Zhang Shi (scholar)

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Zhang Shi

Zhang Shi (simplified Chinese: 张栻; traditional Chinese: 張栻; pinyin: Zhāng Shì; Wade–Giles: Chang Shih, courtesy name Jìngtiān 敬天, pseudonym Nānxuān 南軒, 1133–1181) was a scholar of Song Dynasty China.

He was a native of Mianzhu (綿竹), Sichuan, and son of a distinguished general and statesman, named Zhang Jun (1097–1164), otherwise known as Duke of Yi (益). After studying under Hu Hong, son of Hu Anguo, he entered upon an official career and became aide-de-camp and secretary to his father. In 1164 the latter died, and Zhang Chi buried him according to his wish at the foot of Mount Heng in Hunan, remaining in seclusion near the grave for several years. While there he was visited in 1167 by Zhu Xi, and it is said that they spent three days and three nights arguing upon the Doctrine of the Mean. The result was that Zhang returned to official life, and became a violent opponent of the Tartars and of the policy of conciliation and concession which had been introduced by Qin Gui. He was alternately promoted and degraded until he died as Governor of Zhingzhou in Hubei. He was the author of divers treatises and commentaries upon portions of the Confucian Canon, in which he gave expression to doctrines which his friend, Zhu Xi, felt himself called upon to refute. Nevertheless, Zhu Xi held him in high esteem and always spoke of him with admiration. He was canonised as Xuān 宣, and in 1261 was admitted into the Confucian Temple.


This article incorporates text from entry Chang Ch'ih in A Chinese Biographical Dictionary by Herbert A. Giles (1898), a publication now in the public domain.