehensive treatise on the "Monthly Commands"
喪紀 Sangji Burial rites
IX-XI 易說 Yishuo Explanations to the "Book of Changes"
XII 語録 Yulu Sayings
XIII-XIV 文集 Wenji Collected belles-lettres writings
XV 附錄 Fulu Appendix
Li Junxiu 李峻岫 (2018). "Zhangzi quanshu Ming Wanli Fengxiang fu keben kaolüe 《张子全书》明万历凤翔府刻本考略", Zhongguo dianji yu wenhua 中国典籍与文化, 2018 (2): 25-31.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1553.
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館, ed. (1982). Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, 470.