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Empowered by Ancestors

Controversy over the Imperial Temple in Song China (960–1279)

To learn about a society, we often consult its codes and treaties, but could we also learn from studying its debates? In Song China, Confucian scholar-officials intensely debated imperial ancestral rituals, considered the highest standard of ritual performance, and, in doing so, asserted their autonomy against monarchial influence, transforming imperial temple rituals into one of the most heated issues in Song state policies. Empowered by Ancestors takes a closer look at this historic discourse and explores the enduring tension between cultural authority and political power, providing historians, anthropologists, experts in Chinese Classics, and scholars from other disciplines with a framework for understanding Chinese ritual in its intellectual, social, and political forms.

232 pages | 6 halftones | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: East Asia

History: Asian History

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Table of Contents

Song Ancestors and Emperors in Their Temple Names and Personal Names
Why the Song Imperial Temple?
The Imperial Temple: A Literature Review
Theoretical Consideration, Sources, and Structure

Section One: Imperial Temple: Early History and Main Controversies
Chapter 1: Pre-Song Interpretations of the Imperial Temple
Chapter 2: Northern Song Conceptions of the Imperial Temple and Temple Sacrifices

Section Two: Song Imperial Temple: Ritual Debates, Factional Politics, and Intellectual Diversity
Chapter 3: An Examination of the 1072 Controversy over the Song Primal Ancestor
Chapter 4: Yuanfeng Ritual Reforms and the 1079 Zhaomu Debate
Chapter 5: Imperial Temple in the New Learning

Section Three: Imperial Temple, Daoxue Scholars, and the Socialization of Temple Rites
Chapter 6: Daoxue Conception of the Song Imperial Temple: Zhu Xi and His Disciples
Chapter 7: Socialization of the Discourse of Temple Rituals in the Late Southern Song

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