E Bruce Brooks, Research Professor of Chinese and Director, Warring States Project, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Abstract: (1) The usefulness of philology (the close study of texts) will be urged, and (2) its restoration to full partnership with historical investigation in general will be recommended. (3) Methodologically speaking, it will be noted that the existence of growth texts (such as the Chinese “Spring and Autumn” chronicle and Horace’s Carmina) requires adjustment in how philology operates, and in how history makes use of philology’s results. There will be two extended examples, from the period during which a text is forming, and before it has entered the phase of dissemination by copying, the latter being the phase with which philology has traditionally dealt. These are: (4) recovery of some details of the early history of Confucianism from the Analects, and (5) recovery of some details of the early history of Christianity from the Gospel of Mark and the other Synoptics. The conclusion will stress the value of results in one field to investigators in another field, and of interdisciplinary cooperation in general as the most effective way to achieve disciplinary progress. It will be suggested that there can be no reputable study of literature, or of traditions in history, that is not comparative in nature.