China Through The Ages: History Of A Civilization

1st Edition

Franz Michael

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 348 Pages
ISBN 9780367017064 - CAT# K404482

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Summary

Past studies of China have concentrated on specific events or have related a chronological history of the dynastic periods. These works have included aspects of cultural history but have underemphasized the country's great social, political, and intellectual movements and their ultimate expression in the art and literature of the time. By focusing on such themes, Professor Michael provides a new framework for understanding the Chinese cultural tradition. The author describes the evolving history of ideas in China, from ancient faith in powerful magic to more modern concepts of a logical moral order of the universe and mankind's place in it. He also explores the intellectual ferment following the dawn of the age of reason, the integration of Buddhism into the Confucian social order, and the social transformations accompanying the rise and fall of the centralized state. Throughout, he illustrates how the changing society's beliefs, values, and aesthetic sense were embodied in its art and literature. This portrayal of the Chinese cultural tradition not only puts Chinese history in a new perspective, it also illuminates the process through which China constructed a modern society from a non-Western foundation and serves as an essential tool for understanding modern-day China and its prospects for the future.

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