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Lecture Five

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Textual Research on “State of Rites”

Keynote speaker: Dr. Wang Nengxian, executive vice-president of the Chinese National Academy of Arts

Theme: Textual Research on “State of Rites”

During the lecture, Dr. Wang Nengxian gave a detailed account of his article published in the Guangming Daily, More than the Change of One Word - Textual Research on “State of Rites”. After a large number of statistical data and literature research, Dr. Wang believed that “State of Etiquette” was a mistake and should be changed into “State of Rites”. He thinks that: “etiquette” generally refers to the specific etiquette, courtesy or ritual activities and form; while the connotation of “rites” is rich and broad, and covers almost the basic spirits of Confucianism in many aspects such as human relations, heaven, politics, society, culture and education, customs and so on. “Etiquette” is the “ritual” form of expression or specific ceremony, whose meaning is clear and single. “Etiquette” is included in the “rites”, and the concept of “rites” is far greater than that of “etiquette”. Such as saying that our country as “State of Etiquette”, is tantamount to saying that “Chinese can only bow and scrape”. In the ancient literature, “State of Rites” is quite common, while there is no such saying as “State of Etiquette”.

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