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Full-Text Articles in Chinese Studies

Book Review Of Dao Companion To Neo-Confucian Philosophy. John Makeham, Ed. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010, Xliii + 488 Pages)., Deborah A. Sommer May 2014

Book Review Of Dao Companion To Neo-Confucian Philosophy. John Makeham, Ed. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010, Xliii + 488 Pages)., Deborah A. Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This volume includes nineteen articles by scholars from Asia, North America, and Europe on Chinese thinkers from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries. Included here are intellectual biographies of literati such as Zhou Dunyi, the Cheng brothers, Zhu Xi, Zhang Shi, Hu Hong, Wang Yangming, and Dai Zhen. Essays are arranged chronologically, and most begin with a biographical sketch of their subject. They provide variety rather than uniformity of approach, but all in all these essays are remarkably rich and offer much new material on both familiar and lesser-known thinkers.


Book Review: The Religious Thought Of Chu Hsi, Julia Ching, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: The Religious Thought Of Chu Hsi, Julia Ching, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Julia Ching's Religious Thought of Chu Hsi is one of several Western-language works in recent years to address issues of religiosity and spirituality in the Confucian tradition. Somewhat earlier are several full-length books devoted to the thought of one particular thinker, much of which could be considered "religious," although the authors do not necessarily focus on that theme. Zhu Xi's religious beliefs and practices have been the subject of several chapter-length studies in Western languages. And Zhu's studies of ritual have been translated in Patricia Buckley Ebrey's Chu Hsi's Family Rituals. Neither of those works ...


Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

In this essay Sommer explores how the Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosophical text that dates to the third or fourth centuries BCE, uses different terms for the human body. She explores each term's different fields of meaning: the body might appear as gong 躬, a sanctimonious ritualized body; shen 身, a site of familial and social personhood; xing 形, an elemental form that experiences mutations and mutilations; or ti 體, a complex, multilayered corpus whose center can be anywhere but whose boundaries are nowhere. The Zhuangzi is one of the richest early Chinese sources for exploring conceptualizations of the visceral ...


Book Review: Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, Kwong-Loi Shun, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, Kwong-Loi Shun, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This is the first of a projected three-volume series on "the nature of Confucian-Mencian ethical thought." This volume, as well as a projected second volume, highlights important passages and concepts from the Mencius for close exegetical analysis, and compares them insightfully with such works as the Analects, the Guanzi, and the Mozi. Comparative philosophical interpretation of these concepts is planned for a projected volume three. By separating textual analysis from modem philosophical interpretation, Shun attempts to consider early Chinese concepts on their own terms, as far as that is possible, without viewing them through the lens of contemporary Western categories ...


《庄子》中关于身体的诸概念" (Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

《庄子》中关于身体的诸概念" (Concepts Of The Body In The Zhuangzi), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

In this essay Sommer explores how the Zhuangzi uses such terms for the body as gong 躬, a sanctimonious ritualized body; shen 身, a site of familial and social personhood; xing 形, an elemental form that experiences mutations and mutilations; and ti 體, a complex, multilayered corpus whose center can be anywhere but whose boundaries are nowhere. The Zhuangzi is one of the richest early Chinese sources for exploring conceptualizations of the visceral human form. Zhuangzi presents the human frame as a corpus of flesh, organs, limbs, and bone; he dissects it before the reader's eyes, turning it inside ...


Book Review: Transformations Of The Confucian Way, John Berthrong, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: Transformations Of The Confucian Way, John Berthrong, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This book is part of Westview's series Explorations: Contemporary Perspectives on Religion. However, Transformations of the Confucian Way focuses not on the religious aspects of the literati tradition, but on "the intellectual development of the Confucian Way in East Asia." Transformations is a concise survey, based primarily on English language sources, of the main figures of literati intellectual history from Confucius to Okada Takehiko.

Berthrong first begins by trying to define what being "a Confucian" is, and places such attempts at definition within a comparative context. He states that being a Confucian means "being dedicated to the canon and ...


Conceptualizations Of Earth And Land In Classical Chinese Texts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Conceptualizations Of Earth And Land In Classical Chinese Texts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Many studies have explored conceptualizations of heaven (tian 天) in early Chinese thought, but few if any have explored understandings of heaven's later cosmological counterpart, earth (di 地). This article examines Chinese understandings of earth and land (tu 土) in pre-Qin 先秦sources. In ancient texts such as the Book of Odes (Shi jing詩經) and Book of Documents (Shang shu尚書), the earth is not yet the paired counterpart to heaven that it will become in later Warring States (fifth-third centuries BCE) texts. Older works often depict earth and land as passive recipients of heaven's forces or human ...


A Letter From A Jesuit Painter In Qianlong's Court At Chengde, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

A Letter From A Jesuit Painter In Qianlong's Court At Chengde, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

New Qing Imperial History uses the Manchu summer capital of Chengde and associated architecture, art and ritual activity as the focus for an exploration of the importance of Inner Asia and Tibet to the Qing Empire (1636-1911). Well-known contributors argue that the Qing was not simply another Chinese dynasty, but was deeply engaged in Inner Asia not only militarily, but culturally, politically and ideologically.

Emphasizing the diverse range of peoples in the Qing empire, it analyzes the importance to Chinese history of Manchu relations with Tibetan prelates, Mongolian chieftains, and the Turkic elites of Xinjiang. In offering a new appreciation ...


邱濬與明代儒家廢存之議 (Qiu Jun And Iconoclasm In The Ming Dynasty), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

邱濬與明代儒家廢存之議 (Qiu Jun And Iconoclasm In The Ming Dynasty), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This article examines key figures in iconoclastic controversies that developed in the early Ming (1368-1644) era in China. The scholar-official Qiu Jun (1421-1495), the compiler of the massive guide to statecraft and governance titled Supplement to the Extended Meaning of the Great Learning (Daxue yanyi bu 大學衍義補), believed that anthropomorphic images of Confucius in official temples should be destroyed and replaced with spirit tablets inscribed with the name of the deceased. This essay explores the philosophical and religious arguments of Qiu Jun and other early Ming thinkers regarding the use of images in ritual contexts.


早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Many studies have explored conceptualizations of heaven (tian 天) in early Chinese thought, but few if any have explored understandings of heaven's later cosmological counterpart, earth (di 地). This article examines Chinese understandings of earth and land (tu 土) in pre-Qin 先秦sources. In ancient texts such as the Book of Odes (Shi jing詩經) and Book of Documents (Shang shu尚書), the earth is not yet the paired counterpart to heaven that it will become in later Warring States (fifth-third centuries BCE) texts. Older works often depict earth and land as passive recipients of heaven's forces or human activity. Earth ...


Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought, a volume of eleven essays written in honor of Wing-tsit Chan and William Theodore de Bary, proposes to explore how Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions have responded to and have influenced other traditions (Buddhist, Taoist, folk, Japanese nativist, and so on) in China and Japan. The essays are arranged first geographically (seven articles on China precede four on Japan) and then roughly chronologically. All essays, save one, describe Sung or post-Sung developments. A few sentences per essay must suffice in this review. [excerpt]


Warrants For Women's Religious Authority In Chinese Religious Traditions, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Warrants For Women's Religious Authority In Chinese Religious Traditions, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


The Art And Politics Of Painting Qianlong At Chengde, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

The Art And Politics Of Painting Qianlong At Chengde, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

New Qing Imperial History uses the Manchu summer capital of Chengde and associated architecture, art and ritual activity as the focus for an exploration of the importance of Inner Asia and Tibet to the Qing Empire (1636-1911). Well-known contributors argue that the Qing was not simply another Chinese dynasty, but was deeply engaged in Inner Asia not only militarily, but culturally, politically and ideologically. Emphasizing the diverse range of peoples in the Qing empire, it analyzes the importance to Chinese history of Manchu relations with Tibetan prelates, Mongolian chieftains, and the Turkic elites of Xinjiang. In offering a new appreciation ...


The Ji Self In Early Chinese Texts, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

The Ji Self In Early Chinese Texts, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

In much recent scholarship on notions of self in Chinese studies, the term "self" is usually used in a general sense. In this essay, however, Sommer focuses specifically on unraveling the fields of meaning of one Chinese character: ji 己, which may often be rendered as "self." She compares this ji self with other terms for body and person current in classical times. This ji self is strongly individuated, but it exists primarily in relation to other human beings (ren 人 ). These "others" are almost never one's own kind and are usually people who fall outside one's ascribed ...


Boundaries Of The Ti Body, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Boundaries Of The Ti Body, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

As part of his argument that "ideas of Nature, state, and the body were so interdependent that they are best considered a single complex," Nathan Sivin considered the permeable boundaries of the human frame and assayed the body's dynamic resonances with the political, social, and ethical realms of thought in early China. [excerpt]


Chinese Religions In World Religions Textbooks, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Chinese Religions In World Religions Textbooks, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Religions of China are routinely given short shrift in world religions textbooks. It would be foolish to expect equity in these matters, but when traditions important to a large percentage of the world's populations are accorded only a fraction of the pages devoted to that upstart Mediterranean cult—I am speaking, of course, of Christianity—one naturally begins to ask questions. Such books are thicker in their treatment of “the center of the world,” that fertile spiritual navel from which emerged the so-called Abrahamic traditions, and become thinner and thinner as they move toward the “barren” Pacific Rim, where ...


Destroying Confucius: Iconoclasm In The Confucian Temple, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Destroying Confucius: Iconoclasm In The Confucian Temple, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Taoism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Taoism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This essay is Chapter 28 of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts edited by Frank Burch Brown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pages 379-387). Religion and the Arts is one of the newest additions to the Oxford Handbook series, a project that explores reviews of recent academic research across disciplines. This edited volume of essays examines intersections of the visual and spiritual realms as they are expressed in religious traditions around the globe. Sommer's article, which was commissioned for Part III of this volume, "Religious Ways of Being Artistic," is a state-of-the-field review of recent Western-language ...


Confucianism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Confucianism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This essay is Chapter 29 of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts edited by Frank Burch Brown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pages 388-395). Religion and the Arts is one of the newest additions to the Oxford Handbook series, a project that explores reviews of recent academic research across disciplines. This edited volume of essays examines intersections between the visual and spiritual realms as they are expressed in religious traditions around the globe. Sommer's article was commissioned for Part III of this volume, "Religious Ways of Being Artistic," and it is a state-of-the-field review of recent ...


Images For Iconoclasts: Images Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Images For Iconoclasts: Images Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Confucius died and was buried in 479 B.C.E., and he was never seen again. Or so one would think. “You may forget me as I once was,” Confucius reminds us in the Zhuangzi, "but there is something unforgettable about me that will still live on." Confucius’s physical frame was concealed from sight below ground, but his body and face were not forgotten either by his followers or his detractors, each of whom remembered him (or remembered him) in different ways. People created semblances of Confucius that reflected their own visions of the past, and constructions of his ...


Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Hsieh Liang-tso is the first volume to explore Chinese traditions in the Academy Series sponsored by Oxford and the American Academy of Religion. Most previous titles in the series focus on Christianity, which perhaps explains Selover’s attention to the perspectives of comparative religions and comparative theology in his introduction. There he briefly traces the history of the issues concerning the religious dimensions of the Chinese literati tradition and outlines a comparative framework for approaching eleventh-century Chinese thought. Inspired by Robert Neville’s Beyond the Masks of God, Selover focuses in the introduction on four themes—scripture, tradition, reason, and ...


Ming Taizu's Legacy As Iconoclast, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Ming Taizu's Legacy As Iconoclast, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


早期儒家的仪式和牺牲:与精神世界的联系 (Ritual And Sacrifice In Early Confucianism: Contacts With The Spirit World), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Dec 2005

早期儒家的仪式和牺牲:与精神世界的联系 (Ritual And Sacrifice In Early Confucianism: Contacts With The Spirit World), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Decentering Imperial Women: Confucian Fertility Sacrifices In The Ming Dynasty, Deborah Sommer Dec 2004

Decentering Imperial Women: Confucian Fertility Sacrifices In The Ming Dynasty, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Images Into Words: Ming Confucian Iconoclasm, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Dec 1993

Images Into Words: Ming Confucian Iconoclasm, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.