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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).
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