Confucian Views on War as Seen in the Gongyang Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals
First Online: 16 January 2010 DOI:
10.1007/s11712-009-9145-6 Cite this article as: Yu, Kp. Dao (2010) 9: 97. doi:10.1007/s11712-009-9145-6 Abstract
This essay explores Confucian views on war as seen in the
Spring and Autumn Annals. The interpretation is based mainly on the Gongyang Zhuan, supplemented by other authoritative sources in the Gongyang tradition, such as D ong Zhongshu (179-104 BCE) and H e Xiu (129-182). The Spring and Autumn Annals contains three components: facts, words, and principles. This essay explicates the principles for going to war and the principles for conducting a war. The Confucian perspective sheds light on war against enemies of civilization, conditions for waging a preemptive war, punitive expedition, as well as the use of weapons of mass destruction. The Confucian views as presented here are realistic and pragmatic in nature but are also compatible with the humanistic concern of Confucianism. This essay ends with a summary of the salient and sophisticated features of the Confucian views on war. Keywords Confucius Spring and Autumn Annals Gongyang Zhuan War and peace Just war theory References The Analects. Lau D. C., tr. 1992. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.
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