Translation of Chinese philosophical terminology is often one of the more vexed problems that we face. This is both because the interpretation and understanding of some of these terms is complicated (and controversial), and because it is rarely easy to choose a single word, or a short phrase, that readily expresses the meaning of a given term. Many potential translations carry inapt baggage with them; others can be misleading in other ways. Often we are urged to give up and leave a term romanized. I would agree that, depending on one’s specific goals, this can sometimes be the best choice, but of course to resort to it too often is to abandon the project of interpretation and translation.
This may be old news to many of you, but until recently, I was unaware of the special issue of Sophia devoted to ritual in Chinese philosophy, which contains a number of excellent articles. Read on for the Table of Contents.