Abstract/Details

The ways of filial piety in early China


2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

Filial piety (xiao) is considered a core value in Chinese (and especially Confucian) thought, but few scholars have fully investigated this concept in its earliest stages of development. Though commonly defined as "service to one's parents," the earliest sources show that the Chinese concept of filial piety grew out of the ritual feeding of dead ancestors. By the Warring States period (480--221 B.C.E.), however, it not only included service to one's living parents, it also became intertwined with many other issues in early Chinese thought. This study reveals the great complexity of filial piety in early Chinese sources through a thematic analysis that includes the issues of death, moral conflict, gender and politics. My analysis shows that filial piety was intricately connected to these topics, and that early Confucian texts endorsed several interpretations of filial piety. Consequently, they also treated these issues in different ways. In addition, competing views of filial piety were promoted by the critics of Confucianism, especially Mozi. His doctrine of "universal love" ( jian ai), interpreted by the Confucians and others as hostile to filial piety, was actually intended to help fulfill filial obligations. Thus, contrary to most discussions of early Chinese filial piety, my study shows it to be neither a singular concept nor the product of a single intellectual trend.

Indexing (details)


Subject
History;
Philosophy;
Religious history
Classification
0332: History
0422: Philosophy
0320: Religious history
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; China; Death; Filial piety; Moral conflict; Warring states
Title
The ways of filial piety in early China
Author
Radice, Thomas
Number of pages
185
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0175
Source
DAI-A 67/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542799976
Advisor
Goldin, Paul R.
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3225522
ProQuest document ID
305255394
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305255394
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