Mourning and Reinstatement of Song Dynasty Officials
Confucianism believed that mourning was the important way for sons to practice filial piety. However, the mourning began to get attention during the Eastern Han Dynasty and established formal system since the Tang Dynasty. Its development process was highly related to the formation of Chinese Medieval Aristocratic Families. The society of commoner had been formed since the Song Dynasty and many officials were commoner. They did not have the tradition of mourning. Besides most of them got no pay during the 27 months of mourning. In contrast with them, the Chinese Medieval Aristocrat before the Song Dynasty could get financial support from the manor and family even though there was no salary for them. So this thesis will study the reasons why the mourning could exist in the Song Dynasty and how it was influenced by the change of the environment. At first, the establishment and adjustment of mourning and reinstatement rules were examined. The Renzong’s period played an important role. Before the end of Sung-Xia war in 1042, the political environment and the military demands took priority to the filial piety when the government made policy decision. However, due to the development of Confucianism during the Song Dynasty, the officials who needed to mourn become more and more. And gradually mourning was deemed as the standard behavior of scholar-officials. The second, the officials’ thinking and practicing related to mourning and reinstatement are analyzed. It can be found that reinstatement was deemed as the grace of the emperor and the loyalty to the emperor. During the Southern Song Dynasty, it became the mainstream that the civil officials insisted on mourning and refusing reinstatement. On the other hand, the military officials easily suffered the dilemma of loyalty and filial piety. If they refused the reinstatement, they might be deemed as disloyalty or making sacrifices to nation’s security. This situation highlighted that the mourning was deemed as a symptom of scholar-officials’ identification. At last, the mourning thinking and living of the Song Dynasty officials were discussed. In the Song Dynasty, most officials emphasized on public field of mourning, and there were few rituals for mourning living. Although some officials of the Northern Song Dynasty who lead the development of Confucianism began to place importance on mourning living, but they made limited influence. As the Dao-Xue thrives, more and more officials paid attention on the living place, behavior, costume, foods, and activities of mourning. They thought that the scholar-officials should follow these rules.
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