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Civil-Military Relations in Chinese Culture Special Issue  

The December 2020 issue of Chinese Studies will be a special issue entitled “The Dialectal Nature of Civil-Military Relations in Chinese Culture” and guest-edited by Siao-chen Hu, and Hung-tai Wang. Papers may be submitted in either Chinese or English. Length and style should follow the “Guide for Submissions to Chinese Studies” and “Chinese Studies Stylesheet.”

Discourses throughout Chinese history have indicated that to bring peace and stability to the state, wu was said to be able to conquer all under heaven, but unable to effectively govern; and thus, wen and wu must be employed concertedly. However, civil and military officials did not always work in cooperation, often holding the other in contempt. If wen was overstressed, a lack of heroic spirit would result; in contrast, a predominating military would cause scholar-officials to become dependent. Historically, civil-military relations have undergone changes over time, but are recurrently dialectical. Considering the differing political circumstances and realities in different historical periods, civil-military relations have exhibited quite dissimilar qualities, and corresponding depictions of society and culture have also formed in turn. Moreover, whether the portrayals of famous generals by Sima Qian or the knight-errant poetry of Li Bai 李白, rich and abundant expressions can be found in classical literature. From the Song-Yuan period onwards, the rises and falls of scholar-officials and military roles due to the times frequently appear in both Chinese opera and novels. Even shifts in poetic verse and style may be attributed to the changing differences in the dialectical nature of civil-military relations.

The above examples are just a few that highlight “The Dialectal Nature of Civil-Military Relations in Chinese Culture,” and related research questions still have space for further discussion. The culture of scholar-officials has been a focal point of academic interest, and recent scholarship has produced remarkable research studies concerning the military sphere, knight-errantry, and other topics. Through this special edition, we desire to further our understanding of historical shifts in both the concepts and practices of wen and wu, which would assist academia in reassessing and unveiling the dialectical relationship between the civil and military spheres. Submissions for consideration are now being accepted.


The deadline for submissions to this issue is Feb. 29, 2020. Please send submissions to e-mail us at chinesestudies@ncl.edu.tw, or our online manuscript submission website at http://journals.ncl.edu.tw

* 中國文化中的文武辯證專輯.pdf *

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Last updated: 2020/2/19
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