Early Chinese Religion: Part One: Shang through Han (1250 BC-220 AD)

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Together, and for the first time in any language, the 24 essays gathered in these volumes provide a composite picture of the history of religion in ancient China from the emergence of writing ca. 1250 BC to the collapse of the first major imperial dynasty in 220 AD. It is a multi-faceted tale of changing gods and rituals that includes the emergence of a form of “secular humanism” that doubts the existence of the gods and the efficacy of ritual and of an imperial orthodoxy that founds its legitimacy on a distinction between licit and illicit sacrifices. Written by specialists in a variety of disciplines, the essays cover such subjects as divination and cosmology, exorcism and medicine, ethics and self-cultivation, mythology, taboos, sacrifice, shamanism, burial practices, iconography, and political philosophy.

Produced under the aegis of the Centre de recherche sur les civilisations chinoise, japonaise et tibétaine (UMR 8155) and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris).

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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Lagerwey, Ph.D. Harvard University (1975), is Professor of the History of Daoism and Chinese religions at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris-Sorbonne). His primary publications concern the history of Daoist ritual and the ethnography of local society in southeastern China.
Marc Kalinowski, Ph.D. University of Paris (1979), is Professor of Chinese thought and civilization at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris-Sorbonne). He publishes extensively on the history of divination and cosmology in ancient China, including Cosmologie et divination dans la Chine ancienne (Paris 1991), and Divination et société dans la Chine médiévale (Paris, 2003).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Chronology List of maps and illustrations

Introduction by John Lagerwey and Marc Kalinowski

Shang and Western Zhou (1250-771 BC):
Robert Eno - Shang state religion and the pantheon of the oracle texts Alain Thote - Shang and Zhou funeral practices: interpretation of material vestiges Martin Kern - Bronze inscriptions, the Shijing and the Shangshu: the evolution of the ancestral sacrifice during the Western Zhou Kominami Ichiro - Rituals for the Earth

Eastern Zhou (770-256 BC):
Constance Cook - Ancestor worship during the Eastern Zhou Mu-chou Poo - Ritual and ritual texts in early China Yuri Pines - Chinese history writing between the sacred and the secular Marc Kalinowski - Diviners and astrologers under the Eastern Zhou (770-256 BC): transmitted texts and recent archaeological discoveries Fu-shih Lin - The image and status of shamans in ancient China Romain Graziani - The subject and the sovereign: exploring the self in early Chinese self-cultivation Mark Csikszentmihàlyi - Ethics and self-cultivation practice in early China Mark Edward Lewis - The mythology of early China Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann - Ritual practices for constructing terrestrial space (Warring States-early Han)
Jean Levi - The rite, the norm, and the Dao: philosophy of sacrifice and transcendence of power in ancient China

Qin and Han (221 BC-220 AD):
Michael Puett - Combining the ghosts and spirits, centering the realm: mortuary ritual and political organization in the ritual compendia of early China Michael Nylan - Classics without canonization, learning and authority in Qin (221-210 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD 220)
Marianne Bujard - State and local cults in Han religion Joachim Gentz - Language of Heaven, exegetical skepticism and the reinsertion of religious concepts in the Gongyang tradition Roel Sterckx - The economics of religion in Warring States and early imperial China Liu Tseng-kue -, Taboos: an aspect of belief in the Qin and Han Michèle Pirazzoli-t’Serstevens - Death and the dead: practices and images in the Qin and Han Ken Brashier - Eastern Han commemorative stelae: laying the cornerstones of public memory Grégoire Espesset - Eastern Han religious mass movements and the early Daoist church Li Jianmin - They shall expel demons: etiology, the medical canon and the transformation of medical techniques before the Tang

List of authors Bibliography Index

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