Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 1,328 items for :

  • Access: All x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
Author: Hongfan Yang
This study is the first book that explores how the Catholic Mass was introduced and propagated in late Imperial China. Its dynamic exploration reveals the tension between localized and global forms of Catholic rituals, especially the tension faced by missionaries and Chinese Catholics, who were caught up between the Chinese tradition and the Catholic one. Drawing on rich primary sources, some of which are rarely noticed in the field, this book unfolds the intriguing interactions between the Mass and various cultural expressions of Chinese society, including traditional religion, architecture, art, literature, government, and theology.
Editor: Ji Li
The first scholarly work on the subject by leading scholars in the field, Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and China examines the variety of ways in which MEP missionaries complemented and complicated Catholic Church and French engagement with Chinese society. Key players in the Church’s overseas missions in the Far East, many MEP missionaries spent their entire lives working with ordinary Chinese. This volume explores the proactive engagement of MEP missionaries in Bible translation and cultural accommodation, their evangelization efforts in local communities, and the interaction between MEP representatives and various local groups. Each study in this book responds to one or more of the major themes in the history of Christianity in China that include conflicts, accommodations, indigenization, imperialism, and nationalism. Contributors are François Barriquand, Jean Charbonnier, Yanrong Chen, Lina Guo, Zhijie Kang, Ji Li, Matthieu Masson, Jean-Paul Wiest, Qing Wu, Hongyan Xiang, Ernest Young, and Aidong Zhao.
Editor / Translator: Daniel Canaris
The True Record of the Lord of Heaven ( Tianzhu shilu, 1584) by the Jesuit missionary Michele Ruggieri was the first Chinese-language work ever published by a European. Despite being published only a few years after Ruggieri started learning Chinese, it evinced sophisticated strategies to accommodate Christianity to the Chinese context and was a pioneering work in Sino-Western exchange. This book features a critical edition of the Chinese and Latin texts, which are both translated into English for the first time. An introduction, biography, and rich annotations are provided to situate this text in its cultural and intellectual context.
Brill’s book series Science and Religion in East Asia features scholarly monographs and edited volumes, focusing on the question of how human understanding of the world and its application to various fields of socio-cultural life in East Asian societies were shaped in the context of religious thought and practices, notably those of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism.
Recent scholarship on the history of European science in medieval and early modern periods has shown that society’s scientific endeavor was inextricably intertwined with spiritual and moral pursuits, classified in modern times as a separate category called "religion". The rich resources in East Asia on both scientific pursuits and moral-religious teachings, enable us to examine the fine texture of relations woven in the course of the continuous interchange of aims, methods, and knowledge between these scientific and moral-religious enterprises.
A special emphasis is put on the relation between science and what is called Confucianism, the most common and dominant thread of thought in East Asian societies. Science and Confucianism developed form and content to a considerable degree under the influence of ideas and techniques from Daoist and Buddhist traditions. From the sixteenth century onwards, they also interacted with Western science that had been developed in Europe dominated by Christianity. Science and Religion in East Asia pays ample attention to the role of these other religions present in East Asia as well and the interaction with other regions of the world.

The Field of Ritual Learning in Early China to 9 CE
Author: Robert L. Chard
Ritual Learning is a key driver in the cultural dominance of Confucianism. In early China, Confucian officials derive political influence from the sub-discipline of ritual. Imperial regimes establish legitimacy through their state religion, headed by sacrifices to ancestors and to deities of Heaven and Earth. Ritual Learning allows Confucian-educated officials to assert control over these cults, and reshape dynastic legitimacy according to their own design, claimed to derive from the sage kings of antiquity. Confucianism is not just a philosophical and intellectual tradition. Through its ritual expertise, it has cultural and political power, like that of a religion, allowing it to perpetuate itself successfully over time, even in contemporary China.
Author: Robert L. Chard

Abstract

This restates the major themes of the book, and in particular the argument that Ritual Learning was a wedge which gave the Ru and their agenda entry to political power. The imperial sacrificial rituals to the ancestors and to Heaven and Earth were a vital expression of dynastic legitimacy, and the Ru used Ritual Learning to advance the case that the forms of these rituals were incorrect, being based on the institutions of the Qin and on other religious practices of dubious precedent. The true model should be the Western Zhou, revealed by the Ru through their study and interpretation of the canons. It is suggested here that the ritual agenda attracted the attention of those in political power in a way that other aspects of their canonical learning did not, and thus spearheaded their eventual domination of “Confucian” ideology and discourse at court.

In: Creating Confucian Authority
Author: Robert L. Chard

Abstract

This chapter covers the nature and practice of Ritual Learning during the Spring and Autumn Period (722–468 BCE). The main source for this period is the Zuo zhuan (“Zuo commentary”), a text which reveals much detail about this period in history. It describes a world dominated by a warrior aristocracy, for whom li, the various aspects of “ritual”, was a primary code of conduct in all aspects of life. There was a strong emphasis on the visible display of ritual behaviour by individuals, particularly rulers, through which they established and maintained their position in society. People with Ritual Learning were able to advise on correct ritual observance and point out shortcomings. Such shortcomings were often interpreted as moral failure presaging the downfall of individuals and of entire states. As time went on, lower strata of the aristocratic order put increasing pressure on those above them, usurping the power and privileges of the weakened Zhou king and upper aristocracy of feudal lords. The institution of the “hegemons”, dominant feudal lords creating unequal alliances to defend the Zhou king, was closely bound up with adherence to li as a defence of the weakening aristocratic order. Toward the end of the Spring and Autumn period, Confucius, as he is portrayed in the Lun yu at least, observed the precise visible forms of li in all aspects of his life, and taught it as one of four main branches of study alongside the Songs, Documents, and music. For him, li was the central individual practice in achieving moral perfection, as well as a fundamental principle of government. Despite evidence that the Lun yu compilation as we have it now was assembled in the Han, the perspective of Ritual Learning suggests that the text’s portrayal of Confucius is very similar to the world of the Zuo zhuan in the emphasis on visible observance.

In: Creating Confucian Authority
Author: Robert L. Chard

Abstract

This account begins with a simple presentation of the story of Shusun Tong, the ritual specialist who introduced Confucian institutions at the start of the Han dynasty. The themes of the book are then introduced: the meanings of the Chinese word li, meaning “ritual”, “ritual order”, or “ritual propriety”. The author’s own category of “Ritual Learning” is the main topic of the book, defined as the field of knowledge relating to li, which is here broadly divided into three stages: the Spring and Autumn period and Confucius; the Warring States and early Han; and the mid to late Western Han. The approach is mainly empirical, seeking to present original sources reflecting the nature of Ritual Learning on their own terms. The narrative is informed by the methods of cultural history, seeking to present the manifestations of Ritual Learning in as broad a social, political, and cultural context as possible, and show how experts in it made use of their knowledge. This book thus contributes to the view of “Confucianism” as a cultural tradition, in that Ritual Learning relates to practice. It is argued that the success of Confucianism across such a long span of time in China, and across space to other regions of East Asia, can only be understood by including how it functioned as a culture, even a religious culture, rather than purely a philosophy or set of abstract ideas.

In: Creating Confucian Authority
Author: Robert L. Chard

Abstract

The story of Ritual Learning in the Warring States and early Han focuses around the Ru, so-called “Confucians”. Depictions of them in pre-Han sources, particularly the Mozi and Xunzi, suggest that they had a distinct, visible identity, marked by devotion to the ways of antiquity, expressed in their clothing, practical command of common rituals (such as funerals), music, singing, and dancing, and the study of texts, probably more oral than written. Their distinct culture preserved the rituals and manners of the fading aristocracy, with a similar emphasis on visible display, with formal clothing and an imposing demeanour, which may have come across as pretentious, and explain the many hostile descriptions of them. The mastery of ritual among the Ru seems not to have been associated with any canonical Li text, either in the Warring States or the first decades of the Han, though there did exist writings on ritual from both practical and theoretical standpoints. The story of Ritual Learning in this period is also traced through the origins of the canonical texts which emerged in the Han, primarily the main Li canon with practical instructions on common rituals (corresponding to the extant Yi li), and ancillary materials associated with it, known as “Records” (ji), from which the extant Li ji was compiled. The Li canon probably originated in the pre-Han period, though we have no direct evidence that it did, and almost no quotes from the current Yi li in early texts. By contrast, materials very similar to the “Records” have been found among Chu-state manuscript remains from around 300 BCE, some of which align with texts in the current Li ji, though these are broadly “Confucian” in content, with nothing about the practical performance of ritual.

In: Creating Confucian Authority
Author: Robert L. Chard

Abstract

Officials in charge of ritual at the early Han court were noted by later historians for their poor command of the Li canon, but this situation soon changed. By the middle of the second century BCE, the Li canon and other ritual writings emerged, and soon became the core of Ritual Learning as a recognized branch of knowledge, part of the corpus later known as the Five Canons (or “Classics”). The traditional narrative of the “victory” of Confucianism as dominant ideology under Emperor Wu (141–87 BCE) has been refuted in modern scholarship, which is borne out by the evolution of Ritual Learning. Under Emperor Wu, the ritual and scholarly expertise of the Ru had limited influence, partly because Wu himself consciously chose forms of ritual aligned with contemporary practice rather than the Ru’s models of antiquity, and partly also because of the shortcomings of Ritual Learning itself, in failing to provide concrete instructions for the ritual forms and institutions that the emperor demanded. By the second half of the first century BCE, this situation had changed. Emperor Yuan (r. 49–33) and his successors were far more receptive to the proposals of the Ru than their predecessors, and Ritual Learning had evolved to become more flexible and practical. The corpus of ritual texts to draw on for authority was expanding, and new methods of analysis emerged, such as Yin-Yang cosmological theory. Confucian-educated officials devised a new system of “Suburban” (Jiao) sacrifices, in which the emperor would sacrifice in person to Heaven and Earth on the outskirts of the capital, instead of travelling to distant cult centres. The change to the original cults met with resistance and was revoked four times. In the end Wang Mang, emperor of a brief new dynasty from 9 CE, introduced a system of five Suburban altars arrayed around the outskirts of the capital in 5 CE. This system was followed in the Eastern Han and underlay the imperial sacrifices ever after. Its success was due partly to his subsuming many older cults into the new, and partly due also to the strength of his Ritual Learning, drawing on new sources of authority such as the text Zhou guan (“Officials of Zhou”, later Zhou li, “Rites of Zhou”).

In: Creating Confucian Authority