Thesis Title

The Armpit Sage V. the Golden Barbarian: Zhen Luan's Response to the Taoist Conversion Narrative

Author

Paul Hood

Date of Graduation

Summer 1998

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

John Fritch

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

This work examines a single line of argument from a medieval Chinese dispute between the supporters of Taoism and Buddhism. Western rhetorical scholars have generally ignored Chinese argumentation. It seems that the Western understanding of China as a rigidly hierarchical society has lead to the conclusion that argumentation has not played a noteworthy role in Chinese culture. This thesis challenges that conclusion by examining a medieval Chinese dispute over the origin of Buddhism. A single text is selected and evaluated using Fisher's narrative method. Results seem to indicate that the Chinese have engaged in argument as a means of critical decision-making and that with sufficient knowledge of Chinese history and culture those arguments are comprehensible to Westerners.

Copyright

© Paul Hood

Citation-only

Dissertation/Thesis

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