Martin Kern, editor. Text and Ritual in Early China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005. xxvii, 332 pp. Hardcover $40.00, Isbn 0295 985623. Text and Ritual with Regard to Writing and Authority Text and Ritual in Early China, edited by Martin Kern, is an important book. While reading it, I was repeatedly reminded of Mark Edward Lewis's Writing and Authority in Early China (State University of New York Press, 1999), not just because of the formal and lexical similarities of the titles or to the many references to Lewis's book. Both Lewis and the contributors to Text and Ritual are meticulous in their scholarship, broad in their sources, assiduous in supporting their claims, cautious but insightful in their generalizations, and forward looking in their scholarship. They approach the texts of early China with a view to understanding the sociopolitical dynamics of the time and draw on every available text, leaving no stone unturned and taking nothing for granted. Given the time span of the period they cover, the multiplicity of texts, the variety of media on which the texts were recorded, the array of secondary sources, and the difficulty of the early language in its many manifestations, the
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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