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The Role Of The Zhouli In Seventh- And Eighth-Century Civil Administrative Traditions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the three broad issues that Quan Deyu's question raises. It argues, first, that while the Zhouli retained a high status throughout the Tang, scholars adopted a cautious attitude to its archaic picture of the ideal state. Second, the chapter argues that there was, nonetheless, one discrete area of Tang administration in which the Zhouli was influential, namely state ritual. Though again the Zhouli was never the exclusive authority for Tang rituals, it functioned with other Confucian canonical texts, interpreted by the commentarial tradition, to supply an important sanction for prescriptions. It suggests that the Zhouli had a substantial role in maintaining one of the Tang state ritual code's historically most important features: its resistance to Buddhist or popular Daoist intrusion.

Keywords: Confucian canonical text; Quan Deyu; Tang; Zhouli



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