The Quest for Ecstatic Morality in Early China

Paperback | March 28, 2013

byKenneth W. Holloway

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There is an intense love of freedom evident in the "Xing zi mingchu," a text last seen when it was buried in a Chinese tomb in 300 B.C.E. It tells us that both joy and sadness are the ecstatic zenith of what the text terms "qing." Combining emotions into qing allows them to serve as a steppingstone to the Dao, the transcendent source of morality for the world. There is a process one must follow to prepare qing: it must be beautified by learning from the classics written by ancient sages. What is absent from the process is any indication that the emotions themselves need to be suppressedor regulated, as is found in most other texts from this time. The Confucian principles of humanity and righteousness are not rejected, but they are seen as needing our qing and the Dao. Holloway argues that the Dao here is the same Dao of Laozi's Daode jing. As a missing link between what came to be called Confucianism and Daoism, the "Xing zi mingchu" ischanging the way we look at the history of religion in early China.

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There is an intense love of freedom evident in the "Xing zi mingchu," a text last seen when it was buried in a Chinese tomb in 300 B.C.E. It tells us that both joy and sadness are the ecstatic zenith of what the text terms "qing." Combining emotions into qing allows them to serve as a steppingstone to the Dao, the transcendent source o...

Kenneth Holloway is Associate Professor of History and Levenson Professor of Asian Studies at Florida Atlantic University.

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Kobo ebook|Jan 28 2009

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:March 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199941742

ISBN - 13:9780199941742

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Qing, from Conflict to Ecstasy2. The Role of Nature in a World of Friction3. Having fun with the Dao4. Absolute versus relative morality5. The Rectification of NamesAppendixNotesBibliography