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Taoism and Self Knowledge

The Chart for the Cultivation of Perfection (Xiuzhen tu)

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Catherine Despeux

Catherine Despeux’s book Taoism and Self Knowledge is a study of the Internal Alchemical text "Chart for the Cultivation of Perfection." It begins with an analysis of pictographic and symbolic representation of the body in early Taoism after which the author examines different extant versions of the "Chart" as it was transmitted among Quanzhen groups in the Qing dynasty. The book is comprised of four main parts: the principal parts of the body and their nomenclature in Internal Alchemy, the spirits in the human body, and the alchemical processes and procedures used in thunder rituals and self-cultivation. This is a revised, expanded edition of the original French edition Taoïsme et connaissance de soi. La carte de la culture de la perfection (Xiuzhen tu) Paris, 2012.

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NIU Jun

In The Cold War and the Origin of Diplomacy of People’s Republic of China, Niu Jun offers a new analytical framework for understanding the Cold War and PRC’s diplomacy from 1949 to 1955. He sees it as an interactive historical process between the Cold War, China’s domestic transition from revolution to nation-building, and the revolutionary ideology in the minds of Chinese leaders and Chinese people.

Niu Jun’s analytical framework sheds fresh light on the widely studied events of PRC’s diplomacy such as China’s alliance with the Soviet Union and confrontation with the U.S., military actions on the Korean Peninsula and in Indochina, settlement of the first Taiwan Strait crisis, development of nuclear weapons, and so on.

Chinese Research Perspectives on Society, Volume 3

Social Analysis and Forecast of China (2014)

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Edited by Peilin LI, Guangjin CHEN and Yi ZHANG

All the articles featured in this volume first appeared in the Chinese-language edition of Blue Book of Chinese Society 2014. They present and analyze developments in 2012-2013 in income and consumption, industrial transformation, employment, social security, healthcare, education, quality of life and public sentiments. Most data come from several large-scale social surveys. There are a number of highlights. An entire chapter is devoted to capturing Chinese people’s outlook on their own future and that of the country. A special report takes the pulse of the Internet, whose social impact has grown rapidly in recent years. And for the first time in this series parenting strategies and styles of people with young children received special attention. Policy suggestions are provided.

Great Journeys across the Pamir Mountains

A Festschrift in Honor of Zhang Guangda on his Eighty-fifth Birthday

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Edited by Huaiyu Chen and Xinjiang Rong

Drawing upon numerous manuscripts from China and Central Asia, the articles presented in this volume by leading scholars in the field examine a broad range of topics on the multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic communities along the Silk Road in the medieval period, and cover such topics as the social history of Kucha, book history in Dunhuang, the spread of Manichaeism, the political history of Turkic and Khotanese Kingdoms, and the travelogue of the Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang. They demonstrate that Han Chinese, Khotanese, Sogdians, Tocharians, Tibetans, and Uyghurs have all contributed to constructing a sophisticated international network across Asia.
Contributors are: Bi Bo, Chao-jung Ching, Jean Pierre Drège, Ogihara Hirotoshi, Xiaohe Ma, Nicholas Sims-Williams, Xinjiang Rong, Tokio Takata, Xiaofu Wang, Wenkan Xu, Yutaka Yoshida, Lishuang Zhu, Peter Zieme.

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Edited by Letian Zhang and Yunxiang Yan

This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.

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Fei HUANG

In Reshaping the Frontier Landscape: Dongchuan in Eighteenth-century Southwest China, Fei HUANG examines the process of reshaping the landscape of Dongchuan, a remote frontier city in Southwest China in the eighteenth century. Rich copper deposits transformed Dongchuan into one of the key outposts of the Qing dynasty, a nexus of encounters between various groups competing for power and space. The frontier landscape bears silent witness to the changes in its people’s daily lives and in their memories and imaginations. The literati, officials, itinerant merchants, commoners and the indigenous people who lived there shaped and reshaped the local landscape by their physical efforts and cultural representations. This book demonstrates how multiple landscape experiences developed among various people in dependencies, conflicts and negotiations in the imperial frontier.

The Wenzi

Creativity and Intertextuality in Early Chinese Philosophy

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Paul van Els

The Wenzi is a Chinese philosophical text that enjoyed considerable prestige in the centuries following its creation, over two-thousand years ago. When questions regarding its authenticity arose, the text was branded a forgery and consigned to near oblivion. The discovery of an age-old Wenzi manuscript, inked on strips of bamboo, refueled interest in the text. In this combined study of the bamboo manuscript and the received text, Van Els argues that they belong to two distinct text traditions as he studies the date, authorship, and philosophy of each tradition, as well as the reception history of the received text. This study sheds light on text production and reception in Chinese history, with its changing views on authorship, originality, authenticity, and forgery, both past and present.

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Edited by Letian Zhang, Fuqun Xi and Yunxiang Yan

This book presents a complete set of the daily work journals by a village cadre, Mr. Zhou Shengkang (1926-2012), from 1961 to 1982. Mr. Zhou carefully—and almost religiously—recorded all the meetings he attended or chaired, the information he received from his superiors, the various speeches and work tasks he completed, records of good and bad behavior by fellow villagers, details on village elections and leadership changes, and political campaigns and other important events in the community, plus his personal observations and reflections on these events.

To date such a systematic, rich, and detailed set of original work journal records have never appeared in published form or been made available to the public. When used as records of social history, Zhou’s work journals allow researchers to delve more deeply, and when used for comparative purposes, researchers can explore more widely to gain additional insights. Regardless of how the journals are used, they contain a gold mine of information waiting to be explored and uncovered.

Here in 'China' I Dwell

Reconstructing Historical Discourses of China for Our Time

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Zhaoguang Ge

Here in ‘China’ I Dwell is a historiographical account of the formation of Chinese historical narratives in light of outside pressures on China — the view from China’s borders. There is a special discussion of the inf luence of Japanese historians on the concept of China and its borders, including the nature of their sources, cultural and religious and more. In Ge’s comparative account, a new portrait of Chinese historical narratives, along with the views and assumptions implicit in these narrat ives, emerges in the context of East Asia, a similarly constructed concept with its own multitudes of frontiers and peoples.

Shifts of Power

Modern Chinese Thought and Society

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Zhitian Luo

In Shifts of Power: Modern Chinese Thought and Society, Luo Zhitian brings together nine essays to explore the causes and consequences of various shifts of power in modern Chinese society, including the shift from scholars to intellectuals, from the traditional state to the modern state, and from the people to society. Adopting a microhistorical approach, Luo situates these shifts at the intersection of social change and intellectual evolution in the midst of modern China’s culture wars with the West. Those culture wars produced new problems for China, but also provided some new intellectual resources as Chinese scholars and intellectuals grappled with the collisions and convergences of old and new in late Qing and early Republican China.