Review: The Chosen One: Succession and Adoption in the Court of Ming Shizong by Carney T. Fisher.

Research output: Journal article publicationLiterature reviewAcademic research


A review of Carney T. Fisher's book The Chosen One: Succession and Adoption in the Court of Ming Shizong, an "interpretive commentary" on the history of the "Dali yi" or Great Ritual Controversy created by the tension and struggle of the provincial prince adopted to succeed the throne of his heirless nephew the Zhengde emperor with his court officials, which lasted for several years and ended with much bloodshed and lingering antagonism of the emperor and the bureaucracy. My view is that "the Great Ritual Controversy, though appearing to concern ethical issues, was ultimately a political struggle, albeit a subtle one: it was a contest over what constituted loyalty, who should define it, and whether loyalty or filiality had priority in dynastic government."
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-277
JournalHarvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994


  • Dali yi / Great Ritual Controversy
  • The Jiajing Emperor (reigned 1521-1566)
  • Loyalty and filiality as values in imperial government

Cite this