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Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700$
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Jimmy Yu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844906

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844906.001.0001

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A Culture in Flux

A Culture in Flux


(p.23) 1 A Culture in Flux
Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700


Oxford University Press

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a unique time of exceptional tolerance of widely different social, intellectual, and religious practices, with different attitudes towards life and an economy rich in resources. This tolerance was true particularly in the central and southern parts of China, in the cities to the south of the Yangzi River, the geographical focus of this study. The period witnessed an unprecedented change in traditional values and met with radical ideas. Chapter 1 argues that it was this period that stressed a corporeal demonstration of moral sanctity that led to an increase in the number of cases of self-inflicted violence. The change in religious and moral outlooks during this time can be attested in the several hundred of Ming local gazetteers, didactic works, and popular literature.

Keywords:   passion, wang yangming, Taizhou school, morality books, sagehood, merit, morality, Chinese religions, corporeal sanctity, economic prosperity

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