By William Wooldridge
All through Nanjing's historical past, writers have claimed that its staggering panorama of mountains and rivers imbued town with "royal qi," making it a spot of significant political value. City of Virtues examines the methods a sequence of visionaries, drawing on previous glories of town, projected their ideologies onto Nanjing as they built constructions, played rituals, and transformed the literary historical past of town. greater than an city heritage of Nanjing from the overdue 18th century until eventually 1911―encompassing the Opium struggle, the Taiping career of town, the rebuilding of town through Zeng Guofan, and makes an attempt to set up it because the capital of the Republic of China―this learn exhibits how utopian visions of the cosmos formed Nanjing's course during the turbulent nineteenth century.
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Extra resources for City of Virtues: Nanjing in an Age of Utopian Visions
1630s–1670s) and Gao Cen (ca. 13 On the other hand, portrayals of a ruined city or laments for the former glory of previous dynasties could serve as criticisms of the Qing court. On tours, emperors sought to gain control over the ideas that sites in Nanjing might inspire. The process of encountering the city’s traces of the past (guji), drawing moral lessons from the encounter, and reflecting on one’s own identity took place throughout China. In Nanjing, however, emperors sought through their ostentatious occupation of the city to disarm a particular discourse of opposition to the Qing dynasty and to limit the capacity of local elites to propose alternative readings of the cityscape.
29 The Yongle emperor (1360–1424) [â†œ3 6â†œ] â•… Chapter 1 constructed the monastery complex in the early fifteenth century to “recompense the favors” (bao en) that his adoptive parents had provided him. In the process, he sponsored the construction of a 240-foot pagoda of white porcelain bricks capped with an iron roof. This famed Porcelain Pagoda was damaged in the late Ming, but it was repaired after the Kangxi emperor, on his southern tour, allocated funds for reconstruction. 30 The Qianlong emperor visited the complex, and also the Linggu, Jiming, and Qingliang monasteries, on each of his tours.
Nineteenth-century figures thought that their actions within Nanjing would resonate throughout empire and cosmos, and they explained their actions in terms of ritual. “Ritual,” an imperfect English translation of the Chinese term li, was fundamental to descriptions of government, religious practice, and social interaction in Nanjing and throughout the empire. Li were norms for proper interactions in relationships: the rules for these interactions, the actions that took place, the proper inner bearing of the participants, and the study of all of the above.
City of Virtues: Nanjing in an Age of Utopian Visions by William Wooldridge