Culture of sex in ancient china

This sophisticated and long-standing tradition, however, has been all but neglected by modern historians. Chapter one surveys copulation imagery in pre-imperial literature, principally the Canon of Odes, the Tso-chuan a commentary on the Springs and Autumns , and the Lyrics of Ch'u. View Citation summary The subject of sex was central to early Chinese thought. With over a hundred pages of critical apparatus notes and bibliography and quotations provided both in translation and the original Chinese, Goldin's is most definitely a scholarly work. Religious Taoism also offered an alternative view of sexuality. Therefore it is not surprising that they were criticized bitterly in their own time for the extraordinary respect with which they regarded women. In his examination of early Confucian views of women, Goldin notes that, while contradictions and ambiguities existed in the articulation of these views, women were nevertheless regarded as full participants in the Confucian project of self-transformation. While there were certainly misogynist elements in Confucianism, "Confucian thinkers insisted on the moral autonomy of all human beings regardless of sex, and when this commitment forced them to break down the traditional categories of nei and wai [inner and outer], they were not reluctant to do so. Copulation was used as a metaphor for the relationship between worshipper and deity, or between ruler and adviser.

Culture of sex in ancient china


Following the fall of the Han, this ideology was rejected by the aristocracy, who continually resisted claims of sovereignty made by impotent emperors in a succession of short-lived dynasties. He goes on to show how assumptions concerning the relationship of sexual behavior to political activity assumptions reinforced by the habitual use of various literary tropes discussed earlier in the book led to increasing attempts to regulate sexual behavior throughout the Han dynasty. In his examination of early Confucian views of women, Goldin notes that, while contradictions and ambiguities existed in the articulation of these views, women were nevertheless regarded as full participants in the Confucian project of self-transformation. This sophisticated and long-standing tradition, however, has been all but neglected by modern historians. Copulation was used as a metaphor for the relationship between worshipper and deity, or between ruler and adviser. He goes on to show how assumptions concerning the relationship of sexual behavior to political activity assumptions reinforced by the habitual use of various literary tropes discussed earlier in the book led to increasing attempts to regulate sexual behavior throughout the Han dynasty. An epilogue looks briefly at views of sex after the fall of the Han, when aristocrats struggled for local supremacy during the Six Dynasties. He also explains how the puritanism of later Han ritualists, supposedly based on pre-imperial texts, was actually an invention. Chapter one surveys copulation imagery in pre-imperial literature, principally the Canon of Odes, the Tso-chuan a commentary on the Springs and Autumns , and the Lyrics of Ch'u. In his examination of early Confucian views of women, Goldin notes that, while contradictions and ambiguities existed in the articulation of these views, women were nevertheless regarded as full participants in the Confucian project of self-transformation. And eating was used as a metaphor for copulation, which potentially involved the exchange of ching, or "refined essence". While puritan strands of thought continued, there were others that stressed "nonconformism, objection to moribund ritualism, and affirmation of personal autonomy" and even rights to privacy. A survey of major pre-imperial sources, including some of the most revered and influential texts in the Chinese tradition, reveals the use of the image of copulation as a metaphor for various human relations, such as those between a worshiper and his or her deity or a ruler and his subjects. While familiarity with the history of ancient China and its literature would be helpful to the reader, however, it is accessible without that and should interest anyone involved with comparative gender studies, or simply after a different approach to early Chinese literature. Goldin also examines possible connections with shamanism. Erudite and immensely entertaining, this study of intellectual conceptions of sex and sexuality in China will be welcomed by students and scholars of early China and by those with an interest in the comparative development of ancient cultures. Erudite and immensely entertaining, this study of intellectual conceptions of sex and sexuality in China will be welcomed by students and scholars of early China and by those with an interest in the comparative development of ancient cultures. With over a hundred pages of critical apparatus notes and bibliography and quotations provided both in translation and the original Chinese, Goldin's is most definitely a scholarly work. Following the fall of the Han, this ideology was rejected by the aristocracy, who continually resisted claims of sovereignty made by impotent emperors in a succession of short-lived dynasties. Discussed openly and seriously as a fundamental topic of human speculation, it was an important source of imagery and terminology that informed the classical Chinese conception of social and political relationships. While there were certainly misogynist elements in Confucianism, "Confucian thinkers insisted on the moral autonomy of all human beings regardless of sex, and when this commitment forced them to break down the traditional categories of nei and wai [inner and outer], they were not reluctant to do so. This sophisticated and long-standing tradition, however, has been all but neglected by modern historians. In the early Empire sexual behaviour was linked to politics: Chapter two examines Confucian views on sex roles and the status of women. Discussed openly and seriously as a fundamental topic of human speculation, it was an important source of imagery and terminology that informed the classical Chinese conception of social and political relationships.

Culture of sex in ancient china

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3 Comments on “Culture of sex in ancient china”

  1. After a brief historiographical introduction that looks back at van Gulik's Sexual Life in Ancient China, Goldin covers three major topics.

  2. Chapter one surveys copulation imagery in pre-imperial literature, principally the Canon of Odes, the Tso-chuan a commentary on the Springs and Autumns , and the Lyrics of Ch'u.

  3. Discussed openly and seriously as a fundamental topic of human speculation, it was an important source of imagery and terminology that informed the classical Chinese conception of social and political relationships. Chapter one surveys copulation imagery in pre-imperial literature, principally the Canon of Odes, the Tso-chuan a commentary on the Springs and Autumns , and the Lyrics of Ch'u.

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