Ritual, Mimesis, and the Nonhuman Animal World in Early China
Society & Animals
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Sterckx, R. (2016). Ritual, Mimesis, and the Nonhuman Animal World in Early China. Society & Animals, 24 269-288. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685306-12341404
Early Chinese texts frequently link the origins of ritual, play, dance, and music to patterns of behaviour observed in the animal world. Moralising readings of animal behaviour proliferate in texts and iconography from the classical age of the Warring States and early empires (5th cent BC-1st cent AD), when China’s masters of philosophy were drawing up the contours of their ethical theories. The animal world inspired models for human ritualised conduct that became codified in the classicist (Confucian) ritual canon. This paper examines representative examples of this and tries to identify some of the conceptual schemes used in early China to subsume the animal world into moral frameworks that were meant to guide human conduct.
Early China, animals, ritual, play
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685306-12341404
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246340