The Classic of Filial Piety as a Ritual Text: Case Studies on the Pratice of Ming-Qing Confucian Scholars
孝經 ； 儀式 ； 呂維祺 ； 楊起元 ； 潘平格 ； 許三禮 ； 黃道周 ； Xiaojing ； ritual ； Yang Qiyuan ； Lu Weiqi ； Pan Pingge ； Xu Sanli ； Huang Daozhou
|Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication||
60期（2008 / 06 / 01）
1 - 42
This paper examines the ritual practice of several Confucian scholars centered on The Classic of Filial Piety, including recitation, copying, and meditating in specially constructed ritual contexts. The scholars discussed here include Yang Qiyuan (1547-1599), Lu Weiqi (1587-1641), Pan Pingge (1610-1677), Xu Sanli (1625-1691), and Huang Daozhou (1585-1646). All of these individuals were renowned Classic of Filial Piety scholars who annotated the text. Each also demonstrated a striking degree of belief in the spiritual power of the text. Although their practices had religious overtones, none of these scholars was a member of a religious organization; rather, many developed their own highly personalized practice of self-cultivation, which they then carried out in ritualized spaces constructed by themselves. A close analysis of their ritual practices demonstrates how these Confucian scholars created their own unique ritual settings, especially in their private domestic daily lives, and how The Classic of Filial Piety was an integral part of these settings. I also highlight the close relationship between the techniques each man created and his particular interpretation of the text. Despite a common interest in The Classic of Filial Piety and even engagement in similar acts of recitation, these scholars ascribed very different meanings to the text and to their personal practices. The multifarious and unceasing changes of meaning in ritual practice are demonstrated most clearly in these cases. Despite many differences in practice, they all considered The Classic of Filial Piety a special ritual text. Indeed, it became an important medium allowing practitioners to engage in self-cultivation and self-expression, as well as a means of communicating with a higher authority.