This chapter discusses the significance of the phenomenon of self-inflicted violence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries China, which modern scholars have tended to ignore. It challenges received notions of violence, asceticism, body, and other categories in Chinese religions and Sinology that have hindered scholars from appreciating the pervasiveness of self-inflicted violence. It argues that the practices examined in this book demand an inclusive approach and reflection in order to appreciate their larger cultural significance.
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