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Divine Justice

Religion And The Development Of Chinese Legal Culture

By Paul R. Katz

Routledge – 2009 – 224 pages

Series: Academia Sinica on East Asia

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $54.95
    978-0-415-57433-4
    December 22nd 2009
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    978-0-415-44345-6
    December 2nd 2008

Description

This book considers the ways in which religious beliefs and practices have contributed to the formation of Chinese legal culture. It does so by describing two forms of overlap between religion and the law: the ideology of justice and the performance of judicial rituals.

One of the most important conceptual underpinnings of the Chinese ideology of justice is the belief in the inevitability of retribution. Similar values permeate Chinese religious traditions, all of which contend that justice will prevail despite corruption and incompetence among judicial officials in this world and even the underworld, with all wrongdoers eventually suffering some form of punishment. The second form of overlap between religion and the law may be found in the realm of practice, and involves instances when men and women perform judicial rituals like oaths, chicken-beheadings, and underworld indictments in order to enhance the legitimacy of their positions, deal with cases of perceived injustice, and resolve disputes. These rites coexist with other forms of legal practice, including private mediation and the courts, comprising a wide-ranging spectrum of practices

Divine Justice will be of enormous interest to scholars of the Chinese legal system and the development of Chinese culture and society more generally.

Contents

Introduction 1. The Development of the Judicial Underworld: A Comparative Perspective Background 2. The Judicial Continuum 3. Oaths and Chicken-beheading Rituals 4. Indictment Rituals 5. Trials of the Insane and Dressing as a Criminal 6. Judicial Rituals in Asian Colonial and Immigrant History 7. Judicial Rituals in Modern Taiwan 8. Case Study: The Dizang Abbey. Conclusion

Author Bio

Paul R. Katz is Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica in Taiwan.

Name: Divine Justice: Religion And The Development Of Chinese Legal Culture (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Paul R. Katz. This book considers the ways in which religious beliefs and practices have contributed to the formation of Chinese legal culture. It does so by describing two forms of overlap between religion and the law: the ideology of justice and the performance of...
Categories: Chinese & Japanese Religions, Asian Law, Chinese Culture & Society, Chinese History, Asian Studies