系列演講

《封神演義》

的跨領域性與明清華人通俗文化

Series Talk:
The Interdisciplinary Nature of Investiture of the Gods and the Popular Culture of Late Imperial China

講者: 衛易萱 Barbara Witt
(華人文化主體性研究中心博士後研究員、德國慕尼黑大學漢學系博士)

系列演講概述 | About this series talk

系列演講 : 《封神演義》的跨領域性與明清華人通俗文化

《封神演義》是一部展現明代時期華人民間信仰的文學作品。其「副文本」指定它為一部歷史小說,其敘事則融歷史和宗教,以及儒、佛、道三教為一體。在明清時期,這種「跨領域性」的作品其實並不例外。當時的華人通俗文化並不會受到現代學術界的單元領域主張的束縛。因此,當我們研究華人豐富的文化產品、經驗與感受時,就要嘗試用跨領域性的研究方法。《封神演義》在明清時期「神魔小說」中的地位就僅次於《西遊記》,不過這部作品由於描述了一個相當完整的神譜,它在民間信仰中更具有影響力。這也是我何以要以《封神演義》為中心,進一步分析明清時代華人文化在各個方面之相互作用的原因,以便能探索出當時的華人如何對通俗文化做出反應。

《封神演義》作者與成書年代不詳,目前推測可能是在天啟年間(1620-1627)首次出版。其內容所描述的是商周時期,當丞相姜子牙協助周武王征伐商紂王時,有許多將領參與征伐,他們在周武王成功建立起周朝之際,在封神儀式中被封神位。

Series Talk: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Investiture of the Gods and the Popular Culture of Late Imperial China

Investiture of the Gods is the literary expression of Ming dynasty folk beliefs. Its paratext marks it as a historical novel and its narrative blends history and religion as well as the three teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. Such an “interdisciplinary” character was not exception in late imperial Chinese culture, which was not bound by modern academic disciplines. To study the manifold cultural products, experiences and receptions of the Chinese people, we should therefore choose interdisciplinary research methods. Among the “Novels About Gods and Demons” of late imperial China, Investiture of the Gods is second only to Journey to the West; because it describes a rather complete pantheon, its influence on popular beliefs might have been even greater. As a result, it is perfectly suited to be the focus of an analysis of the interplay of all aspects of late imperial culture and to explore the reactions of contemporary Chinese people to popular culture.

The author and time of writing of Investiture of the Gods are unknown, but according to current research it was first published in the 1620s. It describes chancellor Jiang Ziya helping King Wu of the Zhou dynasty in his campaign against King Zhou of the Shang dynasty. A great number of future deities take part in the campaign. In the end of the novel they are invested to divine positions in an investiture ceremony just as King Wu formally establishes the Zhou dynasty.

《封神演義》Cover of  Investiture of the Gods
《封神演義》Cover of Investiture of the Gods

第一講 : 「神魔小說」的文學價值與宗教功能

1st talk: The Literary Quality and Religious Function of “Novels About Gods and Demons”

時間 Time

2019.5.15 (Wed), 12:15~14:00

地點 Place

政治大學研究大樓250205教室

在1930年,魯迅首度在《中國小說史略》中賦予明清小說以各種類型,並將含有宗教內容的小說分類為「神魔小說」。一般認為,「神魔小說」的代表作就是1592年出版的《西遊記》,以及推測是天啟年間(1620-1627)出版的《封神演義》。很遺憾的是,魯迅、胡適、鄭振鐸等20世紀初的現代主義者們,將「神魔小說」視為一種「幻想文學」。後來的學者們由於受到了他們的影響,通常只會以文學價值來評斷這類型的作品,從而忽略了它們的其他價值。於是,除了《西遊記》之外,其他「神魔小說」通常都被視為一種低等文學而一併遭到忽略。

直到過去二十餘年間,有研究中國宗教的漢學家如梅林寶(Mark Meulenbeld)和夏維明(Meir Shahar)開始關注這塊領域,他們以《封神演義》為主要對象,開始關注「神魔小說」敘事中的宗教性和民間信仰之根源,以及作品與宗教儀式之間的密切關係。他們也發現「神魔」類型的小說、戲劇與說唱文學等在明清時代時具備有傳教媒介的功用。因此,單純以宗教學或文學來研究《封神演義》,並不能充份分析其「神魔小說」的特色,也忽略了其中宗教性與文學性之間的互動關係。

In his 1930 A Brief History of Chinese Fiction, Lu Xun assigned names to the genres of the late imperial Chinese novel. From now on, novels with religious content were known as “Novels About Gods and Demons”. The most representative work of this genre is of course the 1592 novel Journey to the West, but the 1620s Investiture of the Gods is a close second. Unfortunately, modernists of the early 20th century such as Lu Xun, Hu Shi and Zheng Zhenduo saw “Novels About Gods and Demons” as “fantastic literature”. This understanding influenced later scholars who discussed this genre only in terms of literary quality. Consequently, “Novels About Gods and Demons” – with the notable exception of Journey to the West – were usually seen as inferior literature and largely ignored. Only in about the last two decades or so Sinologists specializing in Chinese religion like Mark Meulenbeld and Meir Shahar have begun to study the religious and folk belief sources of “Novels About Gods and Demons” (especially Fengshen yanyi) as well as their close relation to religious ritual. They discovered that religious novels, plays and prosimetric literature had a proselytizing function in late imperial China.

Neither the academic field of religious studies nor literary studies is able to analyze novels like Investiture of the Gods on its own. Further research needs to investigate the interplay of religion and literature in these texts. Investiture of the Gods gathered a great number of religious legends and historical material which, after substantial adaptation became a (mostly) coherent novel

  • Meulenbeld, Mark RE. Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel. University of Hawai’i Press, 2015.
  • Shahar, Meir. “Vernacular Fiction and the Transmission of Gods’ Cults in Late Imperial China.” Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China (1996): 184-211.

第二講: 「封神榜」與「武王伐紂」
── 宗教傳奇與歷史敘事的結合

2nd talk: The “List of Invested Gods” and “King Wu’s Campaign Against [King] Zhou” ── Combining Religious Legend and Historical Narrative

時間 Time

2019.5.22 (Wed), 12:15~14:00

地點 Place

政治大學研究大樓250205教室

根據李雲翔〈封神演義序〉(天啟年間)所記載,《封神演義》的故事核心是「姜子牙斬將封神之說」,在此,「斬將」所指是姜子牙以周朝丞相之身份,協助周武王征伐商紂王。這段敘事最初來自於《史記》等古代歷史記載,直到明代時已經演變為情節豐滿精彩的故事。如今還流傳著的故事版本,有《武王伐紂平話》與《春秋列國志傳》第一回。《封神演義》則是將「封神」的題材加進「武王伐紂」的故事以內,並以「封神」為題。

在《封神演義》倒數第二回中,姜子牙按元始天尊早前所賜予他的「封神榜」,展開「封神」的儀式。「封神榜」在那時的文學創作中並沒有任何先例,榜上的神位名字是來自於道教的雷法、佛教神譜與地方信仰。在《封神演義》「武王伐紂」的劇情當中,「封神榜」上的人物隨著情節的進展,一個接著一個上場,分別以商周兩朝將軍的身份各顯其威。僅此而言,就可看到這部作品是如何展現華人古代歷史與民間信仰融合為一,而它又是如何體現華人信仰中的神譜是與周朝建立的同時確定下來。

According to the 1620s “Preface to Investiture of the Gods” by Li Yunxiang, Investiture of the Gods is centered “the legend that Jiang Ziya beheaded generals and invested gods”. Here “beheaded generals” refers to Jiang Ziya, in his position as prime minister of the Zhou dynasty, aiding King Wu of Zhou in his campaign against King Zhou of the Shang dynasty, a story first recorded in antique historical sources such as The Records of the Grand Historian. By Ming times it had already developed into a story cycle full of exciting episodes. Still preserved today are The Plain Tale of King Wu’s Campaign Against [King] Zhou and the first chapter of Chronicles of the States of the Chunqiu Period. Investiture of the Gods not only inserted the “Investiture” material into the “Campaign” story; it went so far as to choose the “Investiture” as its title.

In the penultimate chapter of the novel, Jiang Ziya invests divine positions according to the “List of Invested Gods” that he had received from Daoist master Yuanshi tianzun. This list has no precedent in popular literature and the names on it are derived from Daoist thunder ritual, the Buddhist pantheon and local cults. Investiture of the Gods uses the structure of the “Campaign” story to let the persons on the List make appearances throughout the campaign and show their valor as generals of both the Shang and Zhou camps. Through this, ancient history and Chinese popular beliefs are integrated into one and the beginnings of the popular Chinese pantheon are dated to the same time as the establishment of the Zhou dynasty.

  • Liu, Ts’ un-yan. Buddhist and Taoist Influences on Chinese Novels. Harrassowitz, 1962.

第三講: 描述「三教合一」
── 敘事改編與熱奈特(Gérard Genette)的「跨文本性」(Transtextualité)

3rd talk : Portraying “Three Teachings Syncretism” ── Adapting Narratives and Gérard Genette’s “Transtextuality”

時間 Time

2019.5.29 (Wed), 12:15~14:00

地點 Place

政治大學研究大樓250205教室

明代可謂是「三教合一」思想興盛的時代。神魔小說也是伴隨著這種思想的興起,多多少少反映出儒、佛、道三教為一體的思想與神譜。這類型小說的神明描述,後來也影響了華人神明的肖像。發過文學理論家熱奈特(Gérard Genette)的「跨文本性」(transtextualité)理論,是適合研究《封神演義》等神魔小說與「三教合一」思思想之關係的研究工具,其中有「文本間性」(intertextualité)、「廣義文本性」(architextualité)與「副文本性」(paratextualité)的概念。首先,「文本間性」能分析本有的宗教敘事如何被改寫成《封神演義》的情節,而《封神演義》後來又如何改寫了通俗文學與宗教敘事。其次,「廣義文本性」可用於研究讀者對《封神演義》的閱讀經驗,以理解讀者在內心中是如何與其他通俗、宗教文學產生連接。通過該連接,我們可去探索出《封神演義》與其他神魔小說的敘事與描述之異同,會如何對「三教合一」做出不同的定義。最後是「副文本」,通過不同之《封神演義》版本中「副文本」(如圖像和序文)的比較,可去探究它們是如何對讀者產生不同的影響與感受。

The Ming dynasty was a time in which the “Three Teachings Syncretism” flourished. In its wake, “Novels About Gods and Demons” all more or less reflected the unity of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism in thought and pantheon. Their portrayals in turn influenced the iconography of Chinese deities. Gérard Genette’s theory of “transtextuality” and especially the categories of “intertextuality”; “architextuality” and “paratextuality” are wonderful tools to study the “Three Teachings Syncretism” in Investiture of the Gods and other “Novels About Gods and Demons”. Firstly, “intertextual” relations allow us to examine how Investiture of the Gods adapted religious narratives and how, in turn, Investiture of the Gods’ narrative was adapted into later popular and religious narratives. Secondly, “architextual” relationships point to the experience of reading Investiture of the Gods: what connections to other popular religious literature were established in the minds of its readers. Through these connections, we can examine how the differences and similarities in the narratives and portrayals of Investiture of the God and other “Novels About Gods and Demons”, created different definitions of “Three Teachings Syncretism”. Lastly, by comparing the “paratext” of different Investiture of the Gods editions, such as illustrations and prefaces, we can examine how they deeply influenced the reception of the text by the reader.

  • Genette, Gérard. Palimpsests: literature in the second degree. Vol. 8. U of Nebraska Press, 1997.
  • 熱奈特著,史忠義譯:《熱奈特論文集》(天津:百花文藝出版社,2001)

第四講: 周朝的建立
── 一段歷史演變的故事

4th talk: Establishing the Zhou Dynasty ── A Story of Historical Progress

時間 Time

2019.6.5 (Wed), 12:15~14:00

地點 Place

政治大學研究大樓250205教室

《封神演義》,又名《武王伐紂外史》或《商周傳》,但人們更多時候俗稱之為《封神榜》或《封神傳》而非“演義”,猶如它有宗教內容被叫做“演義”感覺上不太恰當。不過,我們可從出版者舒沖甫所選的標題和李雲翔的序文中看出《封神演義》在他們的內心中就如同《三國演義》一樣,都同是一部“羽翼信史”的歷史小說。

美國作者弗雷德里克•特納(Frederick Turner)在2012年出版的《Epic: Form, Content, and History》中延續約瑟夫•坎伯(Joseph Campbell)等比較神話學家的研究,從「英雄旅程」到「國家演變」:文化發芽、城市始建、國家建立,以及法命制定。「史詩」也是一部關於國家統一的故事,因此它也將地方傳說收入其敘事之中。由於特納的「史詩」並不限於詩詞,因此《封神演義》作為一部通俗文學作品,也可被納入特納的「史詩」這一類型的脈絡之下進行討論。

《封神演義》和世界各地的史詩一樣,所描述的是一個民族的文化與國家的演變,它對「歷史」的概念包含有歷史事件、地理知識和宗教淵源。但有趣的是,《封神演義》小說中對於華人文化的定義,並不在於古代商周時期,而是它成書時之晚明時代的文化。因此,小說中所寫的「信史」,實際上並沒有對歷史事件的真實性有所顧及,它更多時候是一部塑造和解釋晚明華人文化的「歷史」。

The full name of Investiture of the Gods is Romance of the Investiture of the Gods and it is also called Unofficial History of King Wu’s Campaign Against [King] Zhou or Legend of Shang and Zhou, yet it is commonly called List of the Investiture of the Gods or Legend of the Investiture of the Gods. Is seems that its religious content makes the designation “Romance”, which points to historical novels, inappropriate. However, looking at the captions chosen by publisher Shu Chongfu and the preface by Li Yunxiang, we can see that in their minds this was a historical novel “supplementing credible history” similar to Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

In his 2012 Epic: Form, Content, and History, the American writer Frederick Turner develops the work of comparative mythologist like Joseph Campbell further and broadens the “hero’s journey” to “national development”: The beginnings of culture, the building of the city, the founding of the state, the enactment of laws. Epics also are stories of national unity and therefore absorb local legends into its narrative. Tuner’s definition of “epos” includes prose narratives, therefore the vernacular novel Investiture of the Gods may also be discussed in this context.

Just like epics all over the world, Investiture of the Gods describes the evolution of the culture and nation of a people. Its concept of “history” includes historical events, geographic knowledge and religious sources. Its definition of Chinese culture is not that of the time period described, i.e. Chinese antiquity, but that of the time of publication in the late Ming dynasty. The “credible history” it presents is not interested in the authenticity of historical events. Rather, it is a “history” that aims to construct and explain the Chinese culture of the late Ming dynasty.

  • Turner, Frederick. Epic: Form, Content, and History. Routledge, 2017.

第五講: 《封神演義》的影響

5th talk : The Influence of Investiture of the Gods

時間 Time

2019.6.12 (Wed), 12:15~14:00

地點 Place

政治大學研究大樓250205教室

《封神演義》僅存的明朝刊本,如今只保存於日本。不過,有許多按1695年褚人獲版為底本的清朝刊本遺傳下來,也在清代與近現代時期多次被改編為戲劇和說唱文學。即使是在現代主義者將宗教和「神魔小說」區分開來以後,《封神演義》的英雄哪吒(即三太子)仍然成為了階級鬥爭或父子衝突的象征。《封神演義》在文本以外對於通俗文化和民間信仰所帶來的影響,則不太明顯。不過,我們仍然可以通過某一些神明信仰的興衰和神明的肖像可以看得出《封神演義》中的神譜是多麼普遍化。此外,從文人和基督教傳教者的文獻中也可隱約發現《封神演義》在華人心目中所佔有的地位:兩者經常埋怨民眾為何如此迷信這部小說。雖然《封神演義》在二十世紀時期很少獲得學者們的關注,但它很明顯至今都存留於華人內心之中,一直都在通過各種媒介延續下去。

Even though Ming dynasty editions of Investiture of the Gods are only preserved in Japan, a number of editions based on Chu Renhuo’s 1695 edition circulated in Qing times. Further, a great number of adaptations into plays or prosimetric literature were produced in Qing and modern times. After the modernists separated “Novels About Gods and Demons” from religion, the novel’s hero Nezha could still turn into a symbol for class struggle or father-son-conflict. The influence of Investiture of the Gods on popular literature and folk beliefs is harder to track, in the absence of written evidence. Yet in the rise or decline of the cults of certain deities or changes to their iconography, we may observe how widespread the pantheon of Investiture of the Gods really was. Traces of the place the novel had in the hearts of Chinese people can be gleamed from Confucian and Christian missionary writings: both complained about the strong belief the people held for Investiture of the Gods. Even if the novel received very little scholarly attention in the 20th century, Investiture of the Gods evidently never left the consciousness of the Chinese people and was passed on in every medium available.

  • Garritt, J. C. “Popular account of the Canonization of the Gods, Illustrated.” Chinese Recorder 30 (1899): 162-174. [https://archive.org/details/TheChineseRecorder/page/n163]
  • 《哪吒鬧海》,中國上海美術電影製片廠,1979。
  • 奚淞:《封神榜裡的哪吒》,東潤發行,1991。

講者介紹​ | Speaker

Barbara Witt (衛易萱),漢學博士,現任國立政治大學「華人文化主體性研究中心」

博士後,曾經在德國維爾茨堡大學漢學系當研究助理和講師。

德國慕尼黑大學博士畢業。

研究專長:明清小說、三教合一、文化史、明清時代的婦女

Barbara Witt, Postdoctoral Researcher at the “Research Center for Chinese Cultural Subjectivity” at National Chengchi University; former Research Assistant and Lecturer at the Institute of Sinology, Würzburg University. Graduated with a PhD from the Institute of Sinology, Munich University.

Research Interests: Late Imperial Literature, Three Teachings Syncretism, Cultural History, Women in Late Imperial China

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