Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/K'ung Kuang-sên

K'UNG Kuang-sên 孔廣森 (T. 衆仲, 撝約, H. 顨[巽]軒), 1752–1786, scholar, a native of Ch'ü-fu, Shantung, was a descendant of Confucius in the seventieth generation. His grandfather, K'ung Ch'uan-to 孔傳鐸 (T. 振路, d. 1735, age 63 sui), inherited the title, Duke Yen-shêng 衍聖公 in 1723. His father, Kung Chi-fên 孔繼汾 (T. 體儀, H. 止堂, d. 1786, age 62 sui), was a chü-jên of 1747 and the author of the 闕里文獻考 Ch'üeh-li wên-hsien k'ao, 100 + 1 chüan, printed in 1762—a comprehensive work on Confucius, his descendants, his disciples, and his philosophy. Kung Kuangsên became a chü-jên in 1768 at the age of seventeen sui. Three years later (1771) he became a chin-shih and a member of the Hanlin Academy, and was later appointed a corrector. His mother died in 1777. Although he resumed his official duties when the mourning period was over, he retired soon after. Before long his family became involved in a law suit, which made it necessary for him to go to many places for help. He was in Honan on this matter in 1785 when he met Pi Yüan [q. v.]. There he became acquainted with many scholars who were on Pi Yüan's secretarial staff, among them Sun Hsing-yen and Hung Liang-chi [qq. v.]. Early in the winter of the following year (1786) Kung Kuang-sên died—a few months after the decease of his father.

K'ung Kuang-sên was an ardent student of the classics, especially in matters relating to the Kung-yang school of the Spring and Autumn Annals. He was the first scholar in the Ch'ing period to study the Kung-yang interpretations, but his influence was negligible. Chuang Ts'un-yü [q. v.] is regarded as the real founder of the Kung-yang school which flourished in the later Ch'ing period.

Although K'ung Kuang-sên lived a short life of only thirty-four years he left seven works, which were printed during the years 1792–1814, first by his younger brother, K'ung Kuang-lien 孔廣廉 (T. 靜吾), and then by his son, K'ung Fu-ch'ien 孔服虔 (T. 元敬), a chin-shih of 1801. These works were brought together under the general title 顨軒孔氏所著書 Hsün-hsüan K'ung-shih so-chu shu. The following five of the seven titles relate to the classics: 公羊春秋經傳通義 Kung-yang Ch'un-ch'iu ching-chuan t'ung-i, 12 chüan; 大載禮記補注 Ta-Tai Li-chi pu-chu, 14 chüan; 詩聲類 Shih shêng lei, 13 chüan; 禮學卮言 Li-hsüeh chih-yen, 6 chüan; and 經學卮言 Ching-hsüeh chih-yen, 6 chüan. The other two titles are 少廣正負術內外篇 Shao-kuang chêng-fu shu nei-wai p'ien, 6 chüan—a work on mathematics; and 駢儷文 P'ien-li wên, 3 chüan, his collected prose in the balanced, or p'ien-li style. All of these works, some of them in abbreviated form, appear in various collectanea. K'ung Kuang-sên was also an accomplished calligrapher.


[1/487/25a; 3/129/36a; 29/6/16a; 山東通志 Shan-tung t'ung-chih (1915) 172/15a; Ch'üeh-li wên-hsien k'ao 10/6a, 100/1b.]

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