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Full-Text Articles in Religion

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


Recent Western Studies Of Zhu Xi (近代朱子研究在西方), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Recent Western Studies Of Zhu Xi (近代朱子研究在西方), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This article is a bibliographic survey of research scholarship on the thinker Zhu Xi (朱熹, 1130-1200) published in North America from the mid-1990s until 2008. This essay was originally presented at the international invited conference "Song Dynasty Neo-Confucianism: A Focus on Zhu Xi" (宋代新儒學的精神世界:以朱熹為中心) at Fudan University, Shanghai 上海复旦大学, Oct. 25-26, 2008.


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.


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 ...


文革中的批孔運動和孔子形像的演變 (Images For Iconoclasts: Depictions Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

文革中的批孔運動和孔子形像的演變 (Images For Iconoclasts: Depictions Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


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 ...


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 ...


Book Review: The Rivers Of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, And Muhammad As Religious Founders, David Freedman, Michael Mcclymond, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: The Rivers Of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, And Muhammad As Religious Founders, David Freedman, Michael Mcclymond, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

In his introduction to Rivers of Paradise, David Noel Freedman explains how the book finds a guiding metaphor in a passage from Genesis (2:10–14) that relates how a river emerges from Eden and splits into four different rivers that flow to different parts of the world. He associates these five rivers with five “great personality religions of the world,” which are traditions “originating in and centering around the person, the life and experience, of a single individual—as it happens all of them men” (p. 2). These “founding fathers” are Moses, the Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad, in ...


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.


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.