Rebuilding confucian ideology: Ethnicity and biography in the appropriation of tradition

Jesse D. Sloane

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The imperial family of the Jin state (1115-1234) in northern China identified itself as "Jurchen," ethnically distinct from the majority of its empire's subjects. The veneration of Confucius, his descendants and affiliated sacred sites, and the classical scholarly and artistic culture associated with him formed central elements of the ideology on which the Jin state came to rely for legitimation. This ideology also fused the Jurchen national mythology, sacred geography, and writing system with Chinese classical elements and literati cultural forms, as embodied in multilingual stele inscriptions. The role of Chinese officials in legitimizing the Jin is exemplified by Dang Huaiying (1134-1211), who produced literary and calligraphic works linking Jin rule both to Chinese antiquity and Jurchen claims of exceptionality. These approaches to legitimation were drawn on by later states in China, with Confucius's descendant Kong Yuancuo cooperating with both the Jin and Yuan courts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-255
Number of pages21
JournalSungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 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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