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By Joseph R. Levenson

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Christians depending on parallels and 31 I L L W I N D IN T H E WELL-FIELD universals for their affirmations of Incarnation or Resurrection had to be, however slightly, uneasy : the status of the Bible had somehow become ambiguous. But Chinese depending on parallels and universals for their affirmations of chingt'ien could be calmly unconcerned : for them, the status of the Classics was not ambiguous but perfectly clear and acceptable. The Classics were not classics any more (see Ku Chiehkang vis-à-vis Chang Ping-lin and K'ang Yu-wei, in Volume One), but sources for the Chinese branch of universal history, 5 .

It was not simply a communist dictatorship which established these premises in China, but the appeal of the premises particularly in China which helped to establish the dictatorship. I , EQUIVALENCE AND PERIODIZATION That is why periodization on universal Marxist lines came to seem, in the nineteen-fifties, the favourite task of communist historians. 1 For China alone, it engaged their attention in the highest degree. The situation of chingt'ien was only a particular instance. In monographs, in the three main periodicals (Peking monthlies) devoted to problems of teaching history, and in the scholarly journals, problems of adjusting the outer limits of primitive, slave, feudal, and capitalist society predominated.

Ching-t'ien had to be retained; it made it seem possible to document a general phase of history from famous Chinese sources. 48 Christianity has had its vicissitudes, too, in modern culture (though suffering nothing like the attenuation of Confucianism) ; a Christian comparison may indicate just what it was that Hu Han-min portended for Confucianism. For many centuries particular revelation had been at the heart of the Christian claim to supreme religious value. ), so that the Christian drama began to seem just one of the many that had long been dismissed as pagan.

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