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The art of doing good : charity in late Ming China

Author: Joanna Handlin Smith
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©2009.
Series: A Philip E. Lilienthal book in Asian studies
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"An unprecedented passion for saving lives swept through late Ming society, giving rise to charitable institutions that transcended family, class, and religious boundaries. Analyzing lecture transcripts, administrative guidelines, didactic tales, and diaries, Joanna Handlin Smith abandons the facile explanation that charity was a response to poverty and social unrest and examines the social and economic changes that  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Joanna Handlin Smith
ISBN: 9780520253636 0520253639
OCLC Number: 257554848
Notes: "A Philip E. Lilienthal book"--Preliminary page.
Description: xiii, 405 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Part One New Routines: Associations for Doing Good --
1. Societies for Liberating Animals --
2. Early Benevolent Societies and Their Visionary Leaders --
3. The Benevolent Society among Its Alternatives --
4. Lectures for the Poor; and the Rich --
5. A Benevolent Society Viewed from the Margins --
Part Two Enacting Charitable Routines during a Crisis --
6. Mobilizing Food Relief --
7. Aligning with Officials --
8. Medical Relief and Other Good Deeds --
9. Beliefs in Charity; and the Rhetoric of Beliefs --
Conclusion: From Moral Transformation toward the Legitimation of Wealth.
Series Title: A Philip E. Lilienthal book in Asian studies
Responsibility: Joanna Handlin Smith.
More information:

Abstract:

Analyzing lecture transcripts, administrative guidelines, didactic tales, and diaries, this title abandons the facile explanation that charity was a response to poverty and social unrest. It examines  Read more...

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"[Smith] convincingly proves that charity was a vibrant motivation for many in [the Ming] period." Chinese Cross Currents "Few if any equals in the scholarly studies of the actual working of local Read more...

 
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Primary Entity

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   schema:reviewBody ""An unprecedented passion for saving lives swept through late Ming society, giving rise to charitable institutions that transcended family, class, and religious boundaries. Analyzing lecture transcripts, administrative guidelines, didactic tales, and diaries, Joanna Handlin Smith abandons the facile explanation that charity was a response to poverty and social unrest and examines the social and economic changes that stimulated the fervor for doing good. With an eye for telling details and a finesse in weaving the voices of her subjects into her narrative, Smith brings to life the hard choices that five men faced when deciding whom to help, how to organize charitable distributions, and how to balance their communities' needs against the interests of family and self. She thus shifts attention from tired questions about whether the Chinese had a tradition of charity (they did) to analyzing the nature of charity itself. Skillfully organized and engaging, The Art of Doing Good moves from discussions about moral leadership and beliefs to scrutiny of the daily operation of soup kitchens and medical dispensaries, and from examining local society to generalizing about the just use of resources and the role of social networks in charitable giving. Smith's work will transform our thinking about the boundaries between social classes in late imperial China and about charity in general."--Jacket." ;
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