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

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

by R. Sterckx (Editor)
 

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Attitudes toward food and commensality constituted a central fiber in the social, religious, and political fabric of ancient Chinese society. 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 China's three main religious traditions: the Classicist

Overview

Attitudes toward food and commensality constituted a central fiber in the social, religious, and political fabric of ancient Chinese society. 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 China's three main religious traditions: the Classicist (Confucian) tradition, religious Daoism, and Buddhism. What links late Shang and Zhou bronze vessels to Buddhist dietary codes or Daoist recipes for immortality is a poignant testimony that culinary activity - fasting and feasting - governed not only human relationships but also fermented the communication between humans and the spirit world. In Of Tripod and Palate leading scholars examine the relationship between secular and religious food culture in ancient China from various perspectives.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403963376
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
10/13/2005
Edition description:
2005
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

JAMES A. BENN Assistant Professor of Chinese Religions at Arizona State University, USA
ROBERT F. CAMPANY Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, USA
CONSTANCE COOK Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Literature and Director of Asian Studies at Lehigh University, USA
VINCENT GOOSSAERT Researcher at the CNRS and Vice-Director of the Groupe de Sciences Sociales des Religions et de la LaIcité, Paris, France
ROMAIN GRAZIANI Maître de Conférences at the University of Paris 7 and lecturer at the École Normale Supérieure, France
JOHN KIESCHNICK Lecturer in Buddhist Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol, UK
TERRY F. KLEEMAN Associate Professor of Chinese and Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
VIVIENNE LO Lecturer in the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College, London, UK
POO MU-CHOU Research Fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, China
MICHAEL J. PUETT Professor of Chinese history in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, USA

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