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True to Her WordThe Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China$
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Weijing Lu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758086

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758086.001.0001

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Old Rituals and New Questions

Old Rituals and New Questions

The Faithful Maiden Debate

(p.213) Chapter 7 Old Rituals and New Questions
True to Her Word
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the old rituals and new questions on faithful maidens. The debate on faithful maidens opened an unique window onto the tensions and negotiations among the Ming–Qing intellectuals, whose lives were deeply entrenched in an unsettling world where young women played a vital role. Gui Youguang's essay, entitled “On Faithful Maidens,” set the cornerstone for the faithful maiden debate for the remainder of imperial history. The debates became increasingly emotional, even personal, and were not the exclusive domain of evidential scholars. The critics charged that there was no ritual ground for co-burial. In the public debate, supporters gleaned evidence from classics, history, and imperial law to confirm that faithful maidenhood was in fact praiseworthy.

Keywords:   faithful maidens, Ming–Qing intellectuals, Gui Youguang, On Faithful Maidens, co-burial, faithful maidenhood

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