Political Theory

The “Ecumene” as a Paradigmatic Political Symbol: Comparison between Voegelin’s “The Chinese Ecumene” and Zhao’s “Tianxia System” (Draft Version)


  • Muen Liu University of Erlangen-Nuremberg


Voegelin’s research on Tianxia is only a prototype that has some deficiencies resulting from the lack of qualified sources and the change of his theoretical interests. However, his narrative on Tianxia is still insightful in different ways. Not only does he provides an external view on sinology, but also a new interpretive methodology to understand different socio-political order patterns, including ancient China. Considering the Tiānxià-mania in Chinese academia, comparing Voegelin’s research with representative Chinese studies can help us further evaluate both the Voegelinian and the Chinese scholars’ thoughts on Tianxia.


Thumbnail image of ''Ecumene'' as a paradigmatic political symbol. The Comparsion between Voegelin's ''ecumene'' and Zhao's ''Tianxia''.pdf


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