Under the Ancestors' Shadow: Chinese Culture and Personality

By Francis L. K. Hsu | Go to book overview

Chapter VIII INTRODUCTION TO THE ANCESTRAL WAYS

EDUCATION, formal or informal, is the means by which all groups maintain their social continuity. Education may be focused on the future --on experimentation and the development of the young as young--or it may be concerned with the past--with shaping the young according to the image of the old.

Many shades exist between the extremes, but education in West Town is almost exclusively the inculcation of the ancestral tradition. The past is the model of the present, and both are charters of the future. We have seen how the bond between old and young is not broken by death. Instead, this bond is perpetuated by the ritual of communication with and worship of the dead. Moreover, ancestors are not only worshiped, but also held to be the sources and bases of the socialization of younger generations. At any given period of time the family, in the minds of West

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Under the Ancestors' Shadow: Chinese Culture and Personality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Plans and Diagrams xiii
  • Chapter I- Introduction 3
  • Chapter II- Yin Chai and Yang Chai - Worldly and Other-Worldly Residences 29
  • Chapter III- Life and Work under the Ancestral Roof 56
  • Chapter IV- Continuing the Incense Smoke 76
  • Chapter VI- How Ancestors Live 131
  • Chapter VII- Communion with Ancestors 166
  • Chapter VIII- Introduction to the Ancestral Ways 198
  • Chapter IX- The Ancestors'' Shadow 236
  • Chapter X- Culture and Personality 256
  • Summary 276
  • Chapter XI- Wider China 279
  • Appendices 291
  • Index 311
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