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A momentous debate has been unfolding in China over the last fifteen years, only intermittently in public view, concerning the merits of socialism as a philosophy of social justice and as a program for national development. Just as Deng Xiaoping's better advertised experiment with market- based reforms has challenged Marxist-Leninist dogma on economic policy, the years since the death of Mao Zedong have seen a profound reexamination of a more basic question: to what extent are the root problems of the system due to Chinese socialism and Marxism generally? Here Yan Sun gathers a remarkable group of primary materials, drawn from an unusual range of sources, to present the most systematic and comprehensive study of post-Mao reappraisal of China's socialist theory and practice.
Rejecting an assumption often made in the West, that Chinese socialist thought has little bearing on politics and policymaking, Sun takes the arguments of the post-Mao era seriously on their own terms. She identifies the major factions in the debate, reveals the interplay among official and unofficial forces, and charts the development of the debate from an initially parochial concern with problems raised by Chinese practice to a grand critique of the theory of socialism itself. She concludes with an enlightening comparison of the reassessments undertaken by Deng Xiaoping with those of Gorbachev, linking them to the divergent outcomes of reform and revolution in their respective countries.
The People's Republic of China claims to have 22,000 kilometres of land borders and 18,000 kilometres of coast line. How did this vast country come into being? The state credo describes an ancient process of cultural expansion: border peoples gratefully accept high culture in China and become inalienable parts of the country. And yet, the "centre" had to fight against manifestations of discontent in the border regions, not only to maintain control over the regions themselves, but also to prevent a loss of power at the edges from triggering a general process of regional devolution in the Han Chinese provinces. The essays in this volume look at these issues over a long span of time, questioning whether the process of expansion was a benevolent civilizing mission.
Pre-Buddhist and Buddhist Use of a Symbolic Form
Buddhist steles represent an important subset of early Chinese Buddhist art that flourished during the Northern and Southern Dynasties period (386–581). More than two hundred Chinese Buddhist steles are known to have survived. Their brilliant imagery has long captivated scholars, yet until now the Buddhist stele as a unique art form has received little scholarly attention. Dorothy Wong rectifies that insufficiency by providing in this well-illustrated volume the first comprehensive investigation of this group of Buddhist monuments. She traces the ancient roots of the Chinese stele tradition and investigates the process by which Chinese steles were adapted for Buddhist use. She arranges the known corpus of Buddhist steles into broad chronological and regional groupings and analyzes not only their form and content but also the nexus of complex issues surrounding this art form—from cultural symbolism to the interrelations between religious doctrine and artistic expression, economic production, patronage, and the synthesis of native and foreign art styles. In her analysis of Buddhism’s dialogue with native traditions, Wong demonstrates how the Chinese artistic idiom planted the seeds for major achievements in figural and landscape arts in the ensuing Sui and Tang periods.
Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ
"The king and ministers, superior and inferior, move with ritual and refinement. When the king goes on an inspection tour, everyone has the correct ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in front while armored soldiers block the road. The soldiers of the Six Divisions all hold their attributes. Although it is not completely in uniformity with classic rites, compared with other barbarians it is splendid to behold. This is why Confucius thought it would not be a shame to reside here. And is not moreover Kija's country a close relative of the hallowed dynasty?"
So observed the Song envoy Xu Jing in the official report of his 1123 visit to Korea—a rare eyewitness account of Koryŏ (918–1392) society in its prime. Officially, the purpose of Xu Jing's visit was to condole the new king, Injong, on the death of his father and present him with a letter of investiture; unofficially, he was tasked with persuading Injong to align with Song China against the newly emergent Jin dynasty. Although famous for its celadon and Buddhist paintings, the Koryŏ period is still very much terra incognita in world history because of the lack of translated source materials. The present work, the first fully annotated, complete translation of a key source text on Koryŏ, fills this gap.
Xu Jing spent a little more than a month in the Koryŏ capital, Kaesŏng, but he was a meticulous chronicler, compiling a veritable handbook on Koryŏ that is full of fascinating details found nowhere else on daily life, history, customs and manners, buildings, the military, food, among others. However, Xu Jing was not unbiased in his observations and supplemented his work with unreliable information from earlier chronicles—a fact often ignored in previous studies of the Illustrated Account. In a substantial introduction to his translation, Sem Vermeersch not only places this important work in its historical context, but also reveals both the sources used by the author and the merits and limits of his observations, allowing historians of medieval Korea to make fuller use of this singular primary source.
Chinese Women Soldiers on the Long March
Some two thousand women participated in the Long March, but their experience of this seminal event in the history of Communist China is rarely represented. In Choosing Revolution, Helen Praeger Young presents her interviews with twenty-two veterans of the Red Army's legendary 6,000-mile "retreat to victory" before the advancing Nationalist Army. _x000B__x000B_Enormously rich in detail, Young's Choosing Revolution reveals the complex interplay between women's experiences and the official, almost mythic version of the Long March. In addition to their riveting stories of the march itself, Young's subjects reveal much about what it meant in China to grow up female and, in many cases, poor during the first decades of the twentieth century. In speaking about the work they did and how they adapted to the demands of being a soldier, these women--both educated individuals who were well-known leaders and illiterate peasants--reveal the Long March as only one of many segments of the revolutionary paths they chose._x000B__x000B_Against a background of diverse perspectives on the Long March, Young presents the experiences of four women in detail: one who brought her infant daughter with her on the Long March, one who gave birth during the march, one who was a child participant, and one who attended medical school during the march. Young also includes the stories of three women who did not finish the Long March. Her unique record of ordinary women in revolutionary circumstances reveals the tenacity and resilience that led these individuals far beyond the limits of most Chinese women's lives._x000B__x000B__x000B_
Essays on Anglican and Episcopal History in China
Written by a team of internationally recognized scholars, Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture focuses on a church tradition that has never been very large in China but that has had considerable social and religious influence. Themes of the book include questions of church, society and education, the Prayer Book in Chinese, parish histories, and theology. Taken together, the nine chapters and the introduction offer a comprehensive assessment of the Anglican experience in China and its missionary background. Historical topics range from macro to micro levels, beginning with an introductory overview of the Anglican and Episcopal tradition in China. Topics include how the church became embedded in Chinese social and cultural life, the many ways women’s contributions to education built the foundations for strong parishes, and Bishop R. O. Hall’s attentiveness to culture for the life of the church in Hong Kong. Two chapters explore how broader historical themes played out at the parish level—St. Peter’s Church in Shanghai during the War against Japan and St. Mary’s Church in Hong Kong during its first three decades. Chapters looking at the Chinese Prayer Book bring an innovative theological perspective to the discussion, especially how the inability to produce a single prayer book affected the development of the Chinese church. Finally, the tension between theological thought and Chinese culture in the work of Francis C. M. Wei and T. C. Chao is examined. “This is one of the finest books on Christianity and Chinese culture to have emerged in recent years. Philip Wickeri has done the almost-impossible, and assembled an outstanding, world-class team of scholars to write on Anglican and Episcopal history in China, with essays focusing on education, liturgy, ministry, ecclesiology and theology. This is a timely, important book—and one that will re-shape the way we understand the place of Anglican and Episcopal churches in the past, present and future.” —Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, Oxford, UK “This pioneering study provides new knowledge of local parishes, translation of liturgy, as well as mission and theology of Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui. Comprehensive in scope and original in using new resources, it will stimulate new scholarship in the study of Christianity in China.” —Kwok Pui-lan, author of Chinese Women and Christianity, 1860–1927 “The essays included in this important volume offer a refreshingly realistic image of the Christian missionary enterprise and its interaction with Chinese culture and society. The contributors present new angles of interpretation, with more informed and nuanced accounts of the complexities and contradictions that shaped the encounter of one particular strand of Western Christianity and Chinese culture during a turbulent century of change.” —R. G. Tiedemann, professor of Chinese history, Shandong University, China
Locating Chinese Film Theory
In Cinema Approaching Reality, Victor Fan brings together, for the first time, Chinese and Euro-American film theories and theorists to engage in critical debates about film in Shanghai and Hong Kong from the 1920s through 1940s. His point of departure is a term popularly employed by Chinese film critics during this period, bizhen, often translated as “lifelike” but best understood as “approaching reality.” What these Chinese theorists mean, in Fan’s reading, is that the cinematographic image is not a form of total reality, but it can allow spectators to apprehend an effect as though they had been there at the time when an event actually happened.
Fan suggests that the phrase “approaching reality” can help to renegotiate an aporia (blind spot) that influential French film critic André Bazin wrestled with: the cinematographic image is a trace of reality, yet reality is absent in the cinematographic image, and the cinema makes present this absence as it reactivates the passage of time. Fan enriches Bazinian cinematic ontology with discussions on cinematic reality in Republican China and colonial Hong Kong, putting Western theorists—from Bazin and Kracauer to Baudrillard, Agamben, and Deleuze—into dialogue with their Chinese counterparts. The result is an eye-opening exploration of the potentialities in approaching cinema anew, especially in the photographic materiality following its digital turn.
Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China
During the Tang dynasty, the imperial capital of Chang'an (present-day Xi'an) was unrivaled in its monumental scale, with about one million inhabitants dwelling within its walls. It was there that one of the most enduring cultural and political institutions of the empire—the civil service examinations—took shape, bringing an unprecedented influx of literati men to the city seeking recognition and official status by demonstrating their literary talent. To these examination candidates, Chang'an was a megalopolis, career launch pad, and most importantly, cultural paradigm. As a multifaceted lived space, it captured the imaginations of Tang writers, shaped their future aspirations, and left discernible traces in the writings of this period. City of Marvel and Transformation brings this cityscape to life together with the mindscape of its sojourner-writers. By analyzing narratives of experience with a distinctive metropolitan consciousness, it retrieves lost connections between senses of the self and a sense of place. Each chapter takes up one of the powerful shaping forces of Chang'an: its siren call as a destination; the unforeseen nooks and crannies of its urban space; its potential as a "media machine" to broadcast images and reputations; its demimonde—a city within a city where both literary culture and commerce took center stage. Without being limited to any single genre, specific movement, or individual author, the texts examined in this book highlight aspects of Chang'an as a shared and contested space in the collective imagination. They bring to our attention a newly emerged interval of social, existential, and geographical mobility in the lives of educated men, who as aspirants and routine capital-bound travelers learned to negotiate urban space. Both literary study and cultural history, City of Marvel and Transformation goes beyond close readings of text; it also draws productively from research in urban history, anthropology, and studies of space and place, building upon the theoretical frameworks of scholars such as Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, and Victor Turner. It is a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship in Chinese studies on the importance of cities and city life. Students and scholars of premodern China will find new ways to understand the collective concerns of the lettered class, as well as new ways to understand literary phenomena that would eventually influence vernacular tales and the Chinese novel. By asking larger questions about how urban sojourns shape subjectivity and perceptions, this book will also attract a wide range of readers interested in studies of personhood, spatial practice, and cities as living cultural systems in flux, both ancient and modern.
Nanjing in an Age of Utopian Visions
Throughout Nanjing’s history, writers have claimed that its spectacular landscape of mountains and rivers imbued the city with “royal qi,” making it a place of great political significance. City of Virtues examines the ways a series of visionaries, drawing on past glories of the city, projected their ideologies onto Nanjing as they constructed buildings, performed rituals, and reworked the literary heritage of the city. More than an urban history of Nanjing from the late 18th century until 1911—encompassing the Opium War, the Taiping occupation of the city, the rebuilding of the city by Zeng Guofan, and attempts to establish it as the capital of the Republic of China—this study shows how utopian visions of the cosmos shaped Nanjing’s path through the turbulent 19th century.
In The Classical Gardens of Shanghai, Shelly Bryant looks at five of Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens through their origins, changing fortunes, restorations, and links to a wider Chinese aesthetic. Shanghai’s classical gardens are as much text as space; they exist in art, poetry, and literature as much as in stone, rock, and earth. But these gardens have not remained static entities. Rather, they have been remodelled constantly since their inception. This book reflects this process within the constancy of traditional Chinese horticulture and reveals Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens as places representing wealth and social status, social and dynastic shifts, through falling family fortunes and political revolutions to search for a recovery of China’s ancient culture in the modern day. ‘Like a classical Chinese garden, this admirable and beautifully balanced book conjures up wider landscapes from within a small compass. It can be savoured on many levels: poetic and aesthetic no less than scholarly and intellectual. It is the next best thing to being guided through such gardens by Shelly Bryant herself.’ —Lynn Pan, author of When True Love Came to China and Shanghai Style