The Regionalization of Confucian Learning and the Marginalization of Spatially Mobile Intellectual Groups The Dissociation and Combination of Political and Cultural Centers of Gravity and Their Consequences
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Contemporary Chinese Thought 31 (3):64-78 (2000)
As stated above, the process of the regionalization of Confucianism was symbolically raising the banner of unofficial Confucian schools in a regionally dispersed situation. This resulted in a refreshing contrast to the unified characteristics of Han Confucianism. The consolidation of a position of united imperial authority during the Han had led to Confucian discourse becoming official ideology, with wandering Confucians being absorbed into the political center of gravity, and the use of a single authority to solve any given question. An examination of this process from the viewpoint of spatial and geographical distribution, demonstrates that the process of transmission was from a "wider area" to a "single place" . During the Han the cultural focus was concentrated in northern regions such as Qi, Lu, Liang [this is the state Wei—Ed.], and Song. Their locations were mutually overlapping with the political centers of gravity. At the same time, the cultural focus was invariably in the regions where Confucian activities were most concentrated. This was coterminous with the territorial limitations of the domination of the Han. A question emerges therefrom: with the post-Han south-north cultural migration, did the mutual interaction between the political and cultural centers have a defining influence on the spatial composition of the stratum of Confucian scholars?
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