Macquarie University
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A Jungian Interpretation of Zhu Xi's Jiali 朱熹家禮

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posted on 2022-03-28, 21:24 authored by Benjamin Ian James Fairley
The Jiali 家禮 (Family Rituals), to the Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200 CE) served for close to a millennium as the canonical guide to performances of the traditional rites of weddings, cappings, pinnings, funerals and ancestral sacrifices for Chinese families. This thesis serves as an apology for analysing the symbolic themes within the Jiali from the standpoint of Jungian psychology. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the Swiss founder of Analytical Psychology, developed a theory of the psyche that posits a structural connection between the psychic phenomenon of the individual (the 'Self') and a type of psychic connectivity between all humanity (the 'Collective Unconscious'). Through an evolutionary process - representations that survive across generations are those that best reflect the individual and connected psyches - the processes of individuation (individual development of the psyche) and the archetypes (motifs of collective psychological importance) become present in meaningful cultural artefacts. These two phenomena are discussed in the first two chapters of this work in which these aspects of Jungian psychology are identified in the Neo-Confucian and Confucian canon in general and the Jiali in particular. The final chapter of this project reaffirms the intent of this thesis as a justification for the use of Jungian analysis in Sinology by establishing a framework that emphasises the strength of our interpretational methodology by showing its connection to other approaches.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1: The Jiali 家禮, Individuation and Psychological Types: Li 禮 as an aid to cultivation of the Self -- Chapter 2: The Jiali家禮 and Jungian Archetypes: the Wise Old Man, confronting the Shadow, and the representation of rebirth -- Chapter 3: Jungian Parallels: Claude Lévi-Strauss, Max Weber and Yuval Noah Harari -- Conclusion: an apologia for the Sinological use of Jungian Interpretation.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 89-96

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Gunner Mikkelson


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