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

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

byJimmy Yu

Paperback | May 16, 2012

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In this illuminating study of a vital but long overlooked aspect of Chinese religious life, Jimmy Yu reveals that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, self-inflicted violence was an essential and sanctioned part of Chinese culture. He examines a wide range of practices, including bloodwriting, filial body-slicing, chastity mutilations and suicides, ritual exposure, and self-immolation, arguing that each practice was public, scripted, and a signal of certain cultural expectations. Yu shows how individuals engaged in acts of self-inflicted violence to exercise power and to affect society, by articulating moral values, reinstituting order, forging new social relations, and protecting against the threat of moral ambiguity. Self-inflicted violence was intelligible both to theperson doing the act and to those who viewed and interpreted it, regardless of the various religions of the period: Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and other religions.Self-inflicted violence as a category reveals scholarly biases that tend to marginalize or exaggerate certain phenomena in Chinese culture. Yu offers a groundbreaking contribution to scholarship on bodily practices in late imperial China, challenging preconceived ideas about analytic categories ofreligion, culture, and ritual in the study of Chinese religions.
Jimmy Yu is Sheng Yen Assistant Professor of Chinese Buddhist Studies at Florida State University.
Title:Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:May 16, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199844909

ISBN - 13:9780199844906

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsAcknowledgementA Note on Dynasties and ReignsIntroduction1. A Culture in Flux: Historical Background2. Embodying the Text through Blood Writing3. Nourishing the Parent with One's Own Flesh4. Chaste Widows as Entertainment and Revenants5. Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain6. ConclusionCharacter GlossaryAbbreviations and ConventionsBibliographyIndex