Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China by Aihe Wang

By Aihe Wang

This publication deals a thorough reinterpretation of the formative levels of chinese language tradition and heritage, tracing the critical position performed by means of cosmology within the formation of China's early empires. It crosses the disciplines of heritage, social anthropology, archaeology, and philosophy to demonstrate how cosmological structures, fairly the 5 components, formed political tradition. via targeting dynamic switch in early cosmology, the ebook undermines the proposal that chinese language cosmology used to be homogenous and unchanging. via arguing that cosmology was once intrinsic to strength kin, it additionally demanding situations winning theories of political and highbrow historical past.

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59 This approach to the relation between ideology and practice helps us to escape the "legitimation" or "reproduction" model of analysis and to decode Chinese emperorship - which has been seen as a means of legitimizing the emperor's power - as a discourse through which various competing political forces contested with one another in defining social norms. 57 Kantorowicz, 1957. 58 Inden, 1990, p. 2. 18 59 Tambiah, 1987, p. 35. Introduction Ancient China and Modernity Situating this research in a larger theoretical, methodological, and comparative context beyond the specialized field of sinology, we see that the case of early China has a lot to contribute to the development of social theory.

Pray for harvest. First month. 1, 2, 3, 4. , its wind is called $j. Pray for harvest. ] 29 The transcription of this record is adopted from Feng Shi, 1994. 35 Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China Divining: Offer the ^-sacrifice to the West, \\sfang\s called H, [its wind] is called fs Pray for harvest. 1, 2, 3, 4. (Heji, 14295) The elaborate divination and dz-sacrificial ritual for blessing or harvest was sometimes abbreviated into a code-like fragment, with Sifang abbreviated as fang.

For example, in a few pieces of inscription in which the four fang are described in detail, each fang has its own name and is associated with a wind that is also named. One of the most detailed records concerning the four fang and the wind is translated as follows: The The The The Eastern fang is called #f, its wind is called SJ. Southern fang is called 0, its wind is called rt. Western fang is called |c, its wind is called ft. Northern fang is called /19 its wind is called $£. 21 In other inscriptions, such a complete account of the four fangwas often abbreviated as Sifang, as the East, West, North, and South; or simply as fang.

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