Grégoire Espesset deposited Epiphanies of Sovereignty and the Rite of Jade Disc Immersion in Weft Narratives in the group History on Humanities Commons 1 month, 1 week ago
This paper deals with the political ideology of late pre-imperial and early imperial China as documented by remnants of an under-explored genre known in English as weft (wei 緯) writings or “Confucian Apocrypha”. It focuses on the transcendence of hierarchy and sovereignty, the transfer of dynastic legitimacy, and the pragmatic vehicle of “tangible” superhuman disclosure. After a terminological introduction, the study turns to weft concepts of society and sovereignty as being consubstantial with the intrinsic hierarchical order of the universe, then moves on to explore how these concepts are dealt with in a cluster of weft materials. Focused on a rite of jade disc immersion, the final section bridges the gap between myth and conventional history, showing how weft theories contributed to the formation of early imperial political ideology, remained active in the medieval era, and had a lasting impact on the political sphere as well as on liturgical practices intended to reenact the transcendent experience of epiphany.