Confucian Cultures of Authority


Peter D. Hershock and Roger T. Ames (eds.)

SUNY Series in Asian Studies Development


Albany, New York: State University of New York Press

Available From: CUP Services
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-7914-6798-5
Binding: paper
Pages: xviii, 258


Confucian Cultures of Authority examines the values that have historically guided the negotiation of identity, both practical and ideal, in Chinese Confucian culture, considers how these values play into the conception and exercise of authority, and assesses their contemporary relevance in a rapidly globalizing world. Essays explore the rule of ritual in classical Confucian political discourse; parental authority in early medieval tales; authority in writings on women; authority in the great and long-beloved folk novel of China Journal to the West; and the anti-Confucianism of Lu Xun, the twentieth-century writer and reformer. These essays shed considerable light on the continuities and contentions underlying the vibrancy of Chinese culture by examining authority in cultural context.

Rather than a geographic or area studies approach, this book exemplifies the merits of a thematic approach to incorporating Asian content throughout the curriculum, providing increased opportunities for cross-cultural comparison and a forum for encouraging values-centered conversation in the classroom.

© State University of New York


Hard copies may be purchased from the State University of New York Press.


"This excellent work deals with a critical issue of our time, the understanding of authority in culture. The topic is of great importance to every one of us, particularly in the context of the globalization of culture. To understand the processes going on around us, we must be able to understand the nature of authority as it is understood historically, within a multiplicity of cultures, and contemporarily, within a world of both diminishing and increasing boundaries. The topic itself stretches across our own disciplinary boundaries, marking its relevancy for philosophy, religion, political science, and history. What is addressed here is crosscutting and cutting edge in its significance."

Rodney L. Taylor
author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism