David N. Keightley’s seminal essays on the origins of Chinese society are brought together in one volume.
These Bones Shall Rise Again, brings together in one volume many of David N. Keightley's seminal essays on the origins of early Chinese civilization. Written over a period of three decades and accessible to the non-specialist, these essays provide a wealth of information and insights on the Shang dynasty, traditionally dated 1766–1122 or 1056 BCE. Of all the eras of Chinese history, the Shang has been a particularly elusive one, long considered more myth than reality. A historian with a keen appreciation for anthropology and archaeology, Keightley has given us many descriptions of Shang life. Best known for his analysis of oracle bones, he has looked beyond the bones themselves and expanded his historical vision to ponder the lives of those who used them. What did the Shang diviner think he was doing? The temerity to ask such questions and the insights they have provided have been provocative and, at times, controversial. Equally intriguing have been Keightley's assertions that many of the distinctive features of Chinese civilization were already in evidence during the Shang, 3000 years ago. In this collection, readers will find not only an essential reference but also the best kind of thought-provoking scholarship.
David N. Keightley is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Ancestral Landscape: Time, Space, and Community in Late Shang China (ca. 1200–1045 B.C.) and Sources of Shang History: The Oracle-Bone Inscriptions of Bronze Age China, and the editor of The Origins of Chinese Civilization. Henry Rosemont Jr. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at St. Mary's College of Maryland and currently Visiting Scholar of Religious Studies at Brown University. His books include Rationality and Religious Experience: The Continuing Relevance of the World's Spiritual Traditions and, with Roger T. Ames, The Chinese Classic of Family Reverence: A Philosophical Translation of the Xiaojing.
"…this book can help anyone who studies early China, providing a foundation for beginners and a fresh angle for experts." — Religious Studies Review
"…These Bones Shall Rise Again poses a powerful argument for the diachronic coherence of Chinese cultural history … Keightley's volume deserves a place in the discussion of how Sinology is to be construed and pursued in the coming decades." — Monumenta Serica