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Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China

£39.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Chinese History, Literature and Institutions

  • Author: Aihe Wang, Purdue University, Indiana
  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521027496

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  • This radical reinterpretation of the formative stages of Chinese culture and history traces the central role played by cosmology in the formation of China's early empires. It crosses the disciplines of history, social anthropology, archaeology and philosophy to illustrate how cosmological systems, particularly the Five Elements, shaped political culture. By focusing on dynamic change in early cosmology, the book undermines the notion that Chinese cosmology was homogeneous and unchanging. By arguing that cosmology was intrinsic to power relations, it also challenges prevailing theories of political and intellectual history.

    • Innovative exploration of the mutual transformation of cosmology and political power in Chinese history
    • Demonstrates that cosmology constituted power relations rather than merely symbolizing power
    • Multidisciplinary approach, synthesizing anthropology, history, archaeology and philosophy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521027496
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.387kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 2 maps 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of tables
    Acknowledgements
    1. Introduction
    2. Sifang and the center: the cosmology of the ruling clan
    3. Wuxing: cosmology in historical transition
    4. Moralizing cosmology and transforming imperial sovereignty
    5. Contesting emperorship: the center of the cosmos and pivot of power
    Conclusion: cosmology and power reconsidered
    List of abbreviations
    Works cited
    Index.

  • Author

    Aihe Wang, Purdue University, Indiana

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