An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類

Feb 19, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類 "Thematic discourses of Master Zhu", also called Zhuzi yulu 朱子語錄, is a collection of discussions between the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200) and his disciples. It is an imitation of the "Confucian Analects" Lunyu 論語. The 140 juan-long book was compiled by Li Jingde 黎靖德 (fl. 1270). The texts itself were written down by Zhu Xi's disciples after the Master's passing away.

In 1215, Li Daochuan 李道傳 (jinshi degree 1196) collected the notes of 33 different persons and printed them in Chizhou 池州, with the title of Chilu 池錄 "Records from Chizhou". In 1238, his younger brother Li Xingchuan 李性傳 (1174-1255) published a further collection of 42 texts in Raozhou 饶州, with the title of Raolu 饒錄 "Records from Raozhou". A third collection, the Jianlu 建錄 "Records from Jian'an", was published by Wu Jian 吳堅 in the mid-1260s in Jian'an 建安, including the texts of 33 persons. This collection was divided according to themes into so-called yulei 語類 "thematic discourses". In 1219 Huang Shiyi 黃士毅 published the so-called Sichuan version (Shuben 蜀本), and in 1252, Wang Bi 王佖 published one in Huizhou, the so-called Anhui version (Huiben 徽本). Li Jingde united these collections, polished the text, eliminated redundancies, and published them as one book in 1270, covering 26 themes.

The Zhuzi yulei is an important source for the study of Zhu Xi's philosophical thinking. The book was therefore published in many versions, many of which differ from each other. The earliest print is from the Xianchun reign-period 咸淳 (1265-1274). In 1473, Chen Wei 陳煒 published a further print. The Zhuzi yulei is included in the series Liushi zhuanjingtang congshu 劉氏傳經堂叢書 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Table 1. Contents of the Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類
1. 理氣 Liqi On universal order and material substance
2. 鬼神 Guishen On ghosts and spirits
3. 性理 Xingli On the universal order in the human character
4. Xue On learning
5. 大學 Daxue On the Great Learning
6. 論語 Lunyu On the Confucian Analects
7. 孟子 Mengzi On the Master Meng
8. 中庸 Zhongyong On the Doctrine of the Mean
9. Yi On the Book of Changes
10. Shu On the Book of Documents
11. Shi On the Book of Songs
12. 孝經 Xiaojing On the Book of Filial Piety
13. 春秋 Chunqiu On the Spring and Autumn Annals
14. Li On the ritual books
15. Yue On music
16. 孔孟周程張邵朱子 Kong, Meng, Zhou, Cheng, Zhang, Shao, Zhuzi Confucius, Mengzi, Zhou Dunyi, the brothers Cheng, Zhang Zai, Shao Yong and Zhu Xi
17. 呂伯恭 Lü Bogong Lü Bogong
18. 陳葉 Chen Ye Chen Ye
19. 陸氏 Lushi Master Lu
20. 老氏 Laoshi On Daoism
21. 釋氏 Shishi On Buddhism
22. 本朝 Benchao On the present dynasty
23. 歷代 Lidai Through the ages
24. 戰國漢唐諸子 Zhanguo, Han, Tang zhuzi The masters of the Warring States, Han and Tang periods
25. 雑類 Zalei Miscellaneous themes
26. 作文 Zuowen On writing
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1519.