Title: On Implications of Praying for Rain in the Royal Court of the Northern Song Dynasty in 1047
Author: Xie Zhifei    
Jounal: 农业考古
YEAR: 2020
Vol.:
No.: 1
Page: 235-242
Abstract: Based on "Theater State" theory, the paper offers a new insight into praying for rain by tracing the history of a pray-for-rain event in the royal court of the Northern Song Dynasty in 1047. The divine-human, man-land and man-man relations characterized by performance and power during the pray-for-rain period are explored. The implications of praying for rain are found as follows: On the one hand, as praying for rain was a symbolic performance activity, Emperor Renzong as a prayer was required to show his virtues to the gods in the heaven and the common people, which was assisted by meteorological technology. On the other hand, Jia Changchao’s dismissal from the post of prime minister was a result of multiple factors. This dismissal during the pray-for-rain period reflected the sharp political struggle in the royal court in the mid-Northern Song Dynasty, which was affected by the Qingli Reform. It concludes that praying for rain was not only a virtue performance but also an act of showing power of manipulating the empire.