“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
King was originally the title for the “Son of Heaven”, namely, the country’s supreme ruler in the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties. From the Spring and Autumn Period onward, the power of the Zhou court gradually weakended and the kingdom disintegrated. By the time of the Warring States Period, any monarch could call himself a king. Up to the Qin and Han dynasties, kind became the highest title granted by the emperor to a male member of the imperial family. In the politiacal philosophical discourse of Confucianism, especially in the works of Confucius and Mencius, a king represents heaven’s will and therefore ought to have supreme, unchallengeable power; at the same time, he is imbued with a high moral attribute and political ideals. According to Confucianism, to be a king is to unify or govern the country with benevolence and righteousness, or to win over people by morally justified means. Likewise, the pursuit of the kingly way means using benevolent and righteous means to unify and govern the country.
He to whom the people swear allegiance can rule as a king (王); he perishes (亡) when the people desert him. (Xunzi)