Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers - pr_104874

Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers

Hardback

$87.70

Or 4 payments of $21.92 with

delivery message Free delivery for orders over $49.99

Add to Wish List
Delivered in 10 - 14 days
Available for Click and Collect
Wu Zhao (624?705), better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, is the only woman to have ruled China as emperor over the course of its 5,000-year history. How did she?in a predominantly patriarchal and androcentric society?ascend the dragon throne? Exploring a mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries, this multifaceted history suggests that China's rich pantheon of female divinities and eminent women played an integral part in the construction of Wu Zhao's sovereignty. Wu Zhao deftly deployed language, symbol, and ideology to harness the cultural resonance, maternal force, divine energy, and historical weight of Buddhist devis, Confucian exemplars, Daoist immortals, and mythic goddesses, establishing legitimacy within and beyond the confines of Confucian ideology. Tapping into powerful subterranean reservoirs of female power, Wu Zhao built a pantheon of female divinities carefully calibrated to meet her needs at court. Her pageant was promoted in scripted rhetoric, reinforced through poetry, celebrated in theatrical productions, and inscribed on steles. Rendered with deft political acumen and aesthetic flair, these affiliations significantly enhanced Wu Zhao's authority and cast her as the human vessel through which the pantheon's divine energy flowed. Her strategy is a model of political brilliance and proof that medieval Chinese women enjoyed a more complex social status than previously known.

Product code: 9780231169387

ISBN 9780231169387
No. Of Pages 384
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H229xW152
Publisher Columbia University Press
Series The Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies
Wu Zhao (624-705), better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, is the only woman to have ruled China as emperor. How did she ascend the dragon throne? This multifaceted history suggests that China's rich pantheon of female divinities and eminent women played an integral part in the construction of Wu Zhao's sovereignty.