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The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism

Michael David Kaulana Ing


This book describes how early Confucians coped with situations where their rituals failed to achieve their intended aims. In contrast to most contemporary interpreters of Confucianism, the book demonstrates that early Confucian texts can be read as arguments for ambiguity in ritual failure. If, as discussed in one text, Confucius builds a tomb for his parents unlike the tombs of antiquity, and rains fall causing the tomb to collapse, it is not immediately clear whether this failure was the result of random misfortune or the result of Confucius straying from the ritual script by building a tomb ... More

Keywords: Confucians, ritual, Confucianism, ritual failure, Liji, ritual performance, Confucian ethics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199924899
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924899.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael David Kaulana Ing, author
Indiana University