Mourning in Late Imperial China: Filial Piety and the State

Mourning in Late Imperial China: Filial Piety and the State

by Norman Kutcher
     
 

The new Manchu rulers of Qing Dynasty China (1644-1912), as the conquering regime, desperately needed to legitimize their rule. To win the approval of China's native elites, they developed an ambitious plan to return Confucianism to civil society. Filial piety, the core Confucian value, would once again be upheld by the state, and officials throughout the empire… See more details below

Overview

The new Manchu rulers of Qing Dynasty China (1644-1912), as the conquering regime, desperately needed to legitimize their rule. To win the approval of China's native elites, they developed an ambitious plan to return Confucianism to civil society. Filial piety, the core Confucian value, would once again be upheld by the state, and officials throughout the empire would observe the laborious and time-consuming mourning rituals that were the touchstone of a well-ordered Confucian society. In this way, the emperor would be following the ancient dictate that he "govern all under heaven with filial piety." Norman Kutcher's pioneering study of mourning in late Imperial China looks beneath the rhetoric to demonstrate how the state - unwilling to make the sacrifices that a genuine commitment to proper mourning demanded - quietly but forcefully undermined, rather than reinvigorated, the Confucian mourning system. This book will interest not only those concerned with late Imperial China, but anyone seeking to understand the role of ritual and filial piety in Chinese society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Noman Kutcher has written an engaging and provocative book about personal and political aspects of mouring in seventeenth and eighteenth- century China...This book should be read by all who are interestes in late imperial culture and politics." Amer His Rev

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521030182
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2006
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Chinese History, Literature and Institutions Series
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.51(d)

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