Scholars of Daoism in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) have paid particular attention to the interaction between the court and certain Daoist priests and to the political results of such interaction; the focus has been on either emperors or Daoist masters. Yet in the Ming era, a special group of people patronized Daoism and Daoist establishments: these were the members of the imperial clan, who were enfeoffed as princes. By illuminating the role the Ming princes played in local religion, Richard G. Wang demonstrates in The Ming Prince and Daoism that the princedom served to mediate between official religious policy and the commoners' interests. In addition to personal belief and self-cultivation, a prince had other reasons to patronize Daoism. As the regional overlords, the Ming princes, like other local elites, saw financing and organizing temple affairs and rituals, patronizing Daoist priests, or collecting and producing Daoist books as a chance to maintain their influence and show off their power. The prosperity of Daoist institutions, which attracted many worshippers, also demonstrated the princes' political success. Locally, the Ming princes played an important cultural role as well by promoting the development of local religions. This book is the first to explore the interaction between Ming princes as religious patrons and local Daoism. Barred by imperial law from any serious political or military engagement, the Ming princes were ex officio managers of state rituals at the local level, with Daoist priests as key performers. Moreover, institutionally, most regular ceremonies related to a prince's life were mandated to be conducted by Daoist musician-dancers, and that as a result the princely courtly rites were characterized by a Daoist flavor. For this reason the princes became very closely involved in Daoist clerical and liturgical life.
Screen of Kings is the first book in any language to examine the cultural role of the regional aristocracy - relatives of the emperors - in Ming dynasty China (1368-1644). Through an analysis of their patronage of architecture, calligraphy, painting and other art forms, and through a study of the contents of their splendid and recently excavated tombs, this innovative study puts the aristocracy back at the heart of accounts of China's culture, from which they have been excluded until very recently. Screen of Kings challenges much of the received wisdom about Ming China. Craig Clunas sheds new light on many familiar artworks, as well as works that have never before been reproduced. New archaeological discoveries have furnished the author with evidence of the lavish and spectacular lifestyles of these provincial princes and demonstrate how central the imperial family was to the high culture of the Ming era. Written by the leading specialist in the art and culture of the Ming period, this book illuminates a key aspect of China's past, and will significantly alter our understanding of the Ming. It will be enjoyed by anyone with a serious interest in the history and art of this great civilization.
This text is an exploration of the various means by which Daoists over the centuries have created an identity for themselves. Using modern sociological studies of identity formation as its foundation, it brings together a representative sample of in-depth analyses by eminent scholars in the field.
This book presents Daoism's key concepts and major practices in an integrated historical survey. From Daoism's origins in antiquity, through the Tang, Ming, and Quing dynasties, and into the present day, Livia Kohn explores Daoism's movements and schools, including: Daoist philosophy, the organized religion, and Daoist health practices. Each chapter introduces the main historical events of the period, the leading figures in Daoism, and Daoist scriptures and practices, as well as covering a wealth of fascinating topics such as Chinese cosmology, Daoist understanding of the body, rituals and doctrine, meditation, mythology, and poetry. Kohn also examines the connections between the defining concepts, history, and practices of Daoism, and key issues in Asian and Western comparative religions.
In this volume an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the social history and anthropology of Daoism from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the evolution of traditional forms of practice and community, as well as modern reforms and reinventions both within China and on the global stage. Essays investigate ritual specialists, body cultivation and meditation traditions, monasticism, new religious movements, state-sponsored institutionalization, and transnational networks.
This is book is on a lay Buddhist movement, generally referred to as Non-Action Teaching, or Wuweijiao, that saw itself as part of the Chan tradition during the Ming Qing dynasties. It explores one of the few lay groups in traditional China that we can actually understand in some depth, both in terms of its religious contents and history, and its social environment.
The Chinese have revered the mystery and magic of jade since ancient times. This authoritative book provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of six thousand years of development, from the earliest cultures to the twentieth century. The author describes and assesses the variety of roles and functions, ritual and ceremonial, which jade has played in China. Recent discoveries from hitherto little known neolithic cultures of around 3000 BC have highlighted the extraordinary skills of the craftsmen and the complexity of the cultures that supported them. Other remarkable finds include the precursors of the famous jade suits, which range from jade plaques and shrouds dating from about 900 BC to superb pendants and sword fittings carved for a king buried near Canton in around 122 BC. This catalogue describes over 300 outstanding pieces from Sir Joseph Hotung's collection, which spans the history of jade in China. Drawing upon the very latest archaeological reseach to set jade in its historical and artistic context, this work will stand as a definitive reference for many years to come. In her wide-ranging introduction to the catalogue the author analyses the arguments and sets out new views, supplementing this major essay with a series of shorter introductions to the chronological sections into which the jades of different types, shapes and functions have been divided. The book is fully illustrated throughout with specially commisioned photographs of each piece from the collection, all in color, along with comparative examples from the rich collection of the British Museum.