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province. She argues that this is a life-cycle ritual that transforms a woman from the status of procreator into that of a non-procreator while also glorifying marriage. Although it seemingly supports traditional patriarchal values, it also enhances a woman’s bond with her female kin, especially that between mother and daughter. This volume aims to represent the current state of the subfield of women, gender, and religion in China studies. It is successful in drawing scholarly attention to the ways in which women and gender centered research could lead to a more thorough understanding of Chinese religion. One of its main contributions is the variety of materials and methodologies that the authors of this anthology utilized. Many of the primary sources, such as newly discovered inscriptions and turn-of-the-nineteenth-century manuals on female alchemy, reveal aspects of women’s religious practices and influences rarely captured in other materials. While striving to bring about the gender-critical turn, the editors are keenly aware that the volume remains focused mostly on women rather than gender. Less than half of the essays directly explore the differences between men and women in their religious notions and practices. Nonetheless, this volume will continue to inspire future studies that seek to reconceptualize and reimagine Chinese religions from a gender perspective, which might be the greatest of all its contributions. JESSEY J. C. CHOO Rutgers University The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood. Translated, with Introduction and Commentary, by M. THERESA KELLEHER. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2013. xliii, 187 pp. US$13, £9.95 (pb). ISBN 978-1-62466-042-9 Philosophical disquisitions on the existential pursuit of self-cultivation and the soteriological goal of sagehood abound in the scholarly literature on Confucian thought, especially that on the Song-Ming period, during which the so-called Learning of the Way (daoxue 道學) prevailed. But there are scant descriptions of how the devotees actually practiced such cultivation; nor is there vivid limning of the ways in which their lived experiences were animated and governed by these diurnal preoccupations and lofty purposes. Theresa Kelleher’s translation and commentary of Wu Yubi’s 吳與弼 (1392–1469) “Journal” (rilu 日錄), which literally means “daily record,” partially fills this gaping lacuna. Interestingly, an earlier name of the text was “Record of Daily Renewal” (rixin lu 日新錄), which is a direct reference to the Great Learning’s injunction of ceaselessly renewing oneself as a quotidian commitment. Wu Yubi, the author of the “Journal,” founded no great intellectual or academic lineage, having early on in his youth abandoned formal academic studies and withdrawn to a life of farming and teaching in order to focus on the quest for sagehood. Nevertheless, in the end, he did achieve great fame as a scholar and teacher, was invited by the court to serve as a tutor, and garnered high praise from Huang Zongxi 黄宗羲 (1610–1695), whose canonical Mingru xue’an 明儒學案 (Case Studies of Ming Scholars) credited him as a wellspring of Ming thought. Some of his students, most notably, Hu Juren 胡居仁 (1434–1484) and Chen Xianzhang 陳獻章 (1428–1500), rose to great prominence as intellectual giants of the Ming. Kelleher’s translation and study of Wu’s journal shed light on how a Confucian 208 REVIEWS scholar dedicated to the existential cause of apprehending the Way and Heaven lived, as evidenced and revealed in Wu’s devotional and confessional recordings of what he did and how he felt. Instead of getting to know this Ming scholar’s ideas as abstract philosophical thought, we get clear glimpses of his psychological strivings and struggles, not to mention the debilitating material scarcity that characterized the life of an indigent scholar-farmer. The book has a tripartite structure. The first part is an introduction wherein we get a brief biography of Wu, and a terse overview of the intellectual and political contexts in which he lived and thought. What seems to be missing here in the introduction is a concerted effort to provide at least a laconic picture of Wu’s thinking. Just what are the lineaments and distinctive arguments of his Confucian learning? How do they square with or diverge from Ming thought? Since so little has been...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2050-8999
Print ISSN
0737-769X
Pages
pp. 208-210
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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