Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Subject: Asian Studies

Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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Clergy

(1,048 words)

Author(s): ter Haar, Barend J.
The term "clergy" is not as self-evident in the Chinese context as it may seem. First of all, there are formally initiated (ordained) monks and (very few) nuns of the Buddhist and Daoist monastic traditions, monks of the Tibetan tradition, and ritual specialists with Christian or Islamic backgrounds. In addition, there are also initiated ritual specialists of the Buddhist and Daoist traditions who, however, are not committed to celibacy. To the general population, ordination of the ritual specia…

Climate

(3,118 words)

Author(s): Domrös, Manfred
China is a country of great climatic contrasts. Reasons for this are its vastness and its mountainous nature, as well as its peripheral location in the east of the Eurasian continent, bordering on the Pacific Ocean and its peripheral seas on one side, and on inner Asia on the other. The interaction between these factors as well as the atmospheric conditions results in the highly fluctuating regional and temporal climatic environment which is characteristic for China. In addition, reoccurring temporary weather changes and unsettled weather conditions are typical for China. The phenome…

Clothing

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Dieter
For officials and nobles in imperial China, clothing (yifu) not only served as protection "from cold and heat", but primarily as a display of social status while also having official functions. Clothing of the common people did not receive any literary attention. Tradition was only handed down with regard to matrimonial clothing, burial clothing, and the traditional costumes of the national minorities. At the time of the 4th millennium BCE, all the requirements had been fulfilled for manufacturing clothing out of textile resources and particularly silk. Du…
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