Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Murray, Julia K. (Art historian), author.

Title The aura of Confucius : relics and representations of the sage at the Kongzhai Shrine in Shanghai / Julia K. Murray, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Published Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2021


Description 1 online resource (xvi, 344 pages) : illustrations (some color)
Contents Introduction: Veneration of Confucius and Local Prestige; Part I. Confucius in Qufu and Kongzhai: 1. Confucius and His Cults; 2. Proposing a History of Kongzhai; 3. Visual Representations of Confucius at Kongzhai; Part II. The Rhetorical Construction of Kongzhai: 4. Early Formulations of Kongzhai's History; 5. The Emergence and Impact of the Gazetteer of Kongzhai; 6. Kongzhai in 19th- and 20th- Century Local Gazetteers and Poetry Collections; 7. The Physical Layout of Kongzhai and its Visual Depictions; 8. Conclusion
Summary "The Aura of Confucius: Relics and Representations of the Sage at the Kongzhai Shrine in Shanghai adds an art-historical perspective to recent scholarship that challenges the conventional image of Confucius (Kongzi) as a secular paragon of learning, and of Confucianism as simply a philosophy of ethical humanism and governmental ideology. The book explores material and visual forms that have embodied ideas about Confucius and his teachings, in his hometown of Qufu (Shandong), in imperial China's ubiquitous official temples and private academies, and in a shrine called Kongzhai ("Kong Residence") on the outskirts of modern Shanghai. At Kongzhai, a place that Confucius himself never visited, a 34th-generation descendant allegedly buried the master's robe, cap, and jade ornaments over 1000 years after his death. Centuries later, these unseen relics inspired the construction of a ritual complex that acquired multiple representations of the Sage, attracting Ming and Qing scholarly pilgrims who came to offer sacrifices and experience his beneficent aura. Centered on the Tomb of the Robe and Cap and a sacrificial hall with sculptural icons (abolished from official temples in the 1530 ritual reform), Kongzhai was periodically repaired and occasionally expanded or modified to serve new functions. Ambitious officials and local literati used their patronage and interactions with Kongzhai to enhance their own prestige and to promote the surrounding area. Kongzhai was honored by the Kangxi emperor in 1705 and celebrated in the 19th century as the foremost "famous place" in its locality, Qingpu County. However, Kongzhai's fortunes declined with modernization, particularly after Confucian ritualism became delegitimized with the fall of the Qing dynasty. Implausible legends and reactionary associations eventually made Kongzhai a target of Maoist campaigns against feudalism, superstition, and despised social classes, and it was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. Unlike many other ruined sites of traditional culture, it has not been reconstructed, and its history has been largely expunged from official memory. Drawing on more than 25 years of research, The Aura of Confucius: Relics and Representations of the Sage at the Kongzhai Shrine in Shanghai identifies personal items and sites of specific events that functioned as relics of Confucius, and examines his representation in sculptural icons, portraits, and pictorial biographies. Their deployment at Kongzhai shows how Confucian concepts and representations of Confucius himself could be used to create a ritual center, revealing connections with modes of veneration more often associated with Buddhism, Daoism, and popular cults. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the book also analyzes the chronology of Kongzhai's physical configurations against its rhetorical construction as a "special place" and situates its rise and fall within the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions of the 12th through 20th centuries. The successive phases of Kongzhai's development and its eventual eradication from landscape and memory also illuminate the multivalent influence of Confucius's descendants on his veneration and point to some contradictions within the contemporary Confucian revival"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on March 09, 2022)
Subject Confucius -- Cult -- China
SUBJECT Confucius fast
Subject Confucian shrines -- China -- Shanghai
RELIGION / Buddhism / General (see also PHILOSOPHY / Buddhist)
Confucian shrines
China -- Shanghai
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2021017240
ISBN 9781009029681