Empowered by Ancestors: Controversy over the Imperial Temple in Song China (960–1279) examines the enduring tension between cultural authority and political power in imperial China by inquiring into Song ritual debates over the Imperial Temple. During these debates, Song-educated elites utilized various discourses to rectify temple rituals in their own ways. In this process, political interests were less emphasized and even detached from ritual discussions. Meanwhile, Song scholars of particular schools developed various ritual theories that were used to reshape society in later periods. Hence, the Song ritual debates exemplified the great transmission of ancestral ritual norms from the top stratum of imperial court downward to society. In this book, the author attempts to provide a lens through which historians, anthropologists, experts in Chinese Classics, and scholars from other disciplines can explore Chinese ritual in its intellectual, social, and political forms.