Ritual and Religion in the Xunzi

Edited by T. C. Kline III & Justin Tiwald

Subjects: Asian Studies, Religion, Confucianism, Asian Religion And Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Paperback : 9781438451947, 208 pages, January 2015
Hardcover : 9781438451954, 208 pages, June 2014

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Table of contents

Notes on Conventions
Religious Vision
1. Xunzi as a Religious Philosopher
Edward J. Machle
2. A Happy Symmetry: Xunzi’s Ecological Ethic
Philip J. Ivanhoe
Ritual Theory
3. Ritual and Religion: A Lesson from Xunzi for Today
Robert C. Neville
4. Xunzi: Ritualization as Humanization
Lee H. Yearly
5. Xunzi’s Reinterpretation of Ritual: A Hermeneutic Defense of the Confucian Way
Mark Berkson
Comparative Approaches
6. Ritual and Tradition in Xunzi and Dōgen
James Robson
7. Sheltering Under the Sacred Canopy: Peter Berger and Xunzi
T. C. Kline III
Selected Bibliography
About the Contributors

Challenges traditional views to consider Xunzi as a religious thinker.


Xunzi, a founding figure in the Confucian tradition, is one of the world's great philosophers and theorists of religion. For much of the last century, his work has been seen largely as critical of religion, particularly the popular beliefs and invocations of supernatural forces that underpin so many religious rituals. Contributors to this volume challenge this view and offer a more sophisticated picture of Xunzi. He emerges not as critic, but rather as an adherent of religion who seeks to give religious practices meaning even though many religious beliefs are mistaken or self-serving. Each essay offers a powerful illustration of Xunzi as both a religious devotee and as a philosopher of religion, drawing on a wide array of disciplines and methodologies.

T. C. Kline III is an independent scholar and the coeditor (with P. J. Ivanhoe) of Virtue, Nature, and Moral Agency in the Xunzi. Justin Tiwald is Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University and the coeditor (with Chung-ying Cheng) of Confucian Philosophy: Innovations and Transformations.