Confucian pilgrimage in late imperial and Republican China

Jesse Sloane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Known as the home of Confucius, Qufu represented a sacred space eliciting profound affective, intellectual, and performative responses from travelers. In contrast to the broad appeal of sacred mountains, Qufu specifically attracted educated elites. These pilgrims were familiar with and committed to the Confucian textual canon, yet their experience of Qufu's sacred character was primarily through its physical locations, structures, and relics. Through travelogues and gazetteers, the continuing role of the Kong family as guides, and the influence of the space itself, norms of practicing and recounting the pilgrimage formed in the late Ming prefigured and shaped accounts through the Republican period by an expanding body of pilgrims including elite women, Western missionaries, and modern tourists. The late imperial status of Qufu as a sacred site laid the foundation for the tourism, commercialization, and environmental protection observed there during the Republican period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-190
Number of pages28
JournalSungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Academy of East Asian Studies.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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