New(ish) Books

Three recent books:

  • Ethical Treatment of Animals in Early Chinese Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices
  • Traditional Chinese Philosophy and the Paradigm of Structure (Li 理)
  • Chinese Ancestor Worship: A Practice and Ritual Oriented Approach to Understanding Chinese Culture

Ethical Treatment of Animals in Early Chinese Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices
Author:Pu Chengzhong
Book Description

Through detailed discussions of several Buddhist and Chinese moral concepts and beliefs and accompanied by some edifying short stories, this book investigates three types of ethical treatment of animals in early Chinese Buddhism: the imperial bans on animal sacrifice; the early development of the two unique and living traditions of vegetarianism; and the freeing of animals. The book presents a demonstration of the early Chinese acceptance of Indian Buddhism, providing the reader with a better understanding of the early history of Chinese Buddhism in general, and of the integration of Chinese and Indian Buddhist cultures in particular.?

Date of Publication:01/03/2014


Traditional Chinese Philosophy and the Paradigm of Structure (Li 理)
Author:Jana S. Roker
Book Description:

Specific Chinese models for theories of knowledge were premised upon a structurally ordered external reality; since natural (or cosmic) order is organic, it naturally follows the ‘flow’ of structural patterns and operates in accordance with structural principles that regulate every existence. In this worldview, our mind is also structured in accordance with this all-embracing, but open, organic system. The axioms of our recognition and thought are therefore not arbitrary, but follow this rationally designed structure. The compatibility of both the cosmic and mental structures is the basic precondition that enables humans to perceive and recognize external reality. The present study shows that this paradigm of structural epistemology can already be found in the earliest Chinese theories of knowledge. The introduction of Chinese models and their incorporation into Western discourses fills an important theoretical gap in the Western model of structuralism. This book offers an insight into epistemological systems that arose outside the discourses of the Euro-American tradition. It can thus help us to eliminate and supersede certain culturally conditioned prejudices as to the superiority and omnipresence of Western theoretical models, while demonstrating incontrovertibly that the results of Western discourses are by no means the only force driving theoretical innovation at the present time.

Date of Publication:01/09/2012
Price: £44.99

Chinese Ancestor Worship: A Practice and Ritual Oriented Approach to Understanding Chinese Culture
Author:William Lakos

Book Description

This book is a new approach to how we in the West understand China and Chinese culture. It challenges the master narrative of Confucianism and shows that ancestor worship has underpinned Chinese culture in many influential and vital ways and provides a nuanced and more efficacious paradigm through which Chinese culture may be viewed. It is an exposition and analysis of Chinese ancestor worship and its correlations, especially filial piety and ritual, and it shows the intrinsic importance of ancestor worship to Chinese culture. By using a practice theory—ritual—and communication theory approach this work highlights the relationship between the rituals of ancestor worship and their meaning within Chinese culture. In emphasizing the efficacy of ritual to cultural meaning it also questions and compares the master narrative of Confucianism in its role as the prime cultural symbol and paradigm of Chinese culture. China and Chinese culture is conventionally understood by the West through the paradigm and its articulated discourse of Confucianism. In order to ameliorate and overcome the epistemological problematic of a cross-cultural understanding of China, a new approach to the understanding of China and Chinese culture is proposed. The thesis approach is ‘meta-disciplinary’ and multi-viewed, and draws on a range of evidence and theories which focus on the problematic of ‘cross-cultural understanding.’

Date of Publication:01/11/2010
Price: £34.99

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