Research Project


Wang Fuzhi and the Confucian ming Narrative: A Theology of Fate and Destiny

(project supported by a fellowship of Minerva Foundation)

Dr. Sophia Katz

The purpose of this project is to explore the views of one of the most significant Confucian thinkers of the Late Imperial period, Wang Fuzhi 王夫之 (1619-1692), on the notion of ming 命 (fate/destiny), reconstructing through his writings the Confucian narrative of fate and destiny. Methodologically, I will consider ming and other related concepts, most notably tian 天(Heaven/Nature), as theological values, applying the paradigm of transformation from fate to destiny, envisioned by narrative theologians with regard to the Christian tradition. This project will develop through three phases extending over a period of two years and will result in a book-length study. It sets up a precedent for evaluating the religious dimension of Confucianism from the perspective of the narrative theology, thus presenting an alternative to the current tendencies in research on Chinese religions. As well, this project opens a new perspective for the future possible comparison between Confucian and Abrahamic religious traditions.

back to "Notions of Fate and Prognostication and their Taxonomies" overview