NEW PUBLICATIONS IN 2015
Aijmer, Göran. "Erasing the Dead in Kaixiangong Ancestry and Cultural Transforms in Southern China." Cambridge Journal of China Studies 10, no. 2 (2015): 38-52.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “The Multiple Methods of Printing and Circulating ‘Precious Scrolls’ in Early Twentieth-Century Shanghai and Its Vicinity: Toward an Assessment of Multifunctionality of the Genre.” In Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012, edited by Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott, 139-185. Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2015.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “On the Performance and Ritual Aspects of the Xiangshan Baojuan: A Case Study of Religious Assemblies in the Changshu Area.” Hanxue yanjiu 33, no. 3 (2015): 307-344.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “A Popular Buddhist Story at the Ming Court of the Early Sixteenth Century: Images of Miaoshan in the Monastery of the Great Wisdom in Beijing and the Precious Scroll of Incense Mountain.” Ming Studies no. 75 (2015): 20-39.
Broy, Nikolas. "Syncretic Sects and Redemptive Societies." Review of Religion and Chinese Society 2, no. 2 (2015): 145-185.
Chae, Jun Hyung. "Religion, Charity, and Contested Local Society: Daoyuan and World Red Swastika Society in Eastern Shandong, 1920-1954." PhD dissertation, The University of Chicago, 2015.
Abstract: This study describes Daoyuan, a syncretic popular religion that emerged after the Great War, and its charity wing, the World Red Swastika Society. Focusing on this popular religion's active involvement in public affairs from 1920 to 1954, mostly in Shandong province, it explores how this religious organization developed its networks and businesses, as well as how its syncretic belief shaped its unique religious identity. It also examines the complex relationship between religious charity and the state in modern China. Religious charity in this project focuses on charitable works by the popular religion. One of the purposes of this research is to view local popular religions as influential social actors. It also creates a vehicle for exploring the ways various charitable works by these groups served as a critical node in which religious and secular forces overlapped. Few historians mention the role of religion in the social formation of modern China. This study aims to contribute to the scholarly discussion on religion-state relations in the modern Chinese context. It is, however, neither another simple reiterated critique of secularization theory, nor a grandiose theorization of Chinese religiosities. Instead, it presents the informal religious sector as an alternative within the socio-historical context of modern China. By so doing, it challenges the secular modernity thesis, and argues that there were various ways to become modern.
Chau, Adam Yuet. “Chinese Socialism and the Household Idiom of Religious Engagement.” In Atheist Secularism and Its Discontents: A Comparative Study of Religion and Communism in Eurasia, edited by Tam T.T. Ngo and Justine B. Quijada, 225-243. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Choo, Jessey J. C. “Shall We Profane the Service for the Dead? Burial Divinations, Untimely Burials, and Remembrance in Tang Muzhiming.” Tang Studies 33 (2015): 1-37.
Abstract: Though various divinatory practices were central to all burial arrangements in Tang China, scholars have paid scant attention to these practices and their social context and effects. This article reconstructs burial divination practices, discusses their ritual and social functions, and examines the social attitudes that influenced and were in turn influenced by them. Focus is on the following questions: why and how did families perform burial divinations? How were the divinatory oracles interpreted, and by whom? Why and to what extent did families subject themselves to these oracles? And what does the practice of burial divinations tell us about the culture of remembrance in Tang China? The article proposes answers to these questions through reading muzhiming (entombed epitaphs) against other transmitted and excavated sources and examining one common, but rarely studied, effect of divination practices on burials: their being rushed or much-delayed. Finally, the article examines a case involving both expedited and postponed burials and reconstructs Tang interpretations and responses to negative oracles in efforts to (re-)create memory. (Source: journal)
Doran, Rebecca. “The Cat Demon, Gender, and Religious Practice: Towards Reconstructing a Medieval Chinese Cultural Pattern.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 135, no. 4 (2015): 689-707.
Abstract: This paper examines and contextualizes rituals and beliefs surrounding the cat demon (maogui). While the demon has been briefly discussed or referenced in earlier scholarship, there as yet exists no systematic attempt to understand how it is treated in various sources. The paper approaches the complex of practices and ideas associated with the cat demon as a unique and richly informative cultural phenomenon that is suggestive of tensions relating to gender and class. The paper begins with a close examination of materials surrounding the most famous and well-documented case of cat demon practice, that involving Dugu Tuo, the half- brother of Empress Dugu of the Sui (Dugu Qieluo, 544-602), before turning to medico-religious approaches and, finally, to transformations of the supernatural or demonic cat in post-Tang materials. (Source: journal)
Drège, Jean-Pierre. “Des têtes qui volent, un aspect du vampirisme sinoasiatique.” Études chinoises 34, no. 1 (2015): 17-44.
Abstract: Parmi les curiosités des populations étrangères de l’Asie du Sud-est que décrivent les livres de voyage chinois à partir du XIIe ou du XIVe siècle figurent des êtres à la tête qui vole durant la nuit pour se repaître tantôt de poissons et de crustacés, tantôt des entrailles des humains, plus particulièrement des femmes et des petits enfants. Ces pratiques bizarres, que les auteurs chinois ont du mal à s’expliquer, se trouvent corroborées par les croyances révélées par les études ethnographiques. Mais ces faits ou ces croyances étranges étaient déjà attestés dans le sud même de la Chine depuis les premiers siècles de notre ère et elles figurèrent bientôt parmi les légendes qui nourrirent toute une littérature fantastique. C’est à ce titre qu’elles passèrent au Japon beaucoup plus tard pour venir grossir les histoires de fantômes. (Source: journal)
Gaenssbauer, Monika. Popular Belief in Contemporary China: A Discourse Analysis. Translated by Alexander Reynolds. Bochum: projekt verlag, 2015.
Abstract: This publication offers a fresh and unique approach to the topic of popular belief in contemporary China. It focuses on the positions of participants in the Chinese language discourse rather than taking the current state of research in the Western world as the starting point for ist exploration. This study lays open the discursive thread in the People’s Republic of China about indigeneity and the critical reception by Chinese academics of Western research approaches. Many Chinese authors have begun to question the ability of Western theories to adequately explain phenomena in China. This book also deals with discursive strategies of Chinese academics aimed at the legitimation of popular belief and in support of a scientific treatment of popular belief in the People’s Republic of China. The author gives a comprehensive overview of the broad range of positions within this rapidly unfolding social and academic sphere. (Source: publisher's website)
Ganany, Noga. “Baogong as King Yama in the Literature and Religious Worship of Late Imperial China.” Asia Major, 3rd ser., 28, no.2 (2015): 39-75.
Goossaert, Vincent. “Spirit Writing, Canonization, and the Rise of Divine Saviors: Wenchang, Lüzu, and Guandi, 1700–1858.” Late Imperial China 36, no.2 (2015): 82-125.
Abstract: This article aims to define one stage in the long history of the production of texts by Chinese elites using spirit writing. This stage lasted approximately from 1700 to 1858. It is characterized by processes of canonization, evidenced by two interrelated phenomena: the compilation of “complete books,” quanshu, for major savior gods (textual canonization), and their being granted very high-ranking titles by the imperial state (state canonization). Such processes were spurred by the activism of elite groups that promoted their values through their chosen divine saviors and their scriptural canons. The paper focuses on three gods in particular: Patriarch Lü, Wenchang, and Emperor Guan. The article discusses the textual and state canonizations of these gods and examines the social, doctrinal, and political dynamics that made them possible. (Source: journal)
Greene, Mark. “Wong Tai Sin: The Divine and Healing in Hong Kong.” In Disease, Religion and Healing in Asia: Collaborations and Collisions, edited by Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan & Zhou Xun, 54-68. London & New York: Routledge, 2015.
Haar, Barend J. ter. "The Sutra of the Five Lords: Manuscript and Oral Tradition." Studies in Chinese Religions 1, no. 2 (2015): 172-197.
Han, Sam; Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir. Digital Culture and Religion in Asia. London: Routledge, 2015. (See chapter 3 on "Religion as propaganda: The Falun Gong’s Info-War.")
Hetmanczyk, Philipp. "Party Ideology and the Changing Role of Religion: From ‚United Front’ to ‚Intangible Cultural Heritage.’" Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques 69, no.1 (2015): 165-184.
Holroyd, Ryan. “Schools, Temples, and Tombs across the Sea: The Re-Civilization of Post-Zheng Taiwan, 1683–1722.” Frontiers of History in China 10, no. 4 (2015): 571–593.
Abstract: This article examines the strategies employed by the Qing empire to induce the Han population in Taiwan to accept its rule following the island’s conquest in 1683. Late-seventeenth-century Taiwan had a sparse population and a huge hinterland, and this made it difficult for the Qing government to enforce its rule by military means alone. I will argue that the Qing officials in Taiwan also used a number of cultural tactics to legitimize their government in the eyes of the Han Taiwanese. First, they built culture temples and schools in the hopes of both demonstrating their moral authority and convincing the Taiwanese to participate in the dynasty’s examination system. Second, they involved themselves in local religion by founding or refurbishing temples to popular deities, demonstrating sympathy for local concerns and solidarity between religious groups on the mainland and in Taiwan. Finally, rather than denigrate the memory of the island’s former rulers, the Ming-loyalist Zheng family who had resisted the Qing government’s conquest of southern China, they portrayed them as honorable servants of the former dynasty whose legacy could be proudly remembered, but whose time had ultimately passed. (Source: journal)
Homola, Stéphanie. "Ce que la main sait du destin : opérations et manipulations dans les pratiques divinatoires chinoises." Ethnographiques.org, 2015, n° 31 - La part de la main [en ligne]. URL : http://www.ethnographiques.org/2015/ Homola.
Homola, Stéphanie. "Judging Destiny: Doubt and Certainty in Chinese Divinatory Rituals." In Of Doubt and Proof. Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment, ed. Daniela Berti, Anthony Good & Gilles Tarabout, 39-58. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015.
Idema, Wilt L., trans. The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2015.
Jin, Ze. “Dissemination and Aggregation: Some Reflections on the Transformation Processes Affecting Folk Belief in China.” Studies in Chinese Religions 1, no. 4 (2015): 306-322.
Abstract: The relevance of investigating the religious life of the common people in China has long been underestimated. This paper first examines the concepts of folk belief and folk religion and their characteristics based on historical and empirical materials. Then it addresses the possible patterns affecting the changeable religious elements – dissemination and aggregation. Finally, it describes the differing dynamics of integration within certain specific religions. The author argues that the social permeability of ‘little traditions’ and ‘great traditions’ has provided a substantial orientation for the establishment of people’s religious lives, and may also serve as a lens through which we may better understand the processes of social transformation in China. (Source: journal)
Katz, Paul. R. “Illuminating Goodness -- Some Preliminary Considerations of Religious Publishing in Modern China.” In Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012, edited by Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott, 265-294. Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2015.
Lai Chi-Tim. “The Cult of Spirit-Writing in the Qing.” Journal of Daoist Studies 8 (2015): 112-133.
Lai Guolong. Excavating the Afterlife: The Archaeology of Early Chinese Religion. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015.
Abstract: In Excavating the Afterlife, Guolong Lai explores the dialectical relationship between sociopolitical change and mortuary religion from an archaeological perspective. By examining burial structure, grave goods, and religious documents unearthed from groups of well-preserved tombs in southern China, Lai shows that new attitudes toward the dead, resulting from the trauma of violent political struggle and warfare, permanently altered the early Chinese conceptions of this world and the afterlife. The book grounds the important changes in religious beliefs and ritual practices firmly in the sociopolitical transition from the Warring States (ca. 453-221 BCE) to the early empires (3rd century-1st century BCE). A methodologically sophisticated synthesis of archaeological, art historical, and textual sources, Excavating the Afterlife will be of interest to art historians, archaeologists, and textual scholars of China, as well as to students of comparative religions. (Source: publisher's website)
Laliberté, André. "The Politicization of Religion by the CCP: A Selective Retrieval." Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques 69, no.1 (2015): 185-211.
Li, Geng. “Diviners with Membership and Certificates: An Inquiry into the Legitimation and Professionalisation of Chinese Diviners.” The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 16, no.3 (2015): 244–259.
Abstract: In wrestling with the precariousness of their legitimacy and reputation, diviners in China have developed their own approaches to legitimating and professionalising their business and occupation. This paper discusses the strategy of incorporating the occupation of divination into modern knowledge production and expert systems by forming academic associations and purchasing professional certificates. Diviners ’ imitation of professionalism is interpreted as a struggle towards gaining membership of modern society. The efforts of diviners to seek legitimacy also provide an opportunity to observe how a marginalised social group whose behaviour is generally stigmatised justifies their role in society. (Source: journal)
Li Lan. Popular Religion in Modern China: The New Role of Nuo. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2015.
Abstract: Since the early 1980s, China's rapid economic growth and social transformation have greatly altered the role of popular religion in the country. This book makes a new contribution to the research on the phenomenon by examining the role which popular religion has played in modern Chinese politics. Popular Religion in Modern China uses Nuo as an example of how a popular religion has been directly incorporated into the Chinese Community Party's (CCP) policies and how the religion functions as a tool to maintain socio-political stability, safeguard national unification and raise the country's cultural 'soft power' in the eyes of the world. It provides rich new material on the interplay between contemporary Chinese politics, popular religion and economic development in a rapidly changing society. (Source: publisher's website)
Lin Wei-Ping. Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, vol. 97. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015.
Abstract: Materializing Magic Power paints a broad picture of the dynamics of popular religion in Taiwan. The first book to explore contemporary Chinese popular religion from its cultural, social, and material perspectives, it analyzes these aspects of religious practice in a unified framework and traces their transformation as adherents move from villages to cities. In this groundbreaking study, Wei-Ping Lin offers a fresh perspective on the divine power of Chinese deities as revealed in two important material forms—god statues and spirit mediums. By examining the significance of these religious manifestations, Lin identifies personification and localization as the crucial cultural mechanisms that bestow efficacy on deity statues and spirit mediums. She further traces the social consequences of materialization and demonstrates how the different natures of materials mediate distinct kinds of divine power. The first part of the book provides a detailed account of popular religion in villages. This is followed by a discussion of how rural migrant workers cope with challenges in urban environments by inviting branch statues of village deities to the city, establishing an urban shrine, and selecting a new spirit medium. These practices show how traditional village religion is being reconfigured in cities today. (Source: publisher's website)
Liu Xun. “Of Poems, Gods, and Spirit-Writing Altars: The Daoist Beliefs and Practice of Wang Duan (1793–1839).” Late Imperial China 36, no.2 (2015): 23-81.
Abstract: While recent studies have illuminated elite women’s Buddhist piety and practices, we remain limited in our understanding of elite women’s relations to and involvement in other religions, especially Daoism and local cults and practices. This article fills the gap and furthers our understanding of late Qing elite women’s religiosity and practices with a focused study of the Daoist beliefs and devotional practices of Wang Duan (1793–1839). Based on close reading of poems and other writings produced by Wang Duan, her relatives, and fellow poets, I reconstruct Wang Duan’s Daoist religiosity and devotional practices in the context of her marital household’s religious milieu, and the larger literary and religious community she was involved with. I show that Wang Duan’s exposure to the Daoist practices of her relatives by marriage such as Chen Wenshu and Lady Guan Yun led to her own life-long practice of reciting Daoist scriptures for the sake of saving the soul of her husband and of pacifying the local dead and the martyred worthies of Suzhou. Through the initiation by her aunt-in-law Chen Lanyun, a Quanzhen Longmen priestess, she also developed strong institutional ties to the Daoist monastic center based on Mount Jin’gai in Huzhou, the epicenter of Quanzhen Daoism in late Qing Jiangnan. Her active participation in local spirit-writing altars in Suzhou and Hangzhou, her literary homage to Gao Qi (1336–74), and her frequent recitation of the salvational Daoist Jade Scripture of the Great Cavern by the Primordial Origin contributed directly to elevation and consecration of the martyred early Ming poet as a patron god of local spirit-writing altars and rain-making cults in Suzhou and Yangzhou. Consistent with her status and role as a well-known and creative poet, Wang Duan used poems as a medium to express her multifaceted religiosity and identity. I argue that Wang Duan’s Daoist religiosity not only attests to the extent of Daoist practice in many elite women’s daily life, but also demonstrated that through their religious commitment and participation, elite women such as Wang Duan, exerted their agency and power in shaping Quanzhen Daoism and local religious practice in late Qing Jiangnan. (Source: journal)
Menegon, Eugenio & Gina Cogan, “Religious Change in East Asia, 1400- 1800.” In The Cambridge History of the World, vol.6. The Construction of a Global World, 1400-1800. Part 2. Patterns of Change, ed. Jerry Bentley, Sanjay Subrahmanyam and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, 387-422. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
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)
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)
Noakes, Stephen & Caylan Ford. "Managing Political Opposition Groups in China: Explaining the Continuing Anti-Falun Gong Campaign." The China Quarterly, no. 223 (September 2015): 658-679.
Abstract: In this article, we seek to explain the persistence of the Communist Party's campaign to suppress the Falun Gong religious movement. We argue that the unrecoverable investment of more than a decade's worth of suppression work, compounded by the ineffectiveness of these efforts (as evinced in official documents and by the continuation of resistance activities), limits the state's ability to halt its campaign against Falun Gong. Our findings shed light on some of the Chinese state's current strategies for the management and control of domestic opposition groups, and challenge the view of the Party as adaptable and highly capable of reform from within. (Source: journal)
Peng Mu. “The Invisible and the Visible: Communicating with the Yin World.” Asian Ethnology 74, no. 2 (2015): 335-362.
Abstract: In the absence of the institutional propagation of religious knowledge, how do people form an understanding of the yin world (yinjian), the Chinese spiritual realm where ancestors, spirits, and ghosts dwell, in contrast to the yang world (yangjian) where we live? Based upon fieldwork conducted in 2005, 2006, and 2010 in rural Chaling, Hunan, this article explores how the annual observance of the Ghost Festival, the time when souls are said to return to the world of the living, instills beliefs about the yin world. Elaborating on spirit mediums through whom villagers communicate with deceased family members, it examines how spirit possessions shape and are shaped by villagers’ understanding of the yin world. Traditions and assumptions engrained in local life enable a dialogue between the dead and the living, while the depictions of the afterlife through spirit mediumship embody images and visions of the yin world, making the invisible visible. (Source: journal)
Shahar, Meir. Oedipal God: The Chinese Nezha and his Indian Origins. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015.
Abstract: Oedipal God offers the most comprehensive account in any language of the prodigal deity Nezha. Celebrated for over a millennium, Nezha is among the most formidable and enigmatic of all Chinese gods. In this theoretically informed study Meir Shahar recounts Nezha’s riveting tale—which culminates in suicide and attempted patricide—and uncovers hidden tensions in the Chinese family system. In deploying the Freudian hypothesis, Shahar does not imply the Chinese legend’s identity with the Greek story of Oedipus. For one, in Nezha’s story the erotic attraction to the mother is not explicitly acknowledged. More generally, Chinese oedipal tales differ from Freud’s Greek prototype by the high degree of repression that is applied to them. Shahar argues that, despite a disastrous father-son relationship, Confucian ethics require that the oedipal drive masquerade as filial piety in Nezha’s story, dictating that the child-god kill himself before trying to avenge himself upon his father. Combining impeccable scholarship with an eminently readable style, the book covers a vast terrain: It surveys the image of the endearing child-god across varied genres from oral and written fiction, through theater, cinema, and television serials, to Japanese manga cartoons. It combines literary analysis with Shahar’s own anthropological field work, providing a thorough ethnography of Nezha’s flourishing cult. Crossing the boundaries between China’s diverse religious traditions, it tracks the rebellious infant in the many ways he has been venerated by Buddhist monks, Daoist priests, and possessed spirit mediums, whose dramatic performances have served to negotiate individual, familial, and collective tensions. Finally, the book offers a detailed history of the legend and the cult reaching back over two thousand years to its origins in India, where Nezha began as a mythological being named Nalakubara, whose sexual misadventures were celebrated in the Sanskrit epics as early as the first centuries BCE. Here Shahar reveals the long-term impact that Indian mythology has exerted—through the medium of esoteric Buddhism—upon the Chinese imagination of divinity. (Source: publisher's website)
Stevens, K.G. "Images on Taiwanese Temple Altars of Koxinga and His Generals." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong 55 (2015): 157-182.
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, Yinggang. “Imagined Reality: Urban Space and Sui-Tang Beliefs in the Underworld.” Studies in Chinese Religions 1, no. 4 (2015): 375-416.
Abstract: Chang’an, the political, economic, and cultural center of the Sui-Tang period, is of great scholarly significance for the study of medieval Chinese political, religious, and cultural change. The scholarly study of Chang’an has already achieved research advances focused on the study of urban space, as well as politics, religion, ritual, and literature as they were manifested in the space of the urban wards in the process of (larger) social transformations. There are a relatively large number of contemporary studies that discuss the concrete, actual urban world. However, in reality there are abundant sources on Sui-Tang Chang’an’s history that provide information regarding the spiritual world of Chang’an. The spiritual or mental realm also comprises an important aspect of historical research that must not be overlooked. In addition to the actual, concrete world, the mental realm of Chang’an’s clerical and lay elites, as well as that of the mass of the populace, was also reflected in Chang’an’s urban spaces. On the level of life and death, the minds of Chang’an’s residents were preoccupied with an underworld. Between the realms of ‘darkness’ you (the underworld mingjie) and ‘light’ ming (the realm of the living shengjie) there existed mechanisms for mutual communication, and thus information from the underworld could be conveyed to the realm of the living. (Source: journal)
Tsai, Yen-zen. “Canon Made and Canon Revealed: An Interpretation of Luo Qing’s Wubu liuce.” Huaren zongjiao yanjiu/Studies in Chinese Religions 5 (2015): 1-36.
Wang Chien-chuan. “Morality Book Publishing and Popular Religion in Modern China: A Discussion Centered on Morality Book Publishers in Shanghai.” Translated by Gregory Adam Scott. In Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012, edited by Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott, 233-264. Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2015.
Wang, Xiaoxuan. “Saving Deities for the Community: Religion and the Transformation of Associational Life in Southern Zhejiang, 1949-2014.” PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2015.
Wu, Ka-ming. Reinventing Chinese Tradition: The Cultural Politics of Late Socialism. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015.
Abstract: The final destination of the Long March and center of the Chinese Communist Party's red bases, Yan'an acquired mythical status during the Maoist era. Though the city's significance as an emblem of revolutionary heroism has faded, today's Chinese still glorify Yan'an as a sanctuary for ancient cultural traditions. Ka-ming Wu's ethnographic account of contemporary Yan'an documents how people have reworked the revival of three rural practices--paper-cutting, folk storytelling, and spirit cults--within (and beyond) the socialist legacy. Moving beyond dominant views of Yan'an folk culture as a tool of revolution or object of market reform, Wu reveals how cultural traditions become battlegrounds where conflicts among the state, market forces, and intellectuals in search of an authentic China play out. At the same time, she shows these emerging new dynamics in the light of the ways rural residents make sense of rapid social change. (Source: publisher's website)
Yang, Mayfair. "Shamanism and Spirit Possession in Chinese Modernity: Some Preliminary Reflections on a Gendered Religiosity of the Body." Review of Religion and Chinese Society 2, no. 1 (2015): 51-86.
Yau Chi-on. “The Xiantiandao and Publishing in the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Area from the Late Qing to the 1930s: The Case of the Morality Book Publisher Wenzaizi.” Translated by Philip Clart. In Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012, edited by Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott, 187-231. Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2015.