Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics, and Religion in Traditional China

Overview

The offering of sacrifices, the banqueting of guests, and the ritual preparation, prohibition or consumption of food and drink were central elements in each of ancient China's three main religious traditions: the Classicist (Confucian) tradition, religious Daoism, and Buddhism. In Of Tripod and Palate, leading scholars examine the relationship between secular and religious food culture in ancient China from various perspectives.

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Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics, and Religion in Traditional China

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Overview

The offering of sacrifices, the banqueting of guests, and the ritual preparation, prohibition or consumption of food and drink were central elements in each of ancient China's three main religious traditions: the Classicist (Confucian) tradition, religious Daoism, and Buddhism. In Of Tripod and Palate, leading scholars examine the relationship between secular and religious food culture in ancient China from various perspectives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a highly successful book. In it, we find new insights from a remarkable range of international specialists on the significance of food in religion, political theory, social order, medicine, and human physiology, and how people in pre-modern China made their choices on what to eat and what not to eat.”
—Robert Chard, Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Oxford

“If television has been described as the ‘poor man's nirvana’, then the medieval Chinese description of food as ‘the Heaven of ordinary people’ seems even more apt, in the light of this fascinating collection of essays. Here, for the first time, it is possible to see the multifarious links between food and religion in Chinese civilization, so that the scholarship brought together here will surely provide a rich feast not only for historians and anthropologists of China but also for anyone who has ever wondered about the deeper cultural meanings of Chinese food.”
—T. H. Barrett, Professor of East Asian History, SOAS, London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403963376
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/7/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Roel Sterckx is University Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the East Asia Institute in the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Moonshine and Millet: Feasting and Purification Rituals in Ancient China—Constance A. Cook
• Food and Philosophy in Early China—Roel Sterckx
• When Princes Awake in Kitchens: Zhuangzi's Rewriting of a Culinary Myth—Romain Graziani
• The Offering of Food and the Creation of Order: the Practice of Sacrifice in Early China—Michael Puett
• Eating Better than Gods and Ancestors—Robert Ford Campany
• A Taste of Happiness: Contextualizing Elixirs in Baopuzi—Poo Mu-Chou
• Feasting without the Victuals: The Evolution of the Daoist Communal Kitchen—Terry F. Kleeman
• Pleasure, Prohibition and Pain: Food and Medicine in Traditional China—Vivienne Lo
• Buddhist Vegetarianism in China—John Kieschnick
• Buddhism, Alcohol and Tea in Medieval China—James A. Benn
• The Beef Taboo and the Sacrificial Structure of Late Imperial Chinese Society—Vincent Goossaert

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