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[Zhouyi Studies] closing Subtlety and Preserving Quintessence, Opening up Wisdom and Accomplishing Undertakings 2009-11-17


Editorial Board of the Zhouyi Studies

Translated from Chinese by Zhang Wenzhi

(Center for Zhouyi & Ancient Chinese Philosophy, Shadong University, Jinan 250100, China)

2008 witnessed the 30 th anniversary of the policy of China's opening to the outside world, which coincides with the 20 th anniversary of the Center for Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy and the journal of Zhouyi Studies .

On December 5, 1987, authorized by then the State Education Commission (now the Ministry of Education), the Zhouyi Section in the Department of Philosophy of Shandong University, with 30,000 yuan RMB transferred from the Provincial Government of Shandong, sponsored in the Soldiers' Reception Station the First International Conference on Zhouyi after the liberation of China (1949). Over 200 representatives from 6 countries and regions participated in the conference, which aroused high attention from people of all ranks and public media. the renowned historian Mr. Zhou Gucheng 周谷城 (1898-1996) as the vice Chairman of National People's Congress, the celebrated scholar of Chinese philosophy Mr. Liang Shuming 梁漱溟 (1893-1988) as a standing member of the National Committee of CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference), famous scholars such as Feng Youlan 冯友兰 (1895-1990) and Zhang Dainian 张岱年 (1909-2004), Mr. Kuang Yaming 匡亚明 (1906-96) as president of the Foundation of Confucius of China, and Mr. Tan Qilong 谭启龙 as ex-secretary of the Provincial Chinese Communist Party Committee of Shangdong sent congratulatory letters. Vice-president of Shandong Province Mr. Zhang Jingtao 张敬焘 on behalf of the Provincial Government of Shandong attended the opening ceremony. CCTV news reported the conference that day. In addition, China mainland newspapers such as People's Daily 人民日报 , People's Daily (Overseas Edition), Outlook 瞭望 (Overseas Edition), Dazhong Daily 大众日报 , Hong Kong's newspapers such as Ta Kung Pao 大公报 , Wen Wei Pao 文汇报 , Ming Pao 明报 , Daily Sunshine 晶报 , and newspapers published in the United States such as Hua Sheng Bao 华声报 (lit., Chinese Voices), North America Daily 北美日报 , Chinese News 中报 in San Francisco, and Canadian Chinese Daily 加华日报 in Canada, and so on, over 30 newspapers reported the grand occasion. Moreover, Daily Sunshine presented an editorial "Inspiration of the International Yijing Conference". It might be the first time for the overseas newspapers to publish an editorial for Mainland China's academic conference.

Having experienced the terror and darkness of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), thrill and fear were still lingering in people's mind. In this case, it is not difficult to imagine the difficulty we might encounter when we were organizing such an international conference of Zhouyi which had been despised as a superstitious book. For this reason, Professor Liu Dajun 刘大钧 had been to Beijing for four times to introduce the academic spirit and contemporary values of the Zhouyi to the persons concerned in the National Education Committee, that the Zhouyi had been highly valued as the first of the Confucian classics for over 2000 years. Through repeated efforts, the conference was finally approved and supported by some leaders of Shandong Province. The conference was successfully opened and the participants were much excited and the conference was just like a sweat rain falling on the parched seedlings. The excitement from the bottom of heart is difficult for today's youths to experience and understand. This is the very reason why Mr. Zhong Qilu 钟启禄 when he was addressing in the opening ceremony on behalf of foreign participants suggested all participants stand up and extend salutations to Mr. Liu Dajun who had made not a trivial contribution to the conference.

Now when we are commemorating the 20 th anniversary of the Zhouyi Center and Zhouyi Studies , why would we like to soulfully recall the conference held 21 years ago? Because it is in this conference that both overseas and mainland participants unanimously proposed two important issues relating to the development of the Yi studies later. One was to make preparations for the publication of the academic journal Zhouyi Studies to orientate and improve the Yi studies; the other was to make preparations for the founding of Association of Zhouyi Studies of China. Guided by Mr. Xiao Shafu 萧箑父 (1924-2008), we drafted a name list of the preparatory committee for the participants to discuss and supplement. Vice President of the Association of Chinese Philosophy Mr. Shi Jun 石峻 (1916-99) gave us two suggestions: "First, I suggest that the president of the Association of Zhouyi Studies of China must be an expert in the Zhouyi studies, otherwise, the name will not match the reality and it will be difficult to organizeacademic activities; Second, I suggest the association not invite a group of celebrities as advisors or honorary advisor(s) which occurs in fustian associations. However, I will not occupy the position of your association's advisor." On the 3 rd day of the conference, all participants advocated with heave applause that the sponsor of the conference Zhouyi Section of Shandong University was suitable to prepare for the publication of the journal Zhouyi Studies and it was advisable to prepare for the founding of the Association of Zhouyi Studies of China by the Section. Bearing the trust of both mainland and overseas scholars, Mr. Liu Dajun engaged in the preparation immediately after the conference and having overcome various difficulties he as the editor-in-chief founded the 1 st academic journal concerning the Yi after liberation, i.e. Zhouyi Studies in mainland China in 1988. In addition, on the basis of the Preparatory Team of Zhouyi Studies of China, the establishment of the Association of Zhouyi Studies of China was announced which as a second-class society was affiliated to the the Association of Chinese Philosophy in 1989. Later, because the Ministry of Civil Affairs did not permit the existence of second-class associations, the Leaned Society of Zhouyi of China as a first-class society approved by the Ministry of Civil Affairs was established in 1996. It was the sincere and warm academic atmosphere of the participants' charm in the conference that moved the journalists so deeply that they made all-the-way tracking reports in detail for the conference and thus making the conference having exerted far-reaching influence. The atmosphere also deeply moved the leaders of Shandong University who participated in the opening and closing ceremonies and after the conference they decided to promote the Zhouyi Section of the Philosophy Department to an independent research institute subordinate to the university, hence the establishment of the Research Center of Zhouyi of Shandong University in March, 1988. Therefore, without that conference, there would be neither the prompt sponsorship of the Zhouyi Studies , nor the prompt establishment of the Research Center of Zhouyi, nor the founding of the Association of Zhouyi Studies of China, nor the consequent fever of Zhouyi studies. It is for this reason that Mr. Chungying Cheng 成中英 as a famous Yi jing scholar in the Philosophy Department of Hawaii University named the three things as the three important milestones pushing contemporary Yi studies forward.

The publication of the Zhouyi Studies made us and those who were in favor of our cause much excited. After the Cultural Revolution, a journal belonging to the Yi researchers eventually came out and thus both the mainland and overseas scholars extended their congratulations in different styles. Mr. Liang Shuming 梁漱溟 (1893-1988) very pleasantly inscribed the name for the journal. Both the mainland and overseas celebrated scholars such as Zhou Gucheng 周谷城 (1898-1996), Jin Jingfang 金景芳 (1902-2001), Zhang Dainian 张岱年 (1909-2004), Qiu Hansheng 邱汉生 (1912-92), Ren Jiyu 任继愈 , Huang Shouqi 黄寿祺 (1912-90), Shi Jun 石峻 (1916-99), Xiao Shafu 萧箑父 (1924-2008), Feng Qi 冯契 (1915-95), Jiang Weiguo 蒋纬国 (1916-97), Kong Decheng 孔德成 (1920-2008), Chen Lifu 陈立夫 (1902-2001), Wu Dayou 吴大猷 (1907-2000), Yan Lingfeng 严灵峰 , Rao Zongyi 饶宗颐 , Cheng Zhongying 成中英 , etc. delivered their congratulatory letters or particular inscriptions which heartened and moved us so much. On the occasion of the 20 th anniversary of the Zhouyi Studies , we will never forget the love and concern for the journal from the scholars of the older generation, the large Yi researchers and amateurs.

In the beginning of the publication of the journal, besides of excitement, various hardships and difficulties confronted us.

The first and hardest issue was the lack of fund. To raise funds for the publication of the journal, Professor Liu Dajun as the editor-in-chief at the cost of his valuable time was busy running among and dealing with people of all ranks, in which the hardships are difficult to be expressed. Where there is a will, there is a way. Liu's prodigious bravery and devotion to the Yi studies deeply moved some enterprisers who one after another loosed the purse string and rendered funds which help the Zhouyi Studies tided over difficulties one by one. Now we particularly extend our thanks to those enterprisers who had lent a helping hand for emergencies in the beginning period of the journal's publication.

The second problem is the shabbiness of office and critical shortage of staff. In the very beginning, there was no office for the editorial board, but with a table in the reference room of the Philosophy Department as a temporary editing table, where all the works such as addressing envelopes, registering letters, discussing manuscripts, and proof reading were accomplished. In the beginning after the editorial board was set up, members were so in shortage that there were only three part-time members: one was in charge of distribution, one was responsible for editing, and one for raising the funds. The three not only divided the work but also cooperated each other. At that time, the editorial board was in "three-no" status: no funds, no full-time editors, no distribution channels, facing very heavy pressure. Till today when we recall the status, it is still vivid and all sorts of feelings well up in out hearts which is difficult to be calmed. Never should we forget those days when we were rushing about to raise funds, nor will we forget the scene of shabby condition under which we were busy in working and the scene we were dragging a cart in face of wind and dust to deliver the journal to postoffice.

Since the day of the journal's publication, departing from the particularity and influence the Yi have been exerting upon various traditional Chinese disciplines, the journal advocates academic freedom and adheres to the view that the studies of the Yi studies history ought to take both image-numerology and meaning-pattern into consideration. Therefore, in selecting the manuscripts, we abandon the prejudice which alienates image-numerology from meaning-pattern. Yet, in the very beginning, few scholars were studying image-numerology, so more articles concerning meaning-pattern were published. We adhere to multi-discipline, multi-layer, multi-channel, and multi-valent cross studies. Besides stressing the Yi -ology itself, we forcefully advocate cross studies relating to Yi -ology and philosophy, Yi -ology and literature & history, Yi -ology and medicine (esp. Traditional Chinese Medicine), Yi -ology and natural sciences, Yi -ology and modern management science, Yi -ology and ecology, and so on. Under this orientation, the Zhouyi Studies turns out to be a high-quality journal, enjoying a reputation of both rigidity and seriousness in the academic circle. In the very beginning, the Zhouyi Studies was a provincial internal-exchange semiyearly journal. Its endeavor to expand traditional Chinese culture obtained positive domestic and overseas reactions and thus brought attention and favorable comment from the National Press and Publication Administration. On this basis, the Zhouyi Studies gained a formal license for open publication and distribution in 1991, and very quickly distributed to 28 countries and regions, with a steady circulation of 12,000 and thus having made no trivial contributions to the expansion of the Yi -ology, to the bringing up of experts at the Yi studies, and to the healthy development of the Yi studies. Since 1998, the Zhouyi Studies have been selected as an Excellent Journal of Shandong time and again; In 2001, the journal was rated as a Double-effect Journal by the National Press and Publication Administration; since 2000, the journal has always been rated as a CSSCI (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index) Journal, and rated as a Core Journal by the Library of Beijing University and other institutes.

The journal began with standardized type-setting in 2000, and changed from the quarterly to the bimonthly in 2002, and enlarged to larger sixteen-mo in 2006. In addition, the emphasis also transferred from the past taking both image-numerology and meaning-pattern into consideration and cross studies to unearthed manuscripts Yi studies and the Yi studies through the popular contemporary philosophical prism. Based on the silk and bamboo slips manuscripts Yi studies, the journal published some articles by the renowned scholars such as Li Xueqiu 李学勤 , Li Danjun 刘大钧 , and Liao Mingchun 廖名春 . Drawing references from western philosophical hermeneutics, the journal promoted hermeneutics of the Yi studies and published some articles of the Yi studies under the vision of hermeneutics by some celebrities such as Tang Yijie 汤一介 and Chungying Cheng 成中英 , keeping not only its traditional approaches but also contemporary academic flavor.

In the past 20 years, though we had made some achievements and accumulated some experience, we are not satisfied with the status quo but endeavor to realize a contemporary transformation of the Yi studies and participate in the international dialogues to make the whole world understand better the Yi studies and Yi -orientated traditional Chinese culture under the context of globalization and merge of pluralistic cultures, hence the publication of the yearly English-version Zhouyi Studies since 2003, having received appreciation and favorable comments from the academic circle.

As a specialized institute, the Zhouyi Center always value research and editing simultaneously, making research and editing promote each other and thus having created a rare research atmosphere and lifeful editing and research echelon. In 1998, the Zhouyi Center and the Philosophy Department jointly applied the doctoral program with Yi -oriented Chinese philosophy as the specialty and received approval from the Ministry of Education (MOE). In 2000, through expanding research fields, the Zhouyi Center was rated as one of the Key Research Institutes of Social Sciences and Humanities of MOE and renamed as the Center for Zhouyi & Ancient Chinese Philosophy, which further enlarged our perspectives.

The day when the Center was formally confirmed as one of the 100 Key Research Institutes of Social Sciences and Humanities of MOE became the beginning of an overall promotion and development of the Center's research, academic exchanges, cultivation of talents, and infrastructure. So far, the center has undertaken 15 research projects funded by ministries or provincial governments, and a dozen of ordinary projects. In addition, in the studies of the fields of silk and bamboo slips manuscripts, the Text and Commentaries, the history of the Yi -ology, philosophy of the Yi -ology, the center has achieved harvest: professors of the center have published over 30 academic works, 200 papers in CSSCI journals, established a Yi -orientated library and a web site reflecting trends of the Yi studies, brought up over 20 PhDs on the Yi studies, and sponsored 8 internal or domestic symposiums. Moreover, with the center as the leading role, a post-doctoral mobile station was confirmed in the Department of Philosophy, Shandong University in 2003; the Philosophical and Social-science Innovation Base for the Yi and Traditional Chinese Culture Studies as a 985 project was confirmed by the MOE in 2004; the Center combined with the Philosophy Department as a first-class discipline of philosophy was qualified to grant doctoral degrees for second-class disciplines in the department in 2005; the discipline of Chinese Philosophy to which the center was affiliated was rated as a Key Discipline of Shandong Province in 2006. On the basis of these achievements, the discipline of Chinese Philosophy gained significant development with the Yi studies as its advantage.

The profoundity of the Yi studies necessitates silent contemplations. Only those who are able to deeply devote themselves to it for over a dozen of years can gradually enter into its realm and experience its implications. With great economic achievements gained in the past 30 years of opening to the outside world, nowadays the academic circle are raising another round of fever for traditional Chinese culture studies. Yet, traditional Chinese culture is always a leaning with its substance and function being united into one entity and thus it is indispensable for us first to be sound in virtue if we would like to explicate the purport and import of the Confucian Classics. It is said in Wen Yan : "The superior man is internally reverent and externally righteous." "The superior men should gather together for learning from each other and inquiring into the essence, be generous to others and conduct with benevolence." If we cultivate ourselves in this way to nourish our virtue to experience the quintessence of the Yi , our comportment and trait will gradually be refined and free from vulgarity, and finally attain to a natural, sound, and self-conscious state. If we all follow this way, the frivolity filled in today's academic circle will naturally fade out.

On the occasion when the Zhouyi Studies and the Zhouyi Center witness their 20 th anniversary, we just stick to thrift and hold no commemoration. We only borrow a corner of the journal to commemorate their anniversary with our old and new friends as well as others who love and pay attention to our center and the journal to welcome the upcoming 2009. For this sake, Professor Liu Dajun write a couplet: Ruminating on the swot under blue lamp, we carry the Yi -ology forward to succeed the predecessors' cause;

Preserving loyalty and infatuation, we recall the sages' virtue to be engaged in setting up virtuous codes.

This couplet can not only express the aims of the journal in the past, but also illuminate the guide line we will always adhere to in the long future. In the past 20 years, we and other friends in the academic circle encourage each other with this spirit. In the future, we will also encourage each other by this to attain to the realm of subtlety and quintessence to enable the Yi function better in all aspects.

This paper was originally published in Chinese in Zhouyi Yanjiu 《周易研究》 (Studies of Zhouyi) , no. 6 (2008): pp. 3-6.

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