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Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900

Author/EditorNaquin S (Author)
ISBN: 9780520219915
Pub Date15/01/2001
BindingHardback
Pages850
Dimensions (mm)229(h) * 152(w) * 51(d)
This text examines the city of Peking during the Ming and Qing periods. Using Peking's temples as a starting point, the book excavates the city's varied public arenas, its transformation over five centuries, its human engagements, and its rich cultural imprint.
£81.00
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The central character in Susan Naquin's extraordinary new book is the city of Peking during the Ming and Qing periods. Using the city's temples as her point of entry, Naquin carefully excavates Peking's varied public arenas, the city's transformation over five centuries, its human engagements, and its rich cultural imprint. This study shows how modern Beijing's glittering image as China's great and ancient capital came into being and reveals the shifting identities of a much more complex past, one whose rich social and cultural history Naquin splendidly evokes. Temples, by providing a place where diverse groups could gather without the imprimatur of family or state, made possible a surprising assortment of community-building and identity-defining activities. By revealing how religious establishments of all kinds were used for fairs, markets, charity, tourism, politics, and leisured sociability, Naquin shows their decisive impact on Peking and, at the same time, illuminates their little-appreciated role in Chinese cities generally.
Lacking most of the conventional sources for urban history, she has relied particularly on a trove of commemorative inscriptions that express ideas about the relationship between human beings and gods, about community service and public responsibility, about remembering and being remembered. The result is a book that will be essential reading in the field of Chinese studies for years to come.

The central character in Susan Naquin's extraordinary new book is the city of Peking during the Ming and Qing periods. Using the city's temples as her point of entry, Naquin carefully excavates Peking's varied public arenas, the city's transformation over five centuries, its human engagements, and its rich cultural imprint. This study shows how modern Beijing's glittering image as China's great and ancient capital came into being and reveals the shifting identities of a much more complex past, one whose rich social and cultural history Naquin splendidly evokes. Temples, by providing a place where diverse groups could gather without the imprimatur of family or state, made possible a surprising assortment of community-building and identity-defining activities. By revealing how religious establishments of all kinds were used for fairs, markets, charity, tourism, politics, and leisured sociability, Naquin shows their decisive impact on Peking and, at the same time, illuminates their little-appreciated role in Chinese cities generally.
Lacking most of the conventional sources for urban history, she has relied particularly on a trove of commemorative inscriptions that express ideas about the relationship between human beings and gods, about community service and public responsibility, about remembering and being remembered. The result is a book that will be essential reading in the field of Chinese studies for years to come.

Susan Naquin is Professor of History at Princeton University. Her earlier books include Millenarian Rebellion in China (1976) and Shantung Rebellion (1981); as coauthor, Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century (1987); and, as coeditor, Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China (California, 1992).

List of Tables and Illustrations Acknowledgments Preface PART ONE: PEKING AND ITS TEMPLES 1. Introducing Peking 2. Gods and Clerics 3. Communities and Public Space PART TWO: MING PEKING 4. A New Capital 5. Imperial Peking 6. Urban Communities 7. Late Ming Associations 8. Seeing the Sights PART THREE: QING PEKING 9. 1644: Partition and Transition 10. The Imperial World 11. New Divisions 12. Reintegration 13. The Sights of Qing Peking 14. Religious Associations 15. Temples and Private Purposes 16. Temples and Public Purposes Epilogue: In Search of Old Peking Appendix 1: Data on Temples Appendix 2: Data on Inscriptions Appendix 3: Donations to Ming and Qing Temples Bibliography Glossary-Index

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