Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Patterns of Disengagement: The Practice and Portrayal of Reclusion in Early Medieval China
Foyalty 170

Patterns of Disengagement: The Practice and Portrayal of Reclusion in Early Medieval China (Hardback)

Currently unavailable to order online.
Email me when back in stock


While the customary path to achievement in traditional China was through service to the state, from the earliest times certain individuals had been acclaimed for repudiating an official career. This book traces the formulation and portrayal of the practice of reclusion in China from the earliest times through the sixth century, by which time reclusion had taken on its enduring character.

Those men who decided to withhold their service to state governance fit the dictum from the Book of Changes of a man who "does not serve a king or lord; he elevates in priority his own affairs." This characterization came to serve as a byword of individual and voluntary withdrawal, the image of the man whose lofty resolve could not be humbled for service to a temporal ruler. Men who eschewed official appointments in favor of pursuing their own personal ideals were known by such appellations as "hidden men" (yinshi), "disengaged persons" (yimin), "high-minded men" (gaoshi), and "scholars-at-home" (chushi).

What distinguished these men was a particular strength of character that underlay their conduct: they received approbation for maintaining their resolve, their mettle, their integrity, and their moral and personal values in the face of adversity, threat, or temptation. This book reveals that those who opted for a life of reclusion had a variety of motivations for their decisions and conducted widely divergent ways of life. The lives of these men epitomize the distinctive nature of substantive reclusion, differentiating them from those of the intelligentsia who, on occasion, voiced their desire for disengagement or for retreat, but who nevertheless found or retained their places in government office. Throughout, the author places the recluse and reclusion within the social, political, intellectual, religious, and literary contexts of the times.

History & PoliticsHistory General & TheoryGeneral & world historyHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500Medieval historyHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistoryCrusadesLGBT & Gender StudiesGender studiesGender studies: men Publisher: Stanford University Press Publication Date: 01/10/2000 ISBN-13: 9780804736039  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Alan J. Berkowitz is Associate Professor of Chinese at Swarthmore College.

More books by Alan J. Berkowitz

Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Special delivery items

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Animator's Survival Kit

For delivery charges for the Animator's Survival Kit please click here.


Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

The Oxford History of...
Robert I. Frost
Theology and the Scientific...
Amos Funkenstein; Jonathan Sheehan
The Making of medieval Derry
Ciaran J. Devlin
The Black Prince and the <I>Grande...
Mollie M. Madden
© W&G Foyle Ltd
  • Contrast Settings
  • Font-Size Settings
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close