20. Popular Religion and Other Religious Traditions

 

Ackerman, Susan E. "Falun Dafa and the New Age Movement in Malaysia: Signs of Health, Symbols of Salvation." Social Compass 52(2005) 4: 495-511.

Abstract: Falun Dafa entered Malaysia in the mid-1990s as a spiritual movement for the mind-and-body development market that attracts middle-class consumption-oriented Malaysians. Its self-presentation as a New Age product tends to obscure its connections with Chinese popular religion. The movement's similar profile to other Chinese sectarian groups is accompanied by claims to absolute difference from these groups. Development of Falun Dafa during the phase of persecution and exile since 1999 has involved an ongoing encounter with new symbols and signs. The symbols of human rights, democracy and salvation are transacted with the Western media and the signs of New Age lifestyle products. These address identity needs within the diverse Malaysian Chinese community. (Source: article)

 

Armstrong, David E., Alcohol and Altered States in Ancestor Veneration Rituals of Zhou Dynasty China and Iron Age Palestine. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.

 

Arnold, Lauren. "Folk Goddess or Madonna? Early Missionary Encounters with the Image of Guanyin." In: Xiaoxin Wu [ed.], Encounters and Dialogues: Changing Perspectives on Chinese-Western Exchanges from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica & The Ricci Institute of Chinese-Western Cultural History, 2005. Pp. 227-238.

 

Berling, Judith A., "When They Go Their Separate Ways: The Collapse of the Unitary Vision of Chinese Religion in the Early Ch'ing." In: Irene Bloom & Joshua A. Fogel [eds.], Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Pp. 209-237.

 

Berndt, Andreas. "The Cult of the Longwang: Their Origin, Spread, and Regional Significance." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.61-94.

Abstract: This essay discusses the cult of the Chinese water deities called longwang (Dragon Kings or Dragon Princes). Deriving mainly from two sources - one the ancient Chinese belief in dragons itself, the other Indian snake deities called nagas or nagarajas that came to China along with Buddhism beginning in the first millennium - the cult became increasingly popular during the Tang and Song dynasties and can be found throughout the empire of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The essay focuses on how the expansion of the longwang cult can be explained. It argues that, despite historical developments, its expansion was mainly influenced by geographical factors like climate and topography. But these influences also modified the cult of the longwang: in late imperial China, instead of a homogeneous cult, a great variety of different forms of longwang worship existed. Local case studies from Qing dynasty Xuanhua (former Chaha’er), Changting (Fujian), Taigu (Shanxi), and Suzhou (Jiangsu) are introduced to illustrate these developments. (Source: book)

 

Billioud, Sébastien & Joël Thoraval. "Lijiao: The Return of Ceremonies Honouring Confucius in Mainland China." China Perspectives 2009/4: 82-100.

 

Bohr, P. Richard, "Jesus, Christianity, and Rebellion in China. The Evangelical Roots of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom." In: Roman Malek [ed.], The Chinese Face of Jesus Christ. Vol.2. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica and China-Zentrum; Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 2003. Pp.613-661.

 

Broy, Nikolas. "Secret Societies, Buddhist Fundamentalists, or Popular Religious Movements? Aspects of Zhaijiao in Taiwan." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.329-369.

Abstract: Zhaijiao or “vegetarian sects” is a common designation given to the three religious traditions Longhuapai, Jintongpai, and Xiantianpai, which were founded during the late imperial period in southern China and have since been introduced to Taiwan. The characterization of Zhaijiao, however, is still a matter of debate. Whereas Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese scholars tend to regard their historical antecedents as popular religious sects or even as secret societies, Western scholarship argues that Zhaijiao represents a form of lay Buddhism that exists outside the domain of monastic infl uence. The present paper aims to shed more light on this contested issue. By applying historical sources that have not been used extensively yet, as well as empirical data from fi eld research conducted in Taiwan in 2010, the paper tries to examine the weaknesses and fallacies of the different characterizations. In doing so, it hopefully will contribute to a less biased perception of Zhaijiao. (Source: book)

 

Buffetrille, Katia, "Qui est Khri ka'i yul Iha? Dieu tibétain du terroir, dieu chinois de la litterature ou de la guerre? Un problème d'identité divine en A mdo." In: Katia Buffetrille & Hildegard [eds.], Territory and Identity in Tibet and the Himalayas: PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000. Leiden: Brill, 2002. Pp.135-156.

 

Camhi-Rayer, Bernadette. "Why Do They 'Walk the Walk'? A Comparative Analysis of Two Pilgrimages, Dajia Mazu in Taiwan and Lourdes in France: Political, Sociological and Spiritual Aspects." In Yanjiu xin shijie: “Mazu yu Huaren minjian xinyang” guoji yantaohui lunwenji, ed. Wang Chien-chuan, Li Shiwei, Hong Yingfa, 79-89. Taipei: Boyang, 2014.

 

Carpenter, Mary Yeo, "Familism and Ancestor Veneration: A Look at Chinese Funeral Rites." Missiology 24 (1996): 503-517.

 

Chang, Wen-Chun. "Religious Attendance and Subjective Well-being in an Eastern-Culture Country: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan." Marburg Journal of Religion 14.1 (2009): online.

Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between religious attendance and subjective well-being in an Eastern-culture country. The findings of this study indicate that religious attendance has positive relationships with happiness as well as domain satisfactions with interpersonal relationship, health, and marital life, but it is not significantly related to the satisfaction with personal financial status. Interestingly, for believers of Eastern religions, those who have a higher level of relative income tend to have higher levels of satisfaction with financial status and health status, but are less satisfied with being free of worry and interpersonal relationship. Moreover, for the adherents of Eastern religions, those who have a higher educational attainment appear to report lower levels of overall happiness and the satisfaction with being free of worry. It appears that the differences in the religious practices and organizational settings between Eastern religions and Western Christianity lead to different patterns of the relationships between religious attendance and various measures of subjective well-being.

 

Chen, Daniel C.S., "The Notion of Soul in Chinese Folk Religion and Christian Witness." Asia Journal of Theology 11(1997)1: 72-86.

 

Chen, Daniel Chi-Sung, "A Christian Response to Chinese Ancestor Practices in Taiwan: An Exercise in Contextualization." Ph.D. dissertation, Asbury Theological Seminary, 1998.

 

Chen, Yong. „Conceptualizing “Popular Confucianism”: The Cases of Ruzong Shenjiao, Yiguan Dao, and De Jiao.“ Journal of Chinese Religions 45, no.1 (2017): 63-83.

Abstract: This article examines the importance and difficulty of conceptualizing “popular Confucianism” and proposes defining it as a continuum with its religious and secular manifestations poised at each end. It then provides three case studies: Ruzong Shenjiao, Yiguan Dao, and De Jiao—sectarian religions with a strong disposition to Confucian values and rites. It argues that an extended and analytical definition can better direct the scholarly and public attention to the social pertinence and daily utility of Confucianism, i.e., in what ways it is still lived by various Chinese communities and how it furnishes cultural identity and value orientation to them. (Source: journal)

 

Cheng, Chih-ming, "Harmony in Popular Belief and Its Relation to Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism." Inter-Religio 35(1999): 31-36.

 

Cheu, Hock Tong, Malay Keramat, Chinese Worshippers: the Sinicization of Malay Keramats in Malaysia. Singapore : Dept. of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore, 1997. (Seminar Papers, no.26).

 

Cheu Hock Tong, "The Sinicization of Malay Keramats in Malaysia." Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 71(1998)2: 29-61.

 

Clart, Philip, "Confucius and the Mediums: Is There a 'Popular Confucianism'?" T'oung Pao: International Journal of Chinese Studies 89(2003)1-3: 1-38.

 

Clart, Philip. "The Image of Jesus Christ in a Chinese Inclusivist Context: I-kuan Tao's Christology and its Implications for Interreligious Dialogue." In Chung Yun-Ying [ed.], Zongjiao, wenxue yu rensheng. Chungli: Yuanzhi Daxue Zhongwenxi, 2006. Pp.279-313.

 

Clart, Philip. "The Eight Immortals between Daoism and Popular Religion: Evidence from a New Sprit-Written Scripture." In: Florian C. Reiter [ed.], Foundations of Daoist Ritual: A Berlin Symposium. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009. Pp.84-106.

 

Davis, Edward L., Society and the Supernatural in Song China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001.

Abstract: Society and the Supernatural in Song China is at once a meticulous examination of spirit possession and exorcism in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and a social history of the full panoply of China's religious practices and practitioners at the moment when she was poised to dominate the world economy. Although the Song dynasty (960-1276) is often identified with the establishment of Confucian orthodoxy, Edward Davis demonstrates the renewed vitality of the dynasty's Taoist, Buddhist, and local religious traditions. (Source: publisher's webpage)

 

DeBernardi, Jean, "Spiritual Warfare and Territorial Spirits: The Globalization and Localisation of a 'Practical Theology'." Religious Studies and Theology 18(1999)2: 66-96.

 

DeBernardi, Jean. "'Ascend to Heaven and Stand on a Cloud:' Daoist Teaching and Practice at Penang's Taishang Laojun Temple." In: The People and the Dao: New Studies in Chinese Religions in Honour in Prof. Daniel L. Overmyer, edited by Philip Clart & Paul Crowe. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 143-186.

 

DeBernardi, Jean. " Wudang Mountain and Mount Zion in Taiwan: Syncretic Processes in Space, Ritual Performance, and Imagination." Asian Journal of Social Science 37.1 (2009): 138-162.

Abstract: In this paper, I develop a detailed consideration of ways in which Chinese religious practitioners, including Daoists, Christians, and spirit mediums, deploy syncretism in complex fields of practice. Rather than focusing on doctrinal blending, this study emphasises the ways in which these practitioners combine elements from diverse religious traditions through the media of ritual performance, visual representation, story, and landscape. After considering the diverse ways in which syncretic processes may be deployed in a field of practice, the paper investigates three ethnographic cases, exploring ritual co-celebration at Wudang Mountain in South-central China, charismatic Christian practices in Singapore, and the recent development of Holy Mount Zion as a Christian pilgrimage site in Taiwan.

 

Deng Zhaoming. "Recent Millennial Movements in Mainland China." Japanese Religions 23 (1998)1/2: 99-109.

 

Dudbridge, Glen, "Buddhist Images in Action: Five Stories from the Tang." Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 10(1998): 377-391.

Abstract: Cette étude prend comme points de repère deux livres récemment publiés - Mantras et mandarins (Paris, 1996), du regretté Michel Strickmann, et Religious Experience and Lay Society in T'ang China (Cambridge, 1995), du présent auteur. Le premier ouvrage présente une vision ésotérique de la culture du rituel bouddhique sous la Chine des Tang; le second une vue exotérique de la culture religieuse dans son ensemble. Le premier puise ses documents dans les textes rituels du canon bouddhique; le second se base sur un recueil d'anecdotes compilé par un fonctionnaire de province du VIIIe siècle. Le présent article examine cinq récits supplémentaires du même recueil Guang yi ji, lesquels ont pour sujet des icônes bouddhiques. Leur analyse fait ressortir un contraste très net par rapport aux procédés liturgiques et à la théologie étudiés par Strickmann. Les icônes bouddhiques y sont représentées comme des outils puissants capable de protéger toute personne assez riche et pieuse pour les avoir fait réaliser. Dans le monde matériel ces images exercent leur pouvoir sur les forces de la nature; dans l'autre monde, elles influent sur les autorités judiciaires. L'argent et les soins investis dans leur fabrication sont remboursés en fidélité personnelle. L'action des image n'attend pas de procédés rituels pour se manifester: elles peuvent être efficaces même inachevées, voire à l'état de simple intention dans l'esprit du commanditaire. La théologie sous-jacente ici reflète le système séculaire des cultes sacrificiels en Chine: les dons offerts avec sincérité parviennent à vaincre la colère du dieu et à assurer sa protection en temps de besoin; affronts et outrages sont vengés dans le sang. Le dernier récit présente la vision surnaturelle d'une statue de bronze articulée, capable d'effectuer des mouvements spontanés de la tête et des extrémités - cas à verser au dossier encore diffus des icônes articulées en Chine. [Source of abstract: article.]

Ebrey, Patricia, "Sung Neo-Confucian Views on Geomancy." In: Irene Bloom & Joshua A. Fogel [eds.], Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Pp.75-107.

 

Entenmann, Robert E., "Catholics and Society in Eighteenth-Century Sichuan." In Daniel H. Bays [ed.], Christianity in China. From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. Pp.8-23.

 

Faure, Bernard. „Indic Influences on Chinese Mythology: King Yama and His Acolytes as Gods of Destiny.“ In India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought, edited by John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar, 46-60. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

 

Ferris, Yeoun Sook, "An Examination of Some Themes in the Confucian Classics with Respect to Missiological Implications for the Issue of Ancestral Rites." Ph.D. dissertation, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1998.

 

Fisher, Gareth. "Universal Rescue: Re-making Post-Mao China in a Beijing Temple." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 2006.

Abstract: Based on two years of ethnographic research at the Temple of Universal Rescue (Guangji Si) in Beijing, this dissertation examines both the content and process by which lay Buddhist practitioners create an alternative culture of meanings, relationships, and moralities to cope with a rapidly changing society. Specific focus is given to amateur lay preachers and their followers who convene in the temple's outer courtyard each week to combine Buddhist doctrine with other ideologies such as Mao Zedong thought. The goal of the preachers and their followers is to create a moral discourse which challenges the post-Mao Chinese state's narrative of progress through globalization and market reforms from which they have been both socially and economically marginalized.

Considering both historical and contemporary analogs to the practices of the lay practitioners and the amateur preachers around which they gather, the main body of the dissertation is organized around several cultural tropes through which the practitioners strive to inhabit their own universe of relationships and meanings. The last three chapters of the thesis examine how practitioners seek to apply this new framework to the moral reform of contemporary Chinese society which they understand as passing through a period of decline. The community of practitioners at the Temple of Universal Rescue is situated within a larger consideration of lay Buddhist revival in China as a whole. The dissertation concludes by considering how an imagined community of lay Buddhists provides a system of relationships, values, and exchange that takes its adherents beyond their immediate lives and concerns but that does not demand their adherence to an inflexible ideological system. This larger lay Buddhist community and the discourses it creates have the potential to challenge both popular and official understanding of self and personhood in globalizing post-Mao China, though this potential is limited by the difficulties faced by lay Buddhists in promoting their beliefs beyond the temple walls.

 

Fisher, Gareth. “Religion as Repertoire: Resourcing the Past in a Beijing Buddhist Temple.“ Modern China 38 (2012): 346-376.

Abstract: This article presents an ethnographic examination of a range of religious practices at the Buddhist Temple of Universal Rescue (Guangji si) in Beijing. Temple-goers engaged in both ritual practices in the temple’s inner courtyard and moralistic conversations in the outer courtyard draw on recycled fragments of China’s many “pasts” to form cultural repertoires. These repertoires provide the temple-goers with a cultural toolkit to enter into meaningful projects of self- and identity-making in an environment of rapid social change. Participants in different religious activities at the temple both add to and mobilize different elements in their repertoires as their life circumstances change. The example of the temple shows that, in the popular Chinese social arena, various past stages of China’s history, including phases in its modernization process, have neither been abandoned nor superseded but remain as cultural resources to be drawn from as needed. (Source: journal)

 

Fisher, Gareth. From Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2014.

Abstract: From Comrades to Bodhisattvas is the first book-length study of Han Chinese Buddhism in post-Mao China. Using an ethnographic approach supported by over a decade of field research, it provides an intimate portrait of lay Buddhist practitioners in Beijing who have recently embraced a religion that they were once socialized to see as harmful superstition. The book focuses on the lively discourses and debates that take place among these new practitioners in an unused courtyard of a Beijing temple. In this non-monastic space, which shrinks each year as the temple authorities expand their commercial activities, laypersons gather to distribute and exchange Buddhist-themed media, listen to the fiery sermons of charismatic preachers, and seek solutions to personal moral crises. Applying recent theories in the anthropology of morality and ethics, Gareth Fisher argues that the practitioners are attracted to the courtyard as a place where they can find ethical resources to re-make both themselves and others in a rapidly changing nation that they believe lacks a coherent moral direction. Spurred on by the lessons of the preachers and the stories in the media they share, these courtyard practitioners inventively combine moral elements from China’s recent Maoist past with Buddhist teachings on the workings of karma and the importance of universal compassion. Their aim is to articulate a moral antidote to what they see as blind obsession with consumption and wealth accumulation among twenty-first century Chinese. Often socially marginalized and sidelined from meaningful roles in China’s new economy, these former communist comrades look to their new moral roles along a bodhisattva path to rebuild their self-worth. Each chapter focuses on a central trope in the courtyard practitioners’ projects to form new moral identities. The Chinese government’s restrictions on the spread of religious teachings in urban areas curtail these practitioners' ability to insert their moral visions into an emerging public sphere. Nevertheless, they succeed, at least partially, Fisher argues, in creating their own discursive space characterized by a morality of concern for fellow humans and animals and a recognition of the organizational abilities and pedagogical talents of its members that are unacknowledged in society at large. Moreover, as the later chapters of the book discuss, by writing, copying, and distributing Buddhist-themed materials, the practitioners participate in creating a religious network of fellow-Buddhists across the country, thereby forming a counter-cultural community within contemporary urban China. (Source: publisher's website)

Gardner, Daniel, "Ghosts and Spirits in the Sung Neo-Confucian World. Chu Hsi on kuei-shen." Journal of the American Oriental Society 115(1995)4:598-611.

 

Getz, Daniel A. "Popular Religion and Pure Land in Song-Dynasty Tiantai Bodhisattva Precept Ordination Ceremonies." In: William M. Bodiford [ed.], Going Forth: Visions of Buddhist Vinaya. Essays Presented in Honor of Professor Stanley Weinstein. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005. Pp.161-184.

Goossaert, Vincent & Ling Fang. “Temples and Daoists in Urban China since 1980.” China Perspectives 2009/4: 32-41.

Abstract: Since 1980, the revival of Daoist temples in China’s urban environment has been developing in two different directions. On the one hand, “official” temples operated by the Daoist Association claim to embody a modern form of Daoism and offer a number of different religious services to the people. On the other hand, community temples refashion the religious life of neighbourhoods, often on the outskirt of cities. This article explores the complex relationships between these different kinds of temples, the lay groups who visit them, and the Daoist clergy who serve them.

 

Goossaert, Vincent & Fang Ling. “Tempel und Daoisten im urbanen China seit 1980.” China heute 29.2 (2010): 87-96.

 

Goossaert, Vincent. „Bureaucratie, taxation et justice. Taoïsme et construction de l’État au Jiangnan (Chine), XVIIe-XIXe siècle.“ Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales 65.4 (2010): 999-1027.

Abstract: La dimension territoriale de l’organisation socioreligieuse de la Chine moderne est étroitement liée au taoïsme et à sa vision bureaucratique du monde. L’article met en évidence ce lien dans le cas de la région du Jiangnan à l’époque moderne. Cette région est caractérisée par des élites taoïstes particulièrement bien implantées. Ces élites contrôlent des temples centraux qui entretiennent avec les communautés territoriales des rapports de type bureaucratique : elles nomment les dieux locaux de ces communautés, perçoivent un impôt symbolique de leur part, et leur donnent accès à un système de justice divine. Ce faisant, elles fonctionnent comme une branche religieuse de la bureaucratie impériale, à laquelle elles sont par ailleurs intégrées. Cette triple bureaucratie, taoïste, divine, et impériale, a fonctionné jusqu’au début du XXe siècle.

"Bureaucracy, taxation and justice : Daoism and state building in Jiangnan (China), 17th-19th centuries." The territorial dimension of early modern China’s socio-religious organization is intimately linked with Daoism and its bureaucratic worldview. This article studies such a link through a case study of the Jiangnan area during the late imperial period. Jiangnan was characterized by particularly deeply rooted Daoist elites who controlled central temples. These elites and temples oversaw local territorial communities in a bureaucratic manner, as they nominated their local gods, collected a symbolic tax from their members, and administered a system of divine justice for them. They thus operated as a religious branch of the imperial bureaucracy, to which they firmly belonged. The triple Daoist/Divine/ Imperial bureaucracy functioned in such a way until the early twentieth century.

Goossaert, Vincent. "Daoism and Local Cults in Modern Suzhou: A Case Study of Qionglongshan." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.199-254.

Abstract: The richly documented life of Shi Daoyuan (1617-1678) provides a unique case study of the relationship between elite Daoist institutions and local cults, particularly spirit-medium cults. The article discusses current research on this topic before introducing Shi and the sources for his dealings with local cults, notably the Wutong. Shi was often called by members of the local elites in Suzhou to perform exorcisms. In this process, Shi not only employed martial gods from the classical Daoist thunder rites traditions, but also incorporated local gods into his pantheon. As a result, ambivalent gods such as the Wutong were to some extent tamed and made more acceptable. Such a process developed over the long term; present fieldwork shows that the Wutong are still partly marginal but have been nonetheless quite thoroughly integrated within mainstream Daoism. (Source: book)

 

Guo, Qitao. Ritual Opera and Mercantile Lineage: The Confucian Transformation of Popular Culture in Late Imperial Huizhou. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.

Abstract: This book analyzes Confucian ideology as culture and culture as history by exploring the interplay between popular ritual performance of the opera Mulian and gentrified mercantile lineages in late imperial Huizhou. Mulian, originally a Buddhist tale featuring the monk Mulian's journey through the underworld to save his mother, underwent a Confucian transformation in the sixteenth century against a backdrop of vast socioeconomic, intellectual, cultural, and religious changes. The author shows how local elites appropriated the performance of Mulian, turning it into a powerful medium for conveying orthodox values and religious precepts and for negotiating local social and gender issues altered by the rising money economy. The sociocultural approach of this historical study lifts Mulian out of the exorcistic-dramatic-ethnographic milieu to which it is usually consigned. This new approach enables the author to develop an alternative interpretation of Chinese popular culture and the Confucian tradition, which in turn sheds significant new light upon the social history of late imperial China. [Source: publisher's website]

 

Haar, Barend J. ter, "The Rise of the Guan Yu Cult: The Taoist Connection." In: Jan A.M. De Meyer & Peter M. Engelfriet [eds.], Linked Faiths: Essays on Chinese Religion and Traditional Culture in Honour of Kristofer Schipper. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2000. Pp.184-204.

 

Haar, Barend J. ter. "The Non-Action Teachings and Christianity: Confusion and Similarities." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.295-328.

Abstract: Christianity entered China in the seventeenth and eighteenth century in two missions, one the better known Jesuit mission and the other less known and more localized, the Franciscan-Dominican mission. In northern Fujian both missions had to compete with an extremely popular new religious movement, known locally as the Old Official Vegetarians or Dragon Flower Gathering. Elsewhere this movement was known as the Non-Action or Great Vehicle Teachings. Christian authors wrote rather detailed polemical texts to distinguish themselves from this specific movement, showing that they were well aware of their competition. This article investigates three of these texts. In addition it shows why late Ming and Qing anti-Christian authors sometimes confused these different groups and thought of them as one single phenomenon, namely heretic groups or, to use the Western label, “sects.” (Source: book)

 

Haar, Barend J. ter, "Buddhist Inspired Options: Aspects of Lay Religious Life in the Lower Yangzi from 1100 until 1340." T'oung Pao 87(2001): 92-152.

 

Heine, Stephen, "Putting the 'Fox' Back into the 'Wild Fox Kôan': The Intersection of Philosophical and Popular Religious Elements in the Ch'an/Zen Tradition." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 56(1996)2:257-317.

 

Hsieh Shu-Wei. “Possession and Ritual: Daoist and Popular Healing in Taiwan.” Journal of Daoist Studies 9 (2016): 73-100.

Abstract: This paper focuses on the everyday realities of religious healing cultures in the particular ethnographic context of Taiwan. In order to understand therapeutic aspects of religion in both the traditional and contemporary contexts as well as its local and global manifestations, I explore religious healing in the traditionally observant city of Tainan, which offers three compelling cases studies. From there, I explore the theoretical understanding of spirit, body, and illness in traditional Chinese society. The analysis focuses on healing through ritual and spirit possession, providing vivid accounts of the role spirit possession and ritual performance play in healing individuals and communities in Chinese society. It also increases our understanding of healing and spirit possession in southern Taiwan. Core issues involve the agency of ritual and medium of deities and spirits in accounting for and dealing with a range of psychological and physical trauma. (Source: journal)

 

Hymes, Robert, Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion, and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002.

Abstract: Using a combination of newly mined Sung sources and modern ethnography, Robert Hymes addresses questions that have perplexed China scholars in recent years. Were Chinese gods celestial officials, governing the fate and fortunes of their worshippers as China's own bureaucracy governed their worldly lives? Or were they personal beings, patrons or parents or guardians, offering protection in exchange for reverence and sacrifice? To answer these questions Hymes examines the professional exorcist sects and rising Immortals' cults of the Sung dynasty alongside ritual practices in contemporary Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as miracle tales, liturgies, spirit law codes, devotional poetry, and sacred geographies of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. Drawing upon historical and anthropological evidence, he argues that two contrasting and contending models informed how the Chinese saw and see their gods. These models were used separately or in creative combination to articulate widely varying religious standpoints and competing ideas of both secular and divine power. Whether gods were bureaucrats or personal protectors depended, and still depends, says Hymes, on who worships them, in what setting, and for what purposes. [Source of abstract: publisher's webpage]

 

Janku, Andrea, "Sowing Happiness: Spiritual Competition in Famine Relief Activities in Late Nineteenth Century China." Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore / Minsu quyi 143(2004): 89-118. (Special issue on "Disasters and Religion", edited by Paul R. Katz and Wu Hsiu-ling)

 

Jing, Jun, The Temple of Memories: History, Power, and Morality in a Chinese Village. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

 

Jochim, Christian. "Popular Lay Sects and Confucianism: A Study Based on the Way of Unity in Postwar Taiwan." In: The People and the Dao: New Studies in Chinese Religions in Honour in Prof. Daniel L. Overmyer, edited by Philip Clart & Paul Crowe. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 83-107.

 

Johnson, David, "Confucian Elements in the Great Temple Festivals of Southeastern Shansi in Late Imperial Times." T'oung Pao 83 (1997) 1-3: 126-161.

 

Jones, Stephen. Daoist Priests of the Li Family: Ritual Life in Village China. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2017.

Abstract: Complementing the author's moving film Li Manshan: Portrait of a Folk Daoist, this engaging and original book describes a hereditary family of household Daoist priests based in a poor village in north China. It traces the vicissitudes of their lives—and ritual practices—over the turbulent last century through the experiences of two main characters: Li Manshan (b.1946), and his distinguished father Li Qing (1926–99). A social ethnography of ritual specialists and their local patrons, the work anchors in their changing ritual performance practice. The book combines local social history and biography, evoking the changing ritual soundscape and the continuing vibrancy and relevance of the Daoists’ performance. Jones reflects on the inspiration of fieldwork, giving a unique flavor of rural life in China today. A vivid portrait of a rapidly changing society, Daoist Priests of the Li Family will fascinate anthropologists, scholars of Chinese religion, world-music aficionados, and all those interested in Asian society. (Source: publisher's website)

 

Kang, Xiaofei; Sutton, Donald S. Contesting the Yellow Dragon: Ethnicity, Religion, and the State in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Abstract: This book is the first long-term study of the Sino-Tibetan borderland. It traces relationships and mutual influence among Tibetans, Chinese, Hui Muslims, Qiang and others over some 600 years, focusing on the old Chinese garrison city of Songpan and the nearby religious center of Huanglong, or Yellow Dragon. Combining historical research and fieldwork, Xiaofei Kang and Donald Sutton examine the cultural politics of northern Sichuan from early Ming through Communist revolution to the age of global tourism, bringing to light creative local adaptations in culture, ethnicity and religion as successive regimes in Beijing struggle to control and transform this distant frontier. (Source: publisher's website)

 

Katz, Paul R., "Enlightened Alchemist or Immoral Immortal? The Growth of Lü Dongbin's Cult in Late Imperial China." In: Shahar, Meir & Robert P. Weller [eds.], Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996. Pp.70-104.

 

Katz, Paul R., Images of the Immortal: The Cult of Lü Dongbin at the Palace of Eternal Joy. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999.

 

Katz, Paul R., "Daoism and Local Cults: a Case Study of the Cult of Marshal Wen." In: Kwang-Ching Liu and Richard Shek [eds.], Heterodoxy in late Imperial China. Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press, 2004. Pp.172-208.

 

Kent, Alexandra. "Creating Divine Unity: Chinese Recruitment in the Sathya Sai Baba Movement of Malaysia." Journal of Contemporary Religion 15(2001)1: 5-27.

 

Kleeman, Terry. "The Evolution of Daoist Cosmology and the Construction of the Common Sacred Realm." Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies 2 (2005) 1: 89-110.

 

Kleeman, Terry. “Daoism and Popular Religion in Imperial China.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (http://asianhistory.oxfordre.com), 2017, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.013.207.

 

Klein, Thoralf. “The Missionary as Devil: Anti-Missionary Demonology in China, 1860-1930.” In Europe as the Other: External Perspectives on European Christianity, edited by Judith Becker and Brian Stanley, 119-148. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.

 

Kohn, Livia, "The Taoist Adoption of the City God." Ming Qing yanjiu 5 (1996): 69-108.

 

Kohn, Livia, God of the Dao: Lord Lao in History and Myth. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 1998. See esp. ch.5: "Sacred Tales: Lord Lao as the Model for Other Gods," & ch. 6: "Art, Literature, and Talismans: Lord Lao as Popular Protector."

 

Kühner, Hans, Die Lehren und die Entwicklung der "Taigu-Schule". Eine dissidente Strömung in einer Epoche des Niedergangs der konfuzianischen Orthodoxie. Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1996.

 

Kuehner, Hans, "Plurality and Confucian Orthodoxy. The Views of a Neglected Qing School of Thought." Journal of Chinese Philosophy 26(1999)1: 49-88.

 

Kupfer, Kristin, "'Geheimgesellschaften' in der VR China: Christlich inspirierte, spirituell-religiöse Gruppierungen seit 1978." China Analysis, Working Paper No.8, 2001. (Published by the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Trier University, Germany). Can be viewed online at http://www.asienpolitik.de/working_papers.html (pdf file).

 

Kupfer, Kristin, "Christlich inspirierte, spirituell-religiöse Gruppierungen in der VR China seit 1978 (I)." China heute 21(2002)4-5: 119-127.

 

Kupfer, Kristin, "Christlich inspirierte, spirituell-religiöse Gruppierungen in der VR China seit 1978 (II)." China heute 21(2002)6: 169-175.

 

Kupfer, Kristin, "Christlich inspirierte, spirituell-religiöse Gruppierungen in der VR China seit 1978 (III)." China heute 22(2003)1-2: 27-32.

 

Kupfer, Kristin, "Christlich inspirierte, spirituell-religiöse Gruppierungen in der VR China seit 1978 (IV)." China heute 22(2003)3: 81-83.

 

Kupfer, Kristin. "Emergence and Development of Christian-Inspired, Spiritual-Religious Groups in the People's Republic of China since 1978." Quest 4(2005)2: 29-54.

 

Laaman, Lars. Christian Heretics in Late Imperial China: the Inculturation of Christianity in 18th and Early 19th Century China. New York, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.

 

Lagerwey, John, "Entre taoïsme et cultes populaires." Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient 83(1996): 438-458. [Note: extensive review article of Robert L. Chard's "Rituals and Scriptures of the Stove Cult", Ursula-Angelika Cedzich's "The Cult of the Wu-t'ung/Wu-hsien in History and Fiction: The Religious Roots of the Journey to the South" (both in Ritual and Scripture in Chinese Religion: Five Studies, ed. by David Johnson, 1995), Paul R. Katz's Demon Hordes and Burning Boats (1995), and Terry F. Kleeman's A God's Own Tale (1994).]

 

Lagerwey, John, "Dingguang Gufo: Oral and Written Sources in the Study of a Saint." Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 10(1998): 77-129.

Abstract: Saint bouddhique du dixième siècle presque inconnu en dehors de la région hakka dans le sud-est de la Chine, Dingguang gufo fait l'objet, dans toute cette région, de cycles de légendes liés aux sites sacrés ainsi qu'aux pèlerinages. Les sources historiques du onzième au treizième siècles en font à la fois un héros civilisateur et la réincarnation du Bouddha du passé (Dipamkara). Les monographies locales permettent aussi bien de suivre le développement géographique du culte que d'en comprendre le lien intime entre les gestes du saint et le paysage. Cependant, seuls l'enquête de terrain et la collecte de traditions orales donnent accès à la sociologie du culte et au phénomène de sa localisation. Cet essai se veut donc démonstration de l'indispensable alliance entre l'histoire et l'anthropologie pour l'étude de la société chinoise et de ses dieux. [Source: article]

 

Lagerwey, John, "Questions of Vocabulary, or, How Shall We Talk about Chinese Religion?" In: Lai Chi Tim [ed.], Daojiao yu minjian zongjiao yanjiu lunji. Hong Kong: Xuefeng Wenhua Shiye, 1999. Pp.166-181.

 

Lai, Chi-tim, "The Opposition of Celestial Master Taoism to Popular Cults during the Six Dynasties." Asia Major (3rd Series) 11(1998)1: 1-20.

 

Leamaster, Reid J.; Anning Hu. “Popular Buddhists: The Relationship between Popular Religious Involvement and Buddhist Identity in Contemporary China.” Sociology of Religion 75 (2014): 234-259.

Abstract: Drawing on previous literature and theoretical considerations, the authors identify six key independent variables related to popular religious belief and practice in mainland China: institutional religious affiliation, level of education, income, perspectives on inequality as a social problem, assessment of overall health, and rural residency. Using the 2007 Spiritual Life Study of Chinese Residents, the authors find that Buddhist identity is positively associated with popular religious involvement across measures of popular religious belief and practice. Identifying as a formally committed Buddhist consistently displays the strongest positive relationship with popular religious involvement. The level of education does not reveal a consistent negative association with popular religious adherence, contrary to predictions of classical secularization theory. One measure of existential security theory, feeling inequality is a serious social problem, shows a strong positive relationship with popular religious belief, but not popular religious practices. Finally, despite research highlighting the functional importance of popular religion in rural areas, rural residency is not consistently a significant predictor of popular religious adherence. The implications of these findings are discussed. (Source: journal)

 

Litzinger, Charles A., "Rural Religion and Village Organization in North China: The Catholic Challenge in the Late Nineteenth Century." In Daniel H. Bays [ed.], Christianity in China. From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. Pp.41-52.

 

Liu, Anrong. "Catholic and Chinese Folk Religion During the Republican Era in the Region of Taiyuan, Shanxi." In A Voluntary Exile: Chinese Christianity and Cultural Confluence since 1552, edited by Anthony E. Clark, 145-171. Bethlehem, Penn.: Lehigh University Press, 2014.

 

Liu, Xun. "Physicians, Quanzhen Daoists, and Folk Cult of the Sage of Medicine in Nanyang, 1540s-1950s." Daoism: Religion, History and Society 6 (2014): 269-334.

 

Liu, Yonghua. Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers: Ritual Change and Social Transformation in a Southeastern Chinese Community, 1368-1949. Religion in Chinese Societies, vol.6. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

Abstract: In Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers, Yonghua Liu presents a detailed study of how a southeastern Chinese community experienced and responded to the process whereby Confucian rituals - previously thought unfit for practice by commoners - were adopted in the Chinese countryside and became an integral part of village culture, from the mid fourteenth to mid twentieth centuries. The book examines the important but understudied ritual specialists, masters of rites (lisheng), and their ritual handbooks while showing their crucial role in the ritual life of Chinese villagers. This discussion of lisheng and their rituals deepens our understanding of the ritual aspect of popular Confucianism and sheds new light on social and cultural transformations in late imperial China. (Source: publisher's website)

 

Madsen, Richard P., "Beyond Orthodoxy: Catholicism as Chinese Folk Religion." In: Stephen Uhalley, Jr. & Xiaoxin Wu [eds.], China and Christianity: Burdened Past, Hopeful Future. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2001. Pp.233-249.

 

Menegon, Eugenio. “Le fonti per la cultura popolare nella Cina tardo-imperiale: alcuni documenti nell’Archivio Romano della Compagnia di Gesù.” (The sources for popular culture in late imperial China: some documents in the Roman Archives of the Society of Jesus). In Lo studio delle fonti per la storia cinese, edited by Maurizio Scarpari, 68-90. Venezia: Cafoscarina, 1995.

 

Menegon, Eugenio. “European and Chinese Controversies over Rituals: A Seventeenth-Century Genealogy of Chinese Religion.” In Devising Order: Socio-Religious Models, Rituals, and the Performativity of Practice, edited by Bruno Boute and Thomas Småberg, 193–222. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

 

Meulenbeld, Mark R. E. Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2015.

Abstract: Revealing the fundamental continuities that exist between vernacular fiction and exorcist, martial rituals in the vernacular language, Mark Meulenbeld argues that a specific type of Daoist exorcism helped shape vernacular novels in the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Focusing on the once famous novel Fengshen yanyi ("Canonization of the Gods"), the author maps out the general ritual structure and divine protagonists that it borrows from much older systems of Daoist exorcism. By exploring how the novel reflects the specific concerns of communities associated with Fengshen yanyi and its ideology, Meulenbeld is able to reconstruct the cultural sphere in which Daoist exorcist rituals informed late imperial "novels." He first looks at temple networks and their religious festivals. Organized by local communities for territorial protection, these networks featured martial narratives about the powerful and heroic deeds of the gods. He then shows that it is by means of dramatic practices like ritual, theatre, and temple processions that divine acts were embodied and brought to life. Much attention is given to local militias who embodied "demon soldiers" as part of their defensive strategies. Various Ming emperors actively sought the support of these local religious networks and even continued to invite Daoist ritualists so as to efficiently marshal the forces of local gods with their local demon soldiers into the official, imperial reserves of military power. This unusual book establishes once and for all the importance of understanding the idealized realities of literary texts within a larger context of cultural practice and socio-political history. Of particular importance is the ongoing dialog with religious ideology that informs these different discourses. Meulenbeld's book makes a convincing case for the need to debunk the retrospective reading of China through the modern, secular Western categories of "literature," "society," and "politics." He shows that this disregard of religious dynamics has distorted our understanding of China and that "religion" cannot be conveniently isolated from scholarly analysis. (Source: publisher's website)

 

Meulenbeld, Mark. "Death and Demonization of a Bodhisattva: Guanyin's Reformulation within Chinese Religion." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 84, no. 3 (2016): 690-726.

Abstract: The Chinese goddess known as Guanyin may commonly be referred to with the Buddhist epithet of “bodhisattva,” yet her many hagiographies contain only the most stereotypical references to anything that could be defined unambiguously as “Buddhist.” Instead, the narrative of Guanyin that gains greatest popularity between the twelfth through the nineteenth centuries is one that describes the bodhisattva's last incarnation, as the unmarried Princess Miaoshan, within the parameters of indigenous Chinese religion—or, rather, its demonology. I argue that all of the many versions of Miaoshan's legend represent her deification into Guanyin as a process necessary for solving her spirit's demonical status that has arisen from the recurring violence done to her body by herself and her father. Moreover, I show how Miaoshan's narrative of a violated body is deeply rooted in practices of trance-possession that ultimately explain her efficacy. (Source: journal)

 

Nagata, Judith, "Chinese Custom and Christian Culture: Implications for Chinese Identity in Malaysia." In: Leo Suryadinata [ed.], Southeast Asian Chinese: The Socio-Cultural Dimension. Singapore: Times Academic Press, 1995. Pp.166-201.

 

Ng, Beng-Yeong, "Phenomenology of Trance States Seen at a Psychiatric Hospital in Singapore: A Cross-Cultural Perspective." Transcultural Psychiatry 37(2000)4: 560-579.

Abstract: This study investigates the characteristic features of trance states in three different ethnic communities (Chinese, Malays and Indians) in Singapore by administering a semi-structured interview to 55 patients with the condition and analysing witnesses' accounts. Trance disorder among the three groups displays remarkable similarities in phenomenology but differ-ences also exist. Most of the trances were reportedly precipitated by fear, anger and/or frustration. Seventy per cent of patients reported prodromal symptoms. Common manifestations include unusual vocalizations and movements, shaking, apparent immunity from pain, and unfocused or fixed gaze. The patients tend to assume the identities of gods from their own cultures. For individuals reported to be possessed by deities, the embodied identities are gods lower down in the hierarchy of Chinese gods or a minor supernatural figure on the Hindu pantheon. The recognizable prodromal symptoms and hierarchy among the gods may have therapeutic implications. [Source of abstract: article]

 

Ng, Kwai Hang, "Seeking the Christian Tutelage: Agency and Culture in Chinese Immigrants' Conversion to Christianity." Sociology of Religion 63(2002)2: 195-214.

 

Nikaido, Yoshihiro. Asian Folk Religion and Cultural Interaction. Aus dem Japanischen übersetzt von Jenine L. Heaton. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015.

Abstract: This book uses a cultural interaction approach to discuss numerous temples and shrines of Sinitic origin that house Daoist, Buddhist, and folk gods. Such deities were transmitted outside the Chinese continent, or were introduced from other regions and syncretized. Examples include temple guardian gods that arrived in Japan from China and later became deified as part of the Five Mountain system, and a Daoist deity that transformed into a god in Japan after syncretizing with Myoken Bosatsu. The profoundly different images of Ksitigarbha in China and Japan are discussed, as well as Mt. Jiuhua, the center of Ksitigarbha in modern China. Lastly, the process by which Sinitic gods were transmitted to regions outside of the Chinese continent, such as Taiwan, Singapore, and Okinawa, is explored. (Source: publisher's website)

Nordtvedt, Joel Thomas, "A Search for Well-Being in the Hakka Chinese View of the Spirit World: Hakka Christian Responses." Ph.D. dissertation, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1997.

 

Overmyer, Daniel L., "Quan-zhen Daoist Influence on Sectarian 'Precious Volumes' from the Seventeenth Century." In: Lai Chi Tim [ed.], Daojiao yu minjian zongjiao yanjiu lunji. Hong Kong: Xuefeng Wenhua Shiye, 1999. Pp.73-93.

 

Olles, Volker. Ritual Words: Daoist Liturgy and the Confucian Liumen Tradition in Sichuan Province. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2013.

Abstract: The Qing dynasty scholar Liu Yuan (1768-1856) developed a unique system of thought, merging Confucian learning with ideas and practices from Daoism and Buddhism, and was eventually venerated as the founding patriarch of an influential movement combining the characteristics of a scholarly circle and a religious society. Liu Yuan, a native of Sichuan, was an outstanding Confucian scholar whose teachings were commonly referred to as Liumen (Liu School). Assisted by his close disciples, Liu edited a Daoist ritual canon titled Fayan huizuan (Compendium of Ritual Words). Daoist priests affiliated with the Liumen community and using the Fayan huizuan canon in their rituals constituted an independent liturgical branch of Daoism, which is still extant and known under the name of “Fayan tan” (Altar of Ritual Words). Following a comprehensive description of the Liumen tradition, the volume by Volker Olles discusses the compilation history of the Fayan huizuan canon, the lineage of the Fayan tan priests, as well as the temporal framework of their liturgy. The main part of the volume consists of a detailed study of the ritual canon, identifying its textual sources and describing its pantheon, the influence of the Liumen ideology on its texts, as well as the function and performance of its rituals in contemporary religious practice. Furthermore concluding thoughts about the Fayan tan tradition’s role in present-day Sichuan constitute the epilogue. By showing how members of the Confucian elite were involved in the evolution of modern Daoism, this study sheds light on hitherto obscure or poorly understood aspects of the intellectual and spiritual culture of Southwest China. (Source: publisher's website)

Olles, Volker. “Der Wahre Mensch von der Smaragdgrotte. Teil I einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in der daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 163.2 (2013): 485-504.

 

Olles, Volker. "Der Palast der Grauen Ziege. Teil II einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 166, no.2 (2016): 443-466.

Abstract: This contribution is the second in a series of articles presenting the texts and annotated translations of five stele inscriptions, which were included in the collection Chongkan Daozang jiyao (Reedited Essentials of the Daoist Canon), a Daoist anthology published in 1906 at the monastery Erxian An (Hermitage of the Two Immortals) in Chengdu (Sichuan). The inscriptions in question were, with one exception, composed to commemorate the renovation or rebuilding of temple halls and other structures belonging to either the Erxian An or the adjacent Qingyang Gong (Palace of the Grey Goat), and were included in the relevant sections of the Chongkan Daozang jiyao. All texts share a common derivation from the Liumen (Liu School) tradition. The term Liumen refers to the teachings of the Confucian scholar Liu Yuan (1768–1856) as well as a quasi-religious movement, which was based on Liu’s thought and flourished in late imperial and Republican times. Liu Yuan and the following Liumen patriarchs were patrons of the Qingyang Gong and the Erxian An, and the two Daoist sanctuaries, among other temples in Chengdu and its environs, were supported by the Liumen community. The present article contains a full translation of Liu Yuan’s Chongxiu Qingyang Gong beiji (Stele Inscription on the Restoration of the Qingyang Gong) and outlines the historical development of Chengdu’s most important Daoist temple. Special emphasis is placed on the Qingyang Gong’s modern history and its relation to the Liumen community. From the early 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, the Qingyang Gong received substantial support from the Liu family and Liumen adherents, and it is obvious that the Liumen community was significantly involved in the management of this ancient sanctuary. (Source: journal)

 

Paper, Jordan, The Spirits are Drunk. Comparative Approaches to Chinese Religion. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995. (chapter 9)

 

Paper, Jordan, "Conversion from Within and Without in Chinese Religion." In: Christopher Lamb & M. Darrol Bryant [eds.], Religious Conversion: Contemporary Practices and Controversies. London & New York: Cassell, 1999. Pp.102-114.

 

Penny, Benjamin. "The Falun Gong, Buddhism and 'Buddhist Qigong'." Asian Studies Review 29 (2005) 1: 35-46.

 

Reilly, Thomas H., "The 'Shang-ti Hui' and the Transformation of Chinese Popular Society: The Impact of Taiping Christian Sectarianism." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, 1997.

Abstract: Nineteenth-century China was an ideological volcano, with rebellions erupting throughout the century. But only one, the Taiping Rebellion, transformed the social landscape.

There is, nevertheless, something puzzling about the Taiping impact. As broad and as devastating as the impact was, the Taiping movement, apart from the Ch'ing efforts to suppress it, seems to have resulted in no long-term transformation of Chinese society. Most scholars have sought to explain this conundrum by arguing that it was the alien quality of the Taiping faith which explains why the Taiping were prevented from sparking any long-term transformation of Chinese society. This has solved one riddle, but created another: How then, if their ideology was so alien, were the Taiping able to recruit the legions of people to their cause and to mount their large-scale rebellion in the first place?.

I argue in my dissertation that the Taiping's Christian sectarianism, while unique in Chinese history, was more connected to culture and society than scholars have recognized. Indeed, the reason for the singularly unique impact of the Taiping movement relates both to the original character of Taiping ideology and to its creative connectedness to Chinese society. My argument is composed of three parts: in the first part of my study, I examine the translation of Catholic Christianity into the Heavenly Lord sect; in the second part, I look at the content and practice of Taiping Christian sectarianism; and in the third part, I survey the contact which the Taiping initiated with the sects and secret societies.

How the Taiping rebels interpreted the divine pretensions of the emperor and what they understood as the blasphemous character of the imperial office were both directly tied to their faith in Shang-ti. This faith ultimately led them on their iconoclastic campaigns whose impact on Chinese society contributed to the transformation of popular society, winning for the rebels a legacy in Chinese history. [Source: Dissertation Abstracts International]

 

Reilly, Thomas H. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom: Rebellion and the Blasphemy of Empire. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004.

Abstract: Occupying much of imperial China's Yangzi River heartland and costing more than twenty million lives, the Taiping Rebellion (1851-64) was no ordinary peasant revolt. What most distinguished this dramatic upheaval from earlier rebellions were the spiritual beliefs of the rebels. The core of the Taiping faith focused on the belief that Shangdi, the high God of classical China, had chosen the Taiping leader, Hong Xiuquan, to establish his Heavenly Kingdom on Earth.

How were the Taiping rebels, professing this new creed, able to mount their rebellion and recruit multitudes of followers in their sweep through the empire? Thomas Reilly argues that the Taiping faith, although kindled by Protestant sources, developed into a dynamic new Chinese religion whose conception of its sovereign deity challenged the legitimacy of the Chinese empire. The Taiping rebels denounced the divine pretensions of the imperial title and the sacred character of the imperial office as blasphemous usurpations of Shangdi's title and position. In place of the imperial institution, the rebels called for restoration of the classical system of kingship. Previous rebellions had declared their contemporary dynasties corrupt and therefore in need of revival; the Taiping, by contrast, branded the entire imperial order blasphemous and in need of replacement.

In this study, Reilly emphasizes the Christian elements of the Taiping faith, showing how Protestant missionaries built on earlier Catholic efforts to translate Christianity into a Chinese idiom. Prior studies of the rebellion have failed to appreciate how Hong Xiuquan's interpretation of Christianity connected the Taiping faith to an imperial Chinese cultural and religious context. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom shows how the Bible - in particular, a Chinese translation of the Old Testament - profoundly influenced Hong and his followers, leading them to understand the first three of the Ten Commandments as an indictment of the imperial order. The rebels thus sought to destroy imperial culture along with its institutions and Confucian underpinnings, all of which they regarded as blasphemous. Strongly iconoclastic, the Taiping followers smashed religious statues and imperially approved icons throughout the lands they conquered. By such actions the Taiping Rebellion transformed - at least for its followers but to some extent for all Chinese - how Chinese people thought about religion, the imperial title and office, and the entire traditional imperial and Confucian order. [Source: publisher's website]

 

Reinders, Eric. Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies: Christian Missionaries Imagine Chinese Religion. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2004.

Abstract: To the Victorians, the Chinese were invariably "inscrutable." The meaning and provenance of this impression--and, most importantly, its workings in nineteenth-century Protestant missionary encounters with Chinese religion--are at the center of Eric Reinders's Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies, an enlightening look at how missionaries' religious identity, experience, and physical foreignness produced certain representations of China between 1807 and 1937.

Reinders first introduces the imaginative world of Victorian missionaries and outlines their application of mind-body dualism to the dualism of self and other. He then explores Western views of the Chinese language, especially ritual language, and Chinese ritual, particularly the kow-tow. His work offers surprising and valuable insight into the visceral nature of the Victorian response to the Chinese--and, more generally, into the nineteenth-century Western representation of China. [Source: publisher's website]

 

Sen, Tansen, "Astronomical Tomb Paintings from Xuanhua: Mandalas?" Ars Orientalis 29(1999): 29-54.

Abstract: While the popularity of cremation in China between the tenth and thirteenth centuries is well documented, archaeological evidence for the Buddhist impact on the practice has been lacking. A group of Liao dynasty (907-1125) tombs from the Xuanhua district in Hebei Province, belonging to Chinese residents, provides significant visual testimony to the application of Buddhist rituals in disposing of the dead by cremation. The paintings of celestial objects, drawn on tomb ceilings and framed with Buddhist motifs, show striking similarities to esoteric Star Mandalas and demonstrate the acceptance of Buddhist horoscopic astrology by the laity. Executed during the Liao-Jin transition period, the Xuanhua astronomical paintings include the earliest illustrations yet known of zodiacal symbols in the popular pantheon of East Asia. The paintings are important clues to the synthesis of Buddhist and Chinese views of, and the ways to deal with, life after death. (Source: Ars Orientalis)

 

Shahar, Meir. „Indian Mythology and the Chinese Imagination: Nezha, Nalakubara, and Krsna.“ In India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought, edited by John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar, 21-45. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

 

Smith, Joanna F. Handlin, "Liberating Animals in Ming-Qing China: Buddhist Inspiration and Elite Imagination." Journal of Asian Studies 58(1999)1: 51-84.

 

St. Thecla, Adriano di, Opusculum de Sectis apud Sinenses et Tunkinenses: A Small Treatise on the Sects among the Chinese and Tonkinese. A Study of Religion in China and North Vietnam in the Eighteenth Century. Translated & Annotated by Olga Dror, in collaboration with Mariya Berezovska. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Publications, 2002.

 

Standaert, Nicolas. The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange between China and Europe. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Abstract: The death of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci in China in 1610 was the occasion for demonstrations of European rituals appropriate for a Catholic priest and also of Chinese rituals appropriate to the country hosting the Jesuit community. Rather than burying Ricci immediately in a plain coffin near the church, according to their European practice, the Jesuits followed Chinese custom and kept Ricci's body for nearly a year in an air-tight Chinese-style coffin and asked the emperor for burial ground outside the city walls. Moreover, at Ricci's funeral itself, on their own initiative the Chinese performed their funerary rituals, thus starting a long and complex cultural dialogue in which they took the lead during the next century.

The Interweaving of Rituals explores the role of ritual - specifically rites related to death and funerals - in cross-cultural exchange, demonstrating a gradual interweaving of Chinese and European ritual practices at all levels of interaction in seventeenth-century China. This includes the interplay of traditional and new rituals by a Christian community of commoners, the grafting of Christian funerals onto established Chinese practices, and the sponsorship of funeral processions for Jesuit officials by the emperor. Through careful observation of the details of funerary practice, Nicolas Standaert illustrates the mechanics of two-way cultural interaction. His thoughtful analysis of the ritual exchange between two very different cultural traditions is especially relevant in today's world of global ethnic and religious tension. His insights will be of interest to a broad range of scholars, from historians to anthropologists to theologians. [Source: publisher's website]

 

Strandenæs, Thor. „Folk Religious Spirituality in Hong Kong: Its Relational and Utilitarian Aspects - a Challenge for the Christian Church.“ In Urban Christian Spirituality: East Asian and Nordic Perspectives, edited by Knut Alfsvåg and Thor Strandenæs, 103-125. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Edition, 2015.

 

Sun, Yanfei. "Popular Religion in Zhejiang: Feminization, Bifurcation, and Buddhification." Modern China 40, no.5 (2014): 455-487.

Abstract: Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in a county in Southeast China, this article identifies three tendencies that have appeared in the revitalization of temple-based popular religion in the post-Mao period. These three tendencies—women taking more central roles in popular religion, the bifurcation between the ever increasing popularity and prosperity of a small number of temples and the decline in the majority of small village temples, and the tendency of popular religion temples to acquire Buddhist features—have consequently caused the character and terrain of popular religion to diverge greatly from the pre-1949 past. To explain these changes, the article argues that we have to come to terms with the two faces of popular religion: the communal/mandatory dimension and the individual/voluntary dimension that is largely associated with female devotees. All three tendencies have been taking place when popular religion temples’ bonds with village communities attenuated and their voluntary dimension moved to the forefront. The article attributes the weakening of the communal dimension of popular religion temples to the restructuring of rural society by the Maoist political campaigns and the post-Mao marketization. (Source: journal)

Tan, Betty O.S., "The Contextualization of the Chinese New Year Festival." Asia Journal of Theology 15(2001)1: 115-132.

 

Tao, Hung-Lin; Yeh, Powen. "Religion as an Investment: Comparing the Contributions and Volunteer Frequency among Christians, Buddhists, and Folk Religionists." Southern Economic Journal 73.3 (2007): 770-790.

Abstract: The magnitude of the reward of an afterlife promised in the case of Christians is significantly greater than that in relation to both Buddhism and Taiwanese folk religions. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether these differences in the promised rewards of an afterlife across religions and the extent of the belief in the existence of an afterlife within the same religion are positively correlated with religionists' contributions to their religion and the frequency of their voluntary activities. This positive correlation is verified across different religions and within Christianity in regard to the religionists' contributions.

 

Thompson, Roger R., "Twilight of the Gods in the Chinese Countryside: Christians, Confucians, and the Modernizing State, 1861-1911." In Daniel H. Bays [ed.], Christianity in China. From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. Pp.53-72.

 

Tiedemann, R.G., "Christianity and Chinese 'Heterodox Sects'. Mass Conversion and Syncretism in Shandong Province in the Early Eighteenth Century." Monumenta Serica 44(1996):339-382.

 

Tsan, Tsong-sheng, "Ahnenkult und Christentum in Taiwan heute: eine asiatische Fallstudie." Zeitschrift für Mission 23 (1997) 3: 184-204.

 

Verellen, Franciscus, "Zhang Ling and the Lingjing Salt Well." In: Jacques Gernet & Marc Kalinowski [eds.] (avec la collaboration de Jean-Pierre Diény), En suivant la voie royale: mélanges offerts en hommage à Léon Vandermeersch. Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1997. Pp.249-265.

Abstract: Zhang Ling, fondateur du mouvement taoïste des Maîtres célestes au IIe siècle de notre ère, fut également vénéré comme héros civilisateur de la région du Sichuan. Le présent article propose une nouvelle lecture de la légende de Zhang à partir de cette perspective régionale. L'image du héros au sein de la mythologie de Sichuan ancien est illustrée en particulier par les légendes ayant trait à sa création du Lingjing, puits de sel important et source majeure de richesse de la région au Moyen Age. [Source: article.]

 

Verellen, Franciscus, "Société et religion dans la Chine médiévale. Le regard de Du Guangting (850-933) sur son époque." Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient 87(2000): 267-282.

Abstract: La littérature taoïste narrative, avec son insistance sur la religion comme phénomène de la vie quotidienne dans des contextes sociaux variés, constitue une source précieuse pour l'histoire sociale et l'anthropologie historique de la Chine traditionnelle. Dans cet article, l'auteur examine plusieurs genres d'écrits narratifs et fictionnels de Du Guangting &endash; mirabilia, hagiographies, récits de miracles &endash; pour en dégager les observations de première main de Du sur la place de la religion dans la société contemporaine. Son témoignage sur le taoïsme en tant que foi vivante à son époque est analysé sous divers angles : liturgie, politique, conflits sociaux, clergé et société laïque, communautés taoïste et bouddhiste, famille, religion populaire, contexte social de la pratique taoïste. En conclusion, l'auteur montre que le penchant de Du Guangting pour l'observation et l'analyse des comportements religieux dans diverses situations sociales l'emporte souvent sur son intérêt pour l'exposition des doctrines et la spéculation théologique. Il s'ensuit que Du donne sur le taoïsme de la société médiévale des informations comparables, à bien des égards, aux données relatives à la vie et aux institutions religieuses recueillies par les chercheurs en sciences humaines."

"Society and religion in medieval China. Du Guangting's (850-933) observation of his own time". Taoist informal writings, with their emphasis on religion as a phenomenon of daily life in various social contexts, can provide valuable data to social historians and historical anthropologists. This paper examines several genres of informal and imaginative writings by Du Guangting &endash; mirabilia, hagiography, miracle literature &endash; for the author's first-hand observation regarding the place of religion in contemporary society. His record of Taoism as a living faith in his time is discussed under headings comprising liturgy, politics, civil unrest, clergy and laity, the Taoist and Buddhist communities, the family, popular religion, and the social environment of Taoist practice. In conclusion, it is argued that Du Guangting's penchant for observing and analysing religious behaviour in terms of social situations in many instances prevailed over his interest in doctrinal exposition or theological speculation. As a result, Du provides information on Taoism in medieval society that is in many ways comparable to data on religious life and institutions collected by modern social scientists." [Source: journal]

 

Wang, Cecil Kwei Heng, "Ancestor Veneration Practices and Christian Conversion in Taiwan: A Study of Perceptions of Chinese College Students in Urban Taiwan." Thesis (Ph.D.), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2001, 402p.

Abstract: Ancestral practices have long been considered the bedrock of Chinese religion, and remain one of the most significant elements of Chinese culture.

For some four hundred years, missionaries and Chinese believers debated the appropriate Christian response to ancestral veneration practices. In recent decades and up to the present time, many Chinese aver that following cultural traditions and customs is critical for maintaining identity and social status in society. While modernization altered much of Taiwan's cultural and social environment, church leaders and scholars recognize that ancestral practices remain a major obstacle that prevents Chinese people from accepting Christ. Other church leaders, however, devalue the influence of ancestral practices and forecast its spiraling decline.

The purpose of this research is to identify what is the meaning and significance of ancestral practices for Chinese college students in urban Taiwan, and to what extent are these rites roadblocks or bridges to Christian conversion?

Based on the experiences of sixteen students from whom data were collected through in-depth qualitative interviews, and by examining these relevant materials, the significance of ancestral practices and the degree of there effect on the process of becoming Christians are identified by applying Opler's theory of themes and counter-themes.

There is supportive evidence that ancestral practices continue to wield authority because the great majority of Taiwanese households are involved in some sort of veneration rites. A trend is noted, however: the younger the generation, the less serious the religious behavior, and the less thoughtful and the less articulate the conceptualizing regarding this tradition. Furthermore, for the majority of college students residing in Taiwan's metropolitan areas, the meaning of ancestral practices is either described as "nonreligious" or merely "a little religious."

The findings of this research also reveals that ancestral practices for the church in Taiwan are more a missiological and pastoral than theological issue. Therefore, four guiding principles are provided to direct those in church leadership, and ideas for further research in related areas are suggested. [Source: Dissertation Abstracts International]

 

Wang, Xiaoxuan. “Saving Deities for the Community: Religion and the Transformation of Associational Life in Southern Zhejiang, 1949-2014.” PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2015.

 

Wang-Riese, Xiaobing. "Popular Religious Elements in the Modern Confucius Cult." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.95-128.

Abstract: Starting with a brief historical review, this paper examines several official and nonofficial sacrificial rituals dedicated to Confucius in current times, as well as the popular religious elements included therein. With the collapse of the Chinese Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, Confucius’ cult lost its official status and had to find new forms more adaptive to modern Chinese society. In contrast to the orthodox sacrificial ritual in Imperial times, the reconstructed or newly invented rituals show a more secular character with some additional popular religious elements. Although commemorating events with the intervention of public authorities and rational behaviour patterns represent the main trend of the cult, the market for popular Confucianism is also huge. If the authorities were to relinquish their control in this domain, a strong movement of popular Confucianism might arise in mainland China similar to the one that exists in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. (Source: book)

 

Wang-Riese, Xiaobing. “Globalization vs. Localization: Remaking the Cult of Confucius in Contemporary Quzhou.” In Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China: Transnational Religions, Local Agents, and the Study of Religion, 1800-Present, edited by Thomas Jansen, Thoralf Klein, and Christian Meyer, 182-207. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

 

Xing, Guang. “Buddhist Influence on Chinese Religions and Popular Beliefs.” International Journal of Buddhist Thought & Culture 18 (2012): 135-157.

 

Xu Pingfang, "Les Découvertes récentes des statues de Sengqie et le culte de Sengqie." Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 10 (1998): 393-410. (Translated by Marianne Bujard)

Abstract: Sengqie was a monk of the Tang period from Heguo in Central Asia. After Sengqie died in AD 710, in a posture of meditation, his remains were buried in the Puguang wang si monastery in Sizhou. Following a series of evidential miracles, including the appearance of an image of the Eleven-faced Guanyin and repeated supernatural manifestations, Sengqie was canonized as the Grand Master of Universal Awakening Great Saint of Sizhou. By Song and Yuan times he had become the object of a popular cult. On the gilded wood-carved statue that was excavated in the cript of the stûpa of Xianyan si monastery in Ruian (Zhejiang) is engraved the inscription "Grand Master of Universal Awakening Great Saint of Sizhou." In Song and Yuan times many monasteries contained a Sengqie hall in which Sengqie heshang, Monk Sengqie, was worshipped. In recent years, statues of Sengqie have been discovered in stûpa-foundations in many places. For example, the stûpa of Ruiguang si monastery in Suzhou; the stûpa of Wanfo si monastery in Jinhua, the Baixiang ta pagoda in Wenzhou, the Tianfeng ta pagoda in Ningbo (Zhejiang), and the stûpa of Xingjiao si monastery in Shanghai all have statues of the Great Saint of Sizhou Sengqie sitting upright with his eyes closed, in an attitude of meditation. These images constitute material evidence of the popular cult of Sengqie in Tang and Song times. [Source of abstract: article]

 

Yip, Francis Ching-Wah, "Protestant Christianity in Contemporary China." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.175-205. [Note: Includes analysis of the relationship between Protestant Christianity and Chinese popular religion.]

 

Yü, Chün-fang, "The Cult of Kuan-yin in Ming-Ch'ing China: A Case of Confucianization of Buddhism?" In: Irene Bloom & Joshua A. Fogel [eds.], Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Pp. 144-174.

 

Yü, Chün-fang, Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

 

Zhai, Jiexia Elisa. “Contrasting Trends of Religious Markets in Contemporary Mainland China and in Taiwan.” Journal of Church and State 52.1 (2010): 94-111.

 

Zhang Zong. “Comment le bodhisattva Dizang est parvenu à gouverner les Dix Rois des Enfers.” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 17 (2008): 265-291.