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Denouement: Some Conclusions About The Zhouli

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Chapter Summary

The Rituals of Zhou, like other objects, has a social life. The Zhouli was, at least for most, part of a canonical corpus from pre-Qin times. Together with the Five Classics and other texts that became canonical, it substantiated a deep historical pessimism permeating Chinese historical thinking. The Zhouli became a normative text for an ideal state that had achieved the "Great Peace" during the rule of the sages in the Three Dynasties. The political formula devised by Chinese intellectuals triangulated among three angles of observation: critical analysis of the Qing political structure; idealizing the Zhouli political structure; and conceptualizing the present-day structure of the Western states.

Keywords: canonical corpus; Qing; Zhouli



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