China

A Religious State

John Lagerwey

Columbia University Press

China

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Pub Date: June 2012

ISBN: 9780231159210

632 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: January 1989

ISBN: 9789622014169

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Pub Date: November 1998

ISBN: 9789622094567

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Pub Date: June 2012

ISBN: 9780231159203

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Pub Date: April 2010

ISBN: 9789888028030

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Pub Date: June 2012

ISBN: 9780231528184

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China

A Religious State

John Lagerwey

Columbia University Press

An internationally recognized authority on Chinese history and a leading innovator in its telling, Cho-yun Hsu constructs an original portrait of Chinese culture. Unlike most historians, Hsu resists centering his narrative on China's political evolution, focusing instead on the country's cultural sphere and its encounters with successive waves of globalization. Beginning long before China's written history and extending through the twentieth century, Hsu follows the content and expansion of Chinese culture, describing the daily lives of commoners, their spiritual beliefs and practices, the changing character of their social and popular thought, and their advances in material culture and technology. In addition to listing the achievements of emperors, generals, ministers, and sages, Hsu builds detailed accounts of these events and their everyday implications. Dynastic change, the rise and fall of national ambitions, and the growth and decline of institutional systems take on new significance through Hsu's careful research, which captures the multiple strands that gave rise to China's pluralistic society. Paying particular attention to influential relationships occurring outside of Chinese cultural boundaries, he demonstrates the impact of foreign influences on Chinese culture and identity and identifies similarities between China's cultural developments and those of other nations.
An important and original book on a permanently important topic by one of the world's leading historians of China. The writing is lucid, often elegant, and has been beautifully translated into English. William C. Kirby, director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University
Nothing quite like this exists in the modern literature, and it is especially valuable for readers interested in world/global history. James L. Watson, Harvard University
Hsu's book is unique in the field, and makes a distinct contribution above the many other grand narratives of Chinese history. Impeccably researched and consistently insightful, this is precisely the sort of book that every serious scholar of China should keep within arm's reach. Thomas David DuBois, China Journal
Chronology
List of Figures
Notes on the Translation
Author's Preface
Prologue
1. Prehistory: China's Earliest Cultures According to Regional Archaeology
2. The Emergence of Chinese Civilization: The Sixteenth Through Third Centuries B.C.E.
3. China Comes Into Its Own: The Third Century B.C.E. to the Second Century C.E.
4. China in East Asia: The Second to Tenth Centuries C.E.
5. China in an Asian Multistate System: The Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries C.E.
6. China Enters the World System
7. China Enters the World System
8. A Century of Uncertainty: 1850 to 1950
Afterword
Index
04_hsu15920_00_toc.doc: v

About the Author

Cho-yun Hsu is University Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has authored or coauthored a number of books, including Seek the Way, Business and Professional Ethics, Exploring Interpretation in Chinese History, and Western Chou Civilization.

Timothy Danforth Baker Jr. is assistant professor of history at the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan, ROC. He specializes in the cultural history of early China and the metropolitan communities of the Han and Tang dynasties.

Michael S. Duke is professor emeritus of Chinese and comparative literature at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Blooming and Contending: Chinese Literature in the Post Mao Era and The Iron House: A Memoir of the Chinese Democracy Movement and the Tiananmen Massacre.