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.” — Thomas Wilson, Ph.D.

Project Partners 

James Robson (Harvard), Brooks Jessup (University of Minnesota Morris), David Mozina (University of North Carolina), Richard Davis (Bard)

Contact Information

Thomas Wilson

Project Director

Project Team

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