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Steven Sangren, Filiality, and the Holy Grail of Chinese Anthropology

Steven Sangren, Filiality, and the Holy Grail of Chinese Anthropology Features Steven Sangren, Filiality, and the Holy Grail of Chinese Anthropology P. Steven Sangren. Filial Obsessions: Chinese Patriliny and Its Discontents. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. xvi, 381 pp. Hardcover $99.99, ISBN 978-3-319-50492-6. eBook $79.99, ISBN 978-3-319-50493-3. Considered by some Sinologists, such as Donald Holzman, to be the bedrock of the Chinese value system, the fundamental underpinning to ancient Chinese belief in ancestors as celestial beings, and a concept with “metaphysical” status, “filial piety” 孝 or 孝順 or “filiality” is one of the holy grails of the anthropological study of China. Steven Sangren’s recent book on the subject does far more than fill in ethnographic detail on the notion and practice. He endeavors to totally rethink the way scholars view filial piety, applying an arsenal of theoretical tools from Marxian thought to Freudian psychoanalysis in an attempt to penetrate to the core of the notion and account for its remarkable resiliency over three millennia. The primary material that Sangren uses to anchor his study is the Ming dynasty narrative Fengshen Yanyi 封神演義 (Investiture of the gods). A layered and linked narrative with a desultory structure which some have called a novel, Investiture of the Gods has beguiled Chinese readers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Steven Sangren, Filiality, and the Holy Grail of Chinese Anthropology

China Review International , Volume 23 (3) – Sep 20, 2018

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367

Abstract

Features Steven Sangren, Filiality, and the Holy Grail of Chinese Anthropology P. Steven Sangren. Filial Obsessions: Chinese Patriliny and Its Discontents. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. xvi, 381 pp. Hardcover $99.99, ISBN 978-3-319-50492-6. eBook $79.99, ISBN 978-3-319-50493-3. Considered by some Sinologists, such as Donald Holzman, to be the bedrock of the Chinese value system, the fundamental underpinning to ancient Chinese belief in ancestors as celestial beings, and a concept with “metaphysical” status, “filial piety” 孝 or 孝順 or “filiality” is one of the holy grails of the anthropological study of China. Steven Sangren’s recent book on the subject does far more than fill in ethnographic detail on the notion and practice. He endeavors to totally rethink the way scholars view filial piety, applying an arsenal of theoretical tools from Marxian thought to Freudian psychoanalysis in an attempt to penetrate to the core of the notion and account for its remarkable resiliency over three millennia. The primary material that Sangren uses to anchor his study is the Ming dynasty narrative Fengshen Yanyi 封神演義 (Investiture of the gods). A layered and linked narrative with a desultory structure which some have called a novel, Investiture of the Gods has beguiled Chinese readers

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 20, 2018

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