Understanding rites and rituals is one of the most important keys to understanding ancient China. According to the twentieth century scholar Qian Mu
Following the twentieth century collapse of the imperial system and the subsequent radical changes in China’s social structure, the traditional system of rites and propriety was often blamed for China’s backwardness. The discpiline of lixue itself also lost favor in academia. With the resurgence of China’s strength and influence, however, research in the last few decades on China’s cultural identity has led to a reassesment of the value and importance of li
China has experienced a cultural renaissance both in society and in academia. Within this renaissance, the study of li has taken a central position. Scholars from different backgrounds such as history, documentology, philosophy, and sociology have contributed many new perspectives on this old discipline. The current issue of our journal has chosen four articles with valuable contributions to this field, with the hope of representing at least a part of the current state of modern research of lixue in China.
In his article, Hu Xinsheng
One concept that sometimes stands in opposition to li is su
One important benchmark in the history of Chinese rites and rituals was when the much of the li culture was reformulated in the Song dynasty (960–1279). Similar to Gu Tao’s article on sitting positions, Lu Minzhen
The four articles presented here are by no means an exhaustive picture of China’s lixue. They give us an idea of how to approach this large subject from a variety of perspectives. They show that, like the rest of Chinese culture, it evolves over time. A truly complete review of China’s rites and rituals would not be restricted to ancient times, but would also include which and how certain customs have survived to today. The study of Chinese rites continues to be one of the central keys to understanding Chinese culture.