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Making TranscendentsAscetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China$
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Robert Ford Campany

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833336

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833336.001.0001

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Adepts, Their Families, and the Imperium

Adepts, Their Families, and the Imperium

(p.186) Chapter 7 Adepts, Their Families, and the Imperium
Making Transcendents

Robert Ford Campany

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter demonstrates that the patrilineal family and the body of ritual that sustained it—the cult of ancestors—depended for their continued existence not only on the uninterrupted generation of male descendants and on their performance of sacrifices but also on the continued death of ancestors. On that note, large numbers of successful transcendents would undermine this trend in the society, by removing individuals from the lineage system, disrupting its generational continuity, and leaving the elderly uncared for. The chapter presents several stories of adepts who had left their family to search for transcendence. Fei Changfang deceived his family into thinking that he was dead, so as not to face his family’s vehement objection to his leaving home.

Keywords:   patrilineal family, male descendants, adepts, transcendents, Fei Changfang

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