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Statecraft and Classical Learning: The "Rituals of Zhou" in East Asian History

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-9004180918
ISBN-10: 9004180915
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Editorial Reviews


'Although the quality of all the essays is quite good, those that focus on the late imperial period and beyond China are particularly effective in emphasizing the Zhouli s importance to Chinese notions of statecraft.' Keith N. Knapp, "The Journal of Asian Studies," 70/1 (2011)" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Benjamin Elman, Ph.D. (1980) in Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania, is Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University. He has published widely on Chinese intellectual history, the history of education, and the history of science in China. Martin Kern, Ph.D. (1996) in Chinese Studies, Cologne University (Germany), is Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He has published extensively in the fields of ancient Chinese literature, history, and religion.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Brill (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004180915
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004180918
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,047,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jerry Kurjian on March 29, 2015
Verified Purchase
This collection of scholarly articles begins with a discussion of the likely origin of the Zhouli text, i.e. late Warring States or early Qin, and suggests the title may have been intended as 'Comprehensive/Universal Offices' rather than 'Offices of Zhou [Dynasty].' Other articles discuss a particular aspect of the text or its use as a template for state practices during a particular period. Names and quotations are in both Chinese characters and translation/transliteration.
I found the majority of articles very readable and enjoyed the variety of approaches: literary criticism, bureaucratic history, philosophy, and comparative/international history. I particularly enjoyed the chapters focusing on the Tang and on the Tokugawa, and on Zheng Xuan's commentary. Below is the TOC.

Benjamin A. Ellman and Martin Kern
I. Early China
1. The Zhouli as Constitutional Text
David Schaberg
2. Offices of Writing and Reading in the Rituals of Zhou
Martin Kern
3. The Many Dukes of Zhou in Early Sources
Michael Nylan
4. Centering the Realm: Wang Mang, the Zhouli, and Early Chinese Statecraft
Michael Puett
5. Zhen Xuan's Commentary on the Zhouli
Andrew H. Plaks
II. Medieval China
6. The Role of the Zhouli in Seventh- and Eighth-Century Civil Administrative Traditions
David McMullen
7. Wang Anshi and the Zhouli
Peter K. Bol
8. Tension and Balance: Changes of Constitutional Schemes in Southern Song Commentaries on the Rituals of Zhou
Jaeyoon Song
III. Early Modern East Asia
9. Tokugawa Approaches to the Rituals of Zhou: The Late Mito School and "Feudalism"
Kate Wildman Nakai
Read more ›
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