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How popular Confucianism became embarrassing

On the spatial and moral center of the house in rural China

Hans Steinmüller

In the past, most farmhouses in central China had an ancestral shrine and a paper scroll with the Chinese letters for "heaven, earth, emperor, ancestors, and teachers" on the wall opposite the main entrance. The ancestral shrine and paper scroll were materializations of the central principles of popular Confucianism. This article deals with their past and present. It describes how in everyday action and in ritual this shrine marked a spatial and moral center. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) the ancestral shrines and paper scrolls were destroyed, and replaced by a poster of Mao Zedong. Although the moral principles of popular Confucianism were dismissed by intellectuals and politicians, Mao Zedong was worshipped in ways reminiscent of popular Confucian ritual. The Mao poster and the paper scroll stand for a continuity of a spatial-moral practice of centering. What has changed however is the public evaluation of such a local practice, and this tension can produce a double embarrassment. Elements of popular Confucianism (which had been forcefully denied in the past) remain somewhat embarrassing for many people in countryside. At the same time urbanites sometimes inversely perceive the Maoist condemnation of popular Confucianism as an awkward survival of peasant narrow-mindedness—all the more so as Confucian traditions are now reinvented and revitalized as cultural heritage.

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'Father Mao' and the Country-Family

Mixed Feelings for Fathers, Officials, and Leaders in China

Hans Steinmüller

What does it mean when Mao Zedong is called 'Father Mao' and when ordinary people in central China put a poster of Mao in the place of their ancestors and the emperor? This article analyzes ordinary affection for the Chinese state and explores changing ideas of the leader as a father and the country as a family. The first part deals with the historical transformation of these metaphors from the late Qing dynasty to the Communist Revolution and Maoism, describing the vernacularization and sentimentalization of the 'Confucian order of the father/son' in twentieth-century China. Against this historical background and based on fieldwork material from central China, the second part deals with the 'mixed feelings' that people in the present day now have for fathers at home, for local officials, and for national leaders.

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The Social Life of Fighting Words

The Case of Political Correctness

Ronald S. Stade

anticolonialism. Important ideological and strategic inspiration came from Mao Zedong, the chairman of the Communist Party of China. Upon Stalin’s death in 1953 followed a brief period of intensified exchanges and relationships between China and the Soviet Union

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Chinese Eight Signs Prediction

Ontology, Knowledge, and Computation

Stéphanie Homola

of fate, or between people who share horoscopes beyond time (i.e., across cycles)? What about people who have the same eight signs as Confucius or Mao Zedong? I confronted horoscopy practitioners with these questions and recorded their reactions and

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Holding Up Half the Sky

Global Narratives of Girls at Risk and Celebrity Philanthropy

Angharad Valdivia

has become a cause du jour on the global philanthropic stage. HTS Presence HTS draws on the old Chinese folktale 1 about a hummingbird confronting an elephant, that represents the collective power of the little people versus larger forces. Mao

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Catherine E. Clark

: ©Keystone Pictures USA/Alamy Stock Photo. Nixon had a semi-private audience with Mao Zedong in his library ( Figure 3 ). The two leaders sat on twin armchairs under television lights and in front of books and manuscripts. So too did Pompidou and Mao

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Gil Hizi

itself through the moral value of seemingly authentic emotional expression. Mao Zedong, inspired by vernacular traditions of resistance in the Chinese countryside, promoted an objective of ‘emotion raising’ ( tigao qingxu ) as a channel for sparking

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The Timeline of a Concept

Juan Francisco Fuentes

ideologies, hence the “conceptual gymnastics” ( malabarismos de conceptos ) performed by leaders like Mao Zedong or Fidel Castro; and the social basis of populism, identified with the “people” or the “masses” much more than with the industrial working class

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Oneness and ‘the church in Taiwan’

Anthropology Is Possible without Relations but Not without Things

Gareth Paul Breen

“the most influential Chinese Christian writer, evangelist, and church builder” ( Smith 2009 ). Today, among Chinese figures, writes Paul Chang (2017: 2) , Nee's “popularity outside of China is exceeded only by Confucius, Laozi, and Mao Zedong.” Barber

Open access

Jafta Masemola's Master Key

Experimental Notes on Azanian Aesthetic Theory

Athi Mongezeleli Joja

in the exile PAC, the nickname ‘The Tiger of Azania’ is said to be taken from an expression made in an interview Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong about how the Chinese people are not afraid of the American atom because they were ‘paper tigers