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Grant number like: FB-52372-06

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Thomas A. Wilson
Hamilton College (Clinton, NY 13323-1295)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007

The Problem of Sacrifice and the Cult of Confucius in Late Imperial China

Confucian ritual sacrifice is unsurpassed among world religions in the duration of its practice and in the proliferation of exegesis on its liturgies, yet scholars of ritual rarely mention it in critical discussions of the nature of sacrifice. I will use this grant to complete work on a book that complicates recent scholarly theories of sacrifice on the basis of a historical analysis of Confucian theory of sacrifice and controversies over its practice. This research primarily focuses on the cult of Confucius from the fourteenth through mid-eighteenth centuries, its place among the imperial cults to the gods, and the interactions between the court and Confucius's descendants, who venerated Confucius in an ancestral cult.