Lixue zongzhuan 理學宗傳 "Biographical Account of the Masters of Neo-Confucianism" is a collection of biographies of philosophers written by the early Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Sun Qifeng 孫奇逢 (1584-1675), courtesy name Qitai 啟泰 or Zhongyuan 鍾元, style Xiafeng xiansheng 夏峯先生. He hailed from Rongzheng 容城, Hebei, and was a supporter of the court faction of Zuo Guangdou 左光斗, Wei Dazhong 魏大中 and Zhou Shunchang 周順昌. When these were thrown into jail, he propagated their innocence and collected funds to buy them free. Although several times recommended for promotion, he never obtained a post under the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), and refused to take over the post of chairman of the Directorate of Education (guozijian 國子監) that was offered to him by the new Qing regime. The property of his family was seized and he was forced to Rongxian 輝縣, where he had to live as a farmer at Xiafeng near Sumen 蘇門.
Sun Qifeng's 26-juan long book was finished in 1666 and is included in Sun's collected writings Sun Xiafeng quanji 孫夏峯全集. It was first printed in 1880 by the Zhejiang Publishing House 浙江書局. Sun Qifeng admired the Neo-Confucian masters Lu Jiuyuan 陸九淵 (1139-1193) from the Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279) and Wang Yangming 王陽明 (Wang Shouren 王守仁, 1472-1529) from the Ming period, and in his older years also studied the writings of the brothers Cheng Hao 程顥 (1032-1085) and Cheng Yi 程頤 (1033-1107) and Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). Sun Qifeng attracted a lot of disciples, the most important of which were Tang Bin 湯斌 (1627-1687), Geng Jie 耿介 and Wei Xiangshu 魏象樞 (1617-1687). He wrote several studies on Confucian writings and Neo-Confucian masters, like Sishu jinzhi 四書近旨, Shangshu jinzhi 尚書近旨, Du Yi dazhi 讀易大旨, Lixue chuanxin zuanyao 理學傳心纂要, Zhongzhou renwu kao 中州人物考 and Suihanju wenda 歲寒居答問.
Sun Qifeng compared the "family tree" (zong 宗) of the Confucian masters with the great guideline (tong 統) that connected all parts of a state and the kinship bonds (xi 係) of a family. The core teachings of the Neo-Confucian masters were Heaven (tian 天) and the human heart or mind (xin 心). As embodiment of Heaven's intentions Confucian teachings were all based on Heaven, and therefore "orthodox". Anyone wanting to fathom the original meaning of heaven had therefore to study the Confucian writings and the teachings of the Confucian masters.
It was especially the Neo-Confucian masters of the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) who established an orthodox line of tradition that was handed down from Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤 (1017-1073), the brothers Cheng, Zhang Zai 張載 (1020-1077) and Shao Yong 邵雍 (1011-1077) to Zhu Xi, Lu Jiuyuan, Xue Xuan 薛瑄 (1389-1464), Wang Yangming (Wang Shouren), Luo Hongxian 羅洪先 (1504-1564) and Gu Xiancheng 顧憲成 (1550-1612).
For each of these eleven masters, Sun Qifeng has written a short biography and a summary of his philosophy. He informs the reader about the masters' writings and later commentaries to these. The process of the compilation of the Lixue zongzhuan was very complex and underwent three revisions, before the final version came into being after three decades of work.
The first half of the book (juan 1-11) include the biographies of the most important Song- 宋 (960-1279) and Yuan-period 元 (1279-1368) philosophers. The next chapters are dedicated to important Confucians of the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE), Sui 隋 (581-618) and Tang 唐 (618-907), Song, Yuan and Ming periods.The last chapter is an appendix to the book and adds six isolated biographies.
Sun Qifeng himself was not directly inclined to any of the traditions (xuepai 派學) he describes. Huang Zongxi 黄宗羲 (1610-1695), author of Mingru xue'an 明儒學案, a more systematic history of philosophy, criticized Sun Qifeng for not having been able to give clear distinctions of the different teaching traditions. Yet for Sun this was apparently not an important point, but rather, as Zhang Mu 張沐 said, that the reader would be able to see that although no new "classics" had been written after Confucius, and although no "saint" had emerged since then, anyone would nonetheless have a chance to develop the same skills as the ancient rulers and sage kings of the past.
The Lixue zongzhuan is a very concise overview of the most important teachings of Neo-Confucianism and their forerunners.
|1||周子元公 (Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤)|
|2||程子純公 (Cheng Hao 程顥)|
|3||程子正公 (Cheng Yi 程頤)|
|4||張子明公 (Zhang Zai 張載), 弟天祺附 (app. brother Tianqi, Zhang Jian 張戩)|
|5||邵子康節 (Shao Yong 邵雍), 子伯溫附 (app. son Shao Bowen 邵伯溫)|
|6||朱子文公 (Zhu Xi 朱熹)|
|7||陸子文安 (Lu Jiuyuan 陸九淵), 兄子九齡九韶附 (app. brothers Liu Jiuling 陸九齡, Liu Jiushao 陸九韶)|
|8||薛子文清 (Xue Xuan 薛瑄)|
|9||王子(Wang Shouren 王守仁 or Wang Yangming 王陽明)|
|10||羅文㳟公 (Luo Hongxian 羅洪先)|
|11||顧端文公 (Gu Xiancheng 顧憲成)|
|12||漢儒考 Studies on Han-period scholars:
董子 (Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒), 鄭玄 Zheng Xuan, app. 申公培 Shen Pei, 倪公寬 Ni Kuan, 毛公萇 Mao Chang
|13||隋儒考 Studies on Sui-period scholars:
王文中子 (Wang Tong 王通), app. disciples (menren 門人): 董常 Dong Chang, 薛收 Xue Shou, 仇璋 Chou Zhang, 姚義 Yao Yi
|14||唐儒考 Studies on Tang-period scholars:
韓子 (Han Yu 韓愈), app. disciples (menren 門人): 李翱 Li Ao, 趙德 Zhao De
|15-18||宋儒考 Studies on Song-period scholars:
15 程門子弟 Disciples of the brothers Cheng: 楊時 Yang Shi, 劉絢 Liu Xun, 李𥸤 Li Yu, 謝良佐 Xie Liangzuo, 尹焞 Yin Tun, 游酢 You Zuo, 張繹 Zhang Yi, 呂大鈞 Lü Dajun, 呂大忠 Lü Dazhong, 呂大臨 Lü Dalin, 朱廣庭 Zhu Guangting, 王蘋 Wang Pin, 蘇昞 Su Bing, 馬伸 Ma Shen, 楊應之 Yang Yingzhi, 侯師聖 Hou Shisheng, 劉安節 Liu Anjie, 劉宗禮 Liu Zongli, 林大節 Lin Dajie, 周子先 Zhou Zixian, 范育 Fan Yu, 孟敦夫 Meng Dunfu
16 胡璦 Hu Ai, 羅從彥 Luo Congyan, 李侗 Li Tong, 胡安國 Hu Anguo (app. 胡宏 Hu Hong), 張栻 Zhang Shi, 呂祖謙 Lü Zuqian
17 朱門子弟 Disciples of Zhu Xi: 蔡沈 Cai Shen, 黃幹 Huan Gan, 李燔 Li Fan, 張洽 Zhang Qia, 廖德明 Liao Deming, 葉味道 Ye Weidao, 李方子 Li Fangzi, 詹體仁 Zhan Tiren, 陳淳 Chen Chun, 傅伯成 Fu Bocheng, 徐僑 Xu Qiao, 輔漢卿廣, 楊復 Yang Fu, 黃灝 Huang Hao, 石子重 Shi Zizhong
陸門子弟 Disciples of Lu Jiuyuan: 袁燮 Yuan Xie, 沈煥 Shen Huan, 曹建 Cao Jian, 舒璘 Shu Lin
18 真德秀 Zhen Dexiu, 何基 He Ji, 王相 Wang Xiang, 陳埴 Chen Zhi, 金履祥 Jin Lüxiang
|19||元儒考 Studies on Yuan-period scholars: 劉公因 Liu Yin (app. 安熙 An Xi), 許謙 Xu Qian, 姚公樞 Yao Shu (app. 趙復 Zhao Fu, 竇默 Dou Mo), 許衡 Xu Heng (app. 王恂 Wang Xun et al.)|
|20-25||明儒考 Studies on Ming-period scholars:
20 曹端 Cao Duan, 羅倫 Luo Lun, 陳選 Chen Xuan, 章懋 Zhang Mao, 吳與弼 Wu Yubi, 胡居仁 Hu Juren, 陳獻章 Chen Xianzhang, 湛若水 Zhan Ruoshui, 賀欽 He Qin
21 徐愛 Xu Ai, 錢德洪 Qian Dehong, 鄒守益 Zou Shouyi (app. son Zou Shan 鄒善, grandsons Zou Dehan 鄒德涵, Zou Depu 鄒德溥), 薛侃 Xue Kan, 歐陽德 Ouyang De, 黃綰 Huang Wan, 顧應祥 Gu Yingxiang, 黃弘綱 Huang Honggang, 何泰 He Tai, 徐樾 Xu Yue, 方獻夫 Fang Xianfu, 陸澄 Lu Cheng, 冀元亨 Ji Yuanheng, 徐珊 Xu Shan, 蔣信 Jiang Xin, 王道 Wang Dao, 穆孔暉 Mu Konghui
22 何塘 He Tang, 崔銑 Cui Xian, 呂柟 Lü Ran, 羅欽順 Luo Qinshun, 尤時熙 You Shixi, 鄭曉 Zheng Xiao, 鄧以讚 Deng Yizan, 薛敬之 Xue Jingzhi
23 呂坤 Lü Kun, 馮從吾 Feng Congwu, 高攀龍 Gao Panlong, 鄧元錫 Deng Yuanxi, 章潢 Zhang Huang
24 曹于汴 Cao Yubian, 來知德 Lai Zhide, 呂維祺 Lü Weiqi
25 孟化鯉 Meng Huali, 孟秋 Meng Qiu, 鄒元標 Zou Yuanbiao, 劉宗周 Liu Zongzhou, 陳龍正 Chen Longzheng, 金鉉 Jin Xuan
|26||附錄/補遺 Appendix: 張九成 Zhang Jiucheng, 楊簡 Yang Jian, 王畿 Wang Ji, 羅汝芳 Luo Rufang, 楊起元 Yang Qiyuan, 周汝登 Zhou Rudeng|