Following “Tian Li” (Heavenly Principles) and Enforcing Laws According to the Concrete Situations of Specific Cases

  • Jinfan Zhang


During the Xia (2070 B.C.–1600 B.C.) and Shang dynasties (1600 B.C.–1046 B.C.), the national law and “Tian” (heaven) were closely connected, thus, the primitive religion had permeated the field of politics and to some extent, governed the national activities, with the result that the unique views of “Tian Dao” (The Way of Heaven), politics and law were formed. After Shang Dynasty was wiped out by Zhou, although some adjustments were made in the views of the people in Shang dynasty about “Tian Dao” (The Way of Heaven), the belief that God was the spirit of ancestors was negated, and the belief that only the most virtuous would be supported and made kings by “Tian” (heaven) was accepted, which was described in the sentence that “‘Huang Tian’ (heaven) is has no partial affections and it only helps the virtuous”. Undoubtedly, although a political color of realism was added by such adjustments, it had still propagated the supreme authority of “Tian” (heaven), and attributed the ruling by the people of Zhou as “Tian Ming” (mandated by Heaven).


Corporal Punishment Qing Dynasty Ming Dynasty Tang Dynasty Human Feeling 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinfan Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.China University of Political Science and LawBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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