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Modernizing Tradition or Restoring Antiquity as Confucian Alternatives: A View from Reading Wedding Rituals in Contemporary China

  • Margaret Mih Tillman
  • Hoyt Cleveland Tillman
Part of the China Academic Library book series (CHINALIBR)

Abstract

This article explores the range of stances within the revival of Confucian ritual in China today. Symbols are a touchstone for disagreement among non-state intellectuals who have constructed new Confucian wedding ceremonies. Intellectuals contest each other’s selection of historical sources, especially as indicators of the importance of the family and/or interpretations of Confucianism. Zhang Xianglong and Zhu Jieren or chestrated these rituals as a way to impart their visions of Chinese family values onto their children, whereas Lei Bo and his bride constructed their own wedding based on their Ph.D. studies and activism as new Confucians. Peking University Professor Zhang’s ritual draws upon naturalistic Daoist geomancy and openly invites the sanction of Confucian dignitaries to endorse his formulation of ancient Chinese culture. Lei Bo looks especially to 11th-century philosopher Zhang Zai in his formulation of “Heideggerian Confucianism,” which recognizes the importance of cosmology to achieve true personhood. East China Normal University Press editor Zhu Jieren subordinates aesthetics to ancient text, and only reconstructs an ancient cupping ritual because it is based on ancient texts; his elimination of non-textual elements has the overall effect of recognizing contemporary gender equality in Shanghai in ways that tend to offend other new Confucians. These contemporary intellectuals disagree regarding not only the semiotics of imminent naturalistic elements to reconstruct the historical contexts of wedding ceremonies, but also the degree to which contemporary Confucianism should be a cosmological or social construction.

Keywords

Gender Equality Young Couple Authentic Revival Wedding Ceremony Ritual Propriety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing Co., Ltd and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Mih Tillman
    • 1
  • Hoyt Cleveland Tillman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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