Comparative scriptural interpretation of the midrashim and the Analects

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Sino-Platonic Papers is pleased to announce the publication of its three-hundred-and-forty-ninth issue — Benjamin Porteous, "Reading Genesis 22 and Analects 18 in Late Antiquity":

ABSTRACT: This paper compares modes of scriptural interpretation from two ends of the Eurasian landmass in the late antique period (400–600 CE). Juxtaposing midrashim on Genesis with the Lunyi yishu 論語義疏, a famous expository commentary on the Confucian Analects, the paper argues that the difference between late-antique Confucian and Jewish commentarial practice lies in differing senses of responsibility for the sacred text. The Lunyu yishu curates the full Analects text, while midrashim presuppose a reader who turns elsewhere for the full version of the Hebrew Bible. The paper provides full typologies of commentarial technique in the midrashim and the Lunyu yishu; this is designed to assist comparison and further understanding of the practice of medieval Chinese commentary.

Keywords: Commentary, shu 疏, Analects, Lunyu yishu, midrash


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1 Comment »

  1. OnNai said,

    June 18, 2024 @ 10:49 am

    The comparative study of the midrashim and the Analects in Benjamin Porteous' paper offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse methodologies of scriptural interpretation across cultures during late antiquity. It highlights how Jewish and Confucian traditions uniquely approached their sacred texts, reflecting differing communal responsibilities and hermeneutic strategies. This juxtaposition not only broadens our understanding of medieval commentarial practices but also underscores the rich, complex tapestry of intellectual traditions that shaped these two distinct yet profoundly influential cultures.

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