Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

63 - Comparison and Connection: Ritual Practices from China to Central Asia in the First Millennium C.E

7/6/2018
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Willow, First Floor

Ritual practices can act as powerful representations of diverse cultural and social interactions in ancient societies. Recent scholarship has increasingly addressed the importance of the interdisciplinary study of ritual practices. This panel focuses on the development and transmission of ritual practices in a wide range of spatial and temporal settings, involving the fields of architecture, art history, history, and archaeology. It highlights the connections among various groups of ancient people from China to Central Asia beyond the limits of political geography.


Exploiting comparative approaches, papers in this panel explore the visualization of rituals in artistic and architectural forms in addition to the transformation of rituals in varied socio-political contexts. Zhu Xu investigates Buddhist architectural traditions in ancient Southern China, South Asia, and Central Asia and unveils the underlying linkages connecting the worship patterns of these regions. From an art historical perspective, Wei Yu revisits the Lantian stone reliquary and suggests that the movement of Buddhist iconography between Central Asia and China contributed to the innovation of worship practices. Based on manuscripts and Buddhist murals, Soojung Han compares the marriage practices in Dunhuang with those in Chinese dynasties, illustrating how polygyny facilitated the construction of local identity and rulership. Shujing Wang conducts an archaeological study on the multifold symbolism of Central Asian ossuaries, with emphasis on the interactive transmission of Zoroastrianism in the frontier zone and the intergenerational transition of burial rituals. Collectively, these papers promote dialogues across disciplinary boundaries and shed new light on the reconstruction of ancient ritual practices.

Presentations:

Send Email for Shujing Wang

Xingming Li

Fudan University, China

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Xingming Li

Zhu Xu

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Zhu Xu

Send Email for Wei Yu

Send Email for Soojung Han

Send Email for Shujing Wang


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