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Confucianism as Religion

Controversies and Consequences

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Yong Chen

Confucianism as Religion tackles the perennially controversial question of whether Confucianism is a religion. After surveying the epistemological difficulties in both Chinese and Western scholarship in addressing the controversy over Confucian religiosity, Yong Chen convincingly reveals the sociopolitical and cultural stakes that are deeply entangled with the controversy. He brings the issue to the scrutiny of the latest theoretical constructions in religious studies and anthropology and, by defying Wilfred C. Smith’s claim that it is a question that the West has never been able to answer and China never been able to ask, proposes a holistic and contextual approach to the question about the religious status of Confucianism.

Material Virtue

Ethics and the Body in Early China

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Mark Csikszentmihalyi

This book reconstructs a neglected episode in the development of Confucianism, one that considerably influenced later Chinese religious thought.
Material Virtue examines a set of four through first century B.C.E. Chinese texts that argue virtue has a physical correlate in the body. Based on both transmitted (e.g., the Mengzi or Mencius) and recently excavated (e.g., the Wuxing or Five Kinds of Action) texts, Material Virtue describes how the argument addresses challenges to early Chinese religious ethics in part by relying on emerging notions such as the balance of qi (pneumas) also found in natural philosophy.
Scholarly monographs on the iconography of East and Central Asian religions, including Chinesee and Korean Buddhism, Confucianism, and other religous traditions.

Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers

Ritual Change and Social Transformation in a Southeastern Chinese Community, 1368-1949

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Yonghua Liu

In Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers, Yonghua Liu presents a detailed study of how a southeastern Chinese community experienced and responded to the process whereby Confucian rituals - previously thought unfit for practice by commoners - were adopted in the Chinese countryside and became an integral part of village culture, from the mid fourteenth to mid twentieth centuries.

The book examines the important but understudied ritual specialists, masters of rites ( lisheng), and their ritual handbooks while showing their crucial role in the ritual life of Chinese villagers. This discussion of lisheng and their rituals deepens our understanding of the ritual aspect of popular Confucianism and sheds new light on social and cultural transformations in late imperial China.

Late Works of Mou Zongsan

Selected Essays on Chinese Philosophy

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Edited by Jason Clower

In Late Works of Mou Zongsan, Jason Clower publishes English translations of this most famous and influential of modern Chinese philosophers for the first time. In essays chosen for their clarity and approachability, this leading contemporary Confucian speaks on the topics that best define his career: the future of Chinese culture and philosophy, the unique achievements of Confucianism, the place of Buddhism and Daoism in Chinese culture, and the possibility of a new partnership between Chinese and Western thought.

The Water God's Temple of the Guangsheng Monastery

Cosmic Function of Art, Ritual, and Theater

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Anning Jing

The 14th century dragon king temple in Southern Shanxi is the only known intact survivor of this ancient Water God institution once existing in every Chinese agricultural community. After describing the history, lay-out and mural paintings of the building, its original Yuan time mural paintings enable the author to depict the ritual of praying for rain, and the actual rain-making of the god.
The meaning of the unique painting of a theatrical company is interpreted as to subject and its connections with the ritual of praying for rain.
Rainmaking magic is compared with similar practices in other parts of the world (India), and thus suggests a common cosmological basis of Chinese and Indian cultures, and a common pattern of human behaviour and mode of thinking concerning human procreation and food production.

The Myōtei Dialogues

A Japanese Christian Critique of Native Traditions

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James Baskind and Richard Bowring

The Myōtei Dialogues is the first complete English translation one of the most important works of early Japanese Christianity. Fukansai Habian’s Myōtei mondō (1605) presents a sharp critique of the three main Japanese traditions, Buddhism, Shintō, and Confucianism, followed by an explanation of the main tenets of Christianity specifically aimed at a Japanese audience. Written by a convert, it is of importance not merely because it shows us how the Christian message was presented by a Japanese to other Japanese, but also for what it reveals about the state of the three native traditions at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Fenggang Yang

The speed and the scale with which traditional religions in China have been revived and new spiritual movements have emerged in recent decades make it difficult for scholars to stay up-to-date on the religious transformations within Chinese society.

This unique atlas presents a bird’s-eye view of the religious landscape in China today. In more than 150 full-color maps and six different case studies, it maps the officially registered venues of China’s major religions - Buddhism, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), Daoism, and Islam - at the national, provincial, and county levels. The atlas also outlines the contours of Confucianism, folk religion, and the Mao cult. Further, it describes the main organizations, beliefs, and rituals of China’s main religions, as well as the social and demographic characteristics of their respective believers. Putting multiple religions side by side in their contexts, this atlas deploys the latest qualitative, quantitative and spatial data acquired from censuses, surveys, and fieldwork to offer a definitive overview of religion in contemporary China.

An essential resource for all scholars and students of religion and society in China.

Series:

James Baskind and Richard Bowring