"This collection points out the necessity of rethinking ancient Chinese texts, and therefore ancient Chinese culture and history, in light of what we now know about the material origin of those texts and the ritual world in which they took form. It is a major statement on the way certain new discoveries and new methodologies are changing the way we conceive of early China."
-Stephen Durrant, University of Oregon
"It is certainly highly commendable that Kern brought this group of internationally recognized experts together to study the subject of ritual, a subject that has been unjustifiably overlooked in analyses of pre-modern China, where it held a central place in political, social, and religious life. For this reason alone, I strongly recommend this book. . . . this volume is a most welcome addition to the scholarship on early China and shows how much can be learned from the new epigraphic sources."
"This is a serious and coherent collection of studies that will inspire readers to rethink the social contexts of documents that have become fundamental to Chinese culture."
-Journal of Asian Studies
"Publication of Text and Ritual in Early China is an exceptionally important event for scholars of pre-imperial and early imperial Chinese history..By opening new avenues for research, the contributors to Text and Ritual have already begun to reshape the field, achieving a major scholarly breakthrough."
-Journal of the American Oriental Society
"No other work currently available takes as seriously the symbiosis between ritual and text as does this one. While recent literary study has brought to the forefront the composite nature of the early classical texts of China, this work asks us to rethink not only how many of these logia may have had their origins in ritual practice, but also how the assemblage of the texts themselves may have been ritual acts."
-Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
"Crossing the fields of Chinese history, literature, philology, and archaeology, this important collection examines understanding of the most fundamental aspects of the Chinese literary tradition and challenges established ideas about classical Han (206 BCE-220 CE) and pre-Han texts. Kern (Princeton) provides a stimulating introduction and then eight essays, one of his own and others by leading scholars of their fields. . . . Each chapter is a scholarly thrill, and the extensive bibliography is a valuable resource."
-Choice, Vol. 44, No. 5 January 2007