Cult of Confucius
Development of (1) an interactive 3D Virtual Temple (Gregory Lord) and (2) a Website on the history of the Cult of Confucius and the Autumnal Sacrifice performed at the Confucius Temple (Randy Telfer, Linda Yu). Users enter the Virtual Temple as avatars and rise through the ranks of celebrants (e.g., novice, acolyte, consecration officiant, master of the ceremony) as they learn about the rite from the Website. The two sites will be linked throughout so that users of the Virtual Temple learn about the ceremony by accessing the Website through dialogue boxes.
"I began work on Confucius Temples in 1996 and have published several books and articles based on this ongoing research. I’m currently working on a monograph titled Confucian Gods and the Rites to Venerate Them. My project supported by DHi dates to 1998, when I travelled to Taiwan with Brooks Jessup (‘99) to film the Autumnal Sacrifice in Tainan. David Cohen (‘05) edited the film and inserted my translations of the liturgy as subtitles into a DVD format in 2005. Steph Wong (‘10) produced a website using the film and published work on the Cult. Having shown the film to my classes, I have come to realize that it is essential to understanding the meaning of the Cult itself; even a first-year student has little difficulty understanding the Cult through the film. Most published scholarship on Confucianism focuses on either ethics or metaphysics, thus, that undergraduates who see the film can grasp the seemingly arcane cultic dimensions of Confucianism, testifies to the scholarly merit and pedagogical value of this project."
James Robson (Harvard), Brooks Jessup (University of Minnesota Morris), David Mozina (University of North Carolina), Richard Davis (Bard)
Xinyang Li is researching Confucianism’s role in China. Confucianism has been a school of thought, which is considered as the orthodox thinking of Chinese culture. However, as China develops its economic power, Confucianism serves new roles. It has become a symbol of Chinese culture as Confucian Institutes are established vastly in the Western world. Furthermore, Confucianism has been commercialized in recent decades, serving to attract tourists. Li is exploring whether Confucianism is losing its essence while it is acting multiple roles or Confucianism coexists with its new roles.
Randall Telfer 2012 majored in both Chinese language and World Politics. He studied advanced modern Chinese and Classical Chinese at the Minzu University of China located in Beijingand, and also conducted research on the environmental ethics of Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist teachings. While in China, he also made his debut as an amateur Xiangsheng performer. Back in his hometown of Avon, CT, however, no one wants to see him on a stage of any kind. Telfer was a CLASS fellow in the Digital Humanities Initiative at Hamilton College with an interest in the Cult of Confucius as well as the relationship between Confucian teachings and the environment.
Thomas Wilson, Ph.D.
Professor of History
firstname.lastname@example.org, or 315.859.4236