18. Popular Religion in Scriptures, Tracts, Inscriptions, Literature & Drama
Alexander, Katherine. “The Precious Scroll of Liu Xiang: Late Ming Roots and Late Qing Proliferation.” Journal of Chinese Religions 49, no. 1 (2021): 49–74.
Abstract: Though Liu Xiang baojuan 劉香寶卷 has been widely used as a source for images of women's religious lives in late imperial China, few studies have looked closely at the text on its own or its literary history and contexts. With roots in late Ming lay Buddhism, as one of the most widely reprinted baojuan in late Qing Jiangnan, to say nothing of its representation in other performance genres in Jiangnan and beyond extending into the Republican period, this story complex deserves focused study. In this article, I explore the tale's history from the late Ming through the late Qing in order to lay the groundwork for future close readings of the narrative itself.
Arami, Hiroshi, “The Tun-huang Su-chiang chuang-yen hui-hsiang wen and Transformation Texts.” Acta Asiatica no.105 (2013): 81-100.
Arrault, Alain. "Les activités, le corps et ses soins dans les calendriers de la Chine médiévale (IXe-Xe s.)." Études chinoises 33, no.1 (2014): 7-56.
Abstract: Les activités, ce qu'il est conseillé de faire ou de ne pas faire, apparaissent dans les rubriques journalières des calendriers chinois à l’aube de la dynastie des Tang (618-907). Nous est parvenu, grâce aux documents retrouvés à Dunhuang, un nombre relativement conséquent de calendriers, environ une cinquantaine, répartis sur une période de temps parfaitement délimitée, du IXe au Xe siècle. L’extrême foisonnement des méthodes divinatoires mises en oeuvre dans le calendrier pour déterminer, entre autres, les activités, nous amène dans un premier temps à nous interroger sur la manière dont les calendriers étaient fabriqués, en faisant notamment appel aux sources japonaises. Dans un second temps, face à la centaine d’activités répertoriées, nous tentons d’en dégager des catégories pertinentes pour en faire une analyse statistique sur une durée de quelque deux cents années. Toutefois, en dehors de ces approches quantitatives, comment faire parler ces activités qui nous apparaissent dénuées de contexte ? Nous prenons ici l’exemple des soins du corps, essentiellement résumés dans les calendriers par les expressions « laver les cheveux et le corps » (muyu), « raser la tête » (titou), « laver la tête » (xitou), « enlever les cheveux blancs » (ba baifa), « couper les ongles des mains et des pieds » (jian shou zu jia). En convoquant diverses sources, littéraires, médicales, religieuses, etc., nous tentons de répondre aux questions suivantes : quelles conceptions avaient les Chinois de ces activités d’une manière générale et plus particulièrement dans l’hémérologie ? Existe-t-il une solution de continuité entre les discours sur les soins du corps et ce que laisse transparaître le calendrier ? Enfin, le calendrier développe-t-il un discours spécifique sur le corps ?
Baptandier, Brigitte, "Lüshan Puppet Theatre in Fujian." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.243-256.
Baptandier, Brigitte. "La Biographie de la Mère, Nainiang zhuan: La tablette à écriture." In Baptandier, Brigitte & Giodrana Charuty [eds.], Du corps au texte: approches comparatives. Nanterre: Société d’ethnologie, 2008. Pp. 111-149.
Bell, Catherine, "Stories from an Illustrated Explanation of the Tract of the Most Exalted on Action and Response." In: Lopez, Donald S., Jr. [ed.], Religions of China in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. Pp.437-445.
Bell, Catherine, "'A Precious Raft to Save the World'. The Interaction of Scriptural Traditions and Printing in a Chinese Morality Book." Late Imperial China 17(1996)1:158-200.
Bender, Mark, "A Description of Jiangjing (Telling Scriptures) Services in Jingjiang, China." Asian Folklore Studies 60(2001)1: 101-133.
Abstract: Jiangjing (telling scriptures) is a local style of oral prosimetric narrative performed in ritual contexts in the area of Jingjiang on the north bank of theYangzi River in Jiangsu Province, China. The style is a local expression of a once popular form of oral narrative known as baojuan ('precious scrolls' or 'precious volumes') that traditionally had associations with popular Buddhism and other beliefs. Jiangjing performances are recognized locally as having secular and sacred story repertories, performed by semi-professional storytellers at nighttime and daytime services, respectively. The storyteller is accompanied by a chorus of village elders who chime in at appropriate point sin the narration, a situation that raises interesting questions of performer/audience dynamics. This article includes a brief overview of jiangjing's history, its process of performance, a description of a child-protection ritual held in concert with a storytelling session, and a translation of a sample text of jiangjing. [Source of abstract: A&H Search]
Berezkin, Rostislav. “The Development of the Mulian Story in Baojuan Texts (14th-19th Century) in Connection with the Evolution of the Genre.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2010.
Abstract: Baojuan (precious scrolls) is a genre of Chinese prosimetric narrative literature, implying predominantly religious contents, which arose around the 14 th century and is still a living tradition today. Baojuan are the texts intended for performance. They were written in simple classical Chinese with vernacular elements. Baojuan were transmitted in the form of manuscripts and printed editions. I examine the development of one particular story (Buddha's disciple Mulian rescuing his mother from hell) in baojuan texts of different time periods in order to observe the changes of literary and religious characteristics of the genre, and also its social dimensions. It is the first attempt at an overall comparative study of the major baojuan texts on the Mulian story in world sinology. The dissertation focuses primarily on five texts, composed in the 14 th -19 th century. I also employ sources of other genres of Chinese literature, however, as well as materials of modern live performances of baojuan, including texts dealing with Mulian. Data on these performances comes mainly from my own fieldwork in China. I analyze the transformation of the purposes baojuan performances--from Buddhist proselytizing to sectarian propaganda in the early period of development and then to an act of religious devotion connected with folk ritual in the later. I argue that several traditions merged in this genre: religious exegesis, popular sermons, sectarian eschatology, religious festivals, popular drama, and the novel. Conclusions of my research challenge the existing periodization of the history of baojuan genre. With the use of methodology of the modern theory of oral literature, I demonstrate how the connection with the oral performance shaped the special features of form and contents of baojuan texts. I argue that baojuan genre has a special status of performance oriented text and reveal the close interaction of oral and written traditions in baojuan texts.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “Scripture-telling (jiangjing) in the Zhangjiangang Area and the History of Chinese Storytelling.” Asia Major, Third Series, 24.1 (2011): 1-42.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “An Analysis of ‘Telling Scriptures’ (jiangjing) during Temple Festivals in Gangkou (Zhangjiagang), with Special Attention to the Status of Performers.” CHINOPERL Papers, no. 30 (2011): 25-76.
Berezkin, Rostislav, and Vincent Goossaert. “The Three Mao Lords in Modern Jiangnan: Cult and Pilgrimage between Daoism and baojuan Recitation.” Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient 99 (2012): 295-326.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “On the Survival of the Traditional Ritualized Performance Art in Modern China: A Case of Telling Scriptures by Yu Dingjun in Shanghu Town Area of Changshu City.” Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore/Min-su ch’ü-i 181 (2013): 167-222.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “A Rare Early Manuscript of the Mulian Story in the Baojuan (Precious Scroll) Genre Preserved in Russia, and Its Place in the History of the Genre.” CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature 32.2 (2013): 109-131.
Berezkin, Rostislav & Victor H. Mair. "The Precious Scroll on Bodhisattva Guanyin from Jingjiang, and Confucian Morality." Journal of Chinese Religions 42.1 (2014): 1-27.
Abstract: This article deals with the special features of the contents of the Precious Scroll on Bodhisattva Guanshiyin from Xiangshan (Xiangshan Guanshiyin baojuan), a prosimetric text performed in Jingjiang, and its role in the local culture. Though based on written narratives, this text exists primarily as an oral version in the tradition of religious storytelling called “scripture telling” (jiangjing). We trace the origin of this text and argue that it belongs to the late stage of the transformation of the famous Buddhist narrative subject—the story of Princess Miaoshan (earthly incarnation of Guan[shi]yin)—in the religious culture of China, where it was heavily influenced by Confucian ideas. We also analyze the application of these ideas in the context of ritualized performances of this text in modern Jingjiang. (Source: publisher's website)
Berezkin, Rostislav. “The Transformation of Historical Material in Religious Storytelling: The Story of Huang Chao (d. 884) in the Baojuan of Mulian Rescuing His Mother in Three Rebirths.” Late Imperial China 34, no.2 (2013): 83-133.
Berezkin, Rostislav. "The Connection between the Cults of Local Deities and Baojuan (Precious Scrolls) Texts in Changshu County of Jiangsu: with Baojuan Performed in the Gangkou Area of Zhangjiagang City as Examples." Monumenta Serica 61 (2013): 73-111.
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.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “Precious Scroll of the Ten Kings in the Suzhou Area of China: With Changshu Funerary Storytelling as an Example.” Archív orientální 84, no. 2 (2016): 381-412.
Berezkin, Rostislav. "Paying for Salvation: The Ritual of 'Repaying the Loan for Life' and Telling Scriptures in Changshu, China." Asian Ethnology 77, no. 1-2 (2018): 307–329.
Abstract: This article discusses the modern ritual of “Repaying the Loan for Life” as it is performed in the Changshu area of Jiangsu province. The ceremony is related to the belief that there exists a “Loan for Life,” contracted by each per- son at birth, which must be repaid to the underworld treasury. Although the foundations of this ritual are located in medieval Daoist scriptures, it is currently associated with the narrative of the “Baojuan of the Loan for Life,” the vernacular text written in circa the nineteenth century, but obviously based on earlier literary materials. An Assembly for the Loan for Life in Changshu provides an interesting example of folk ritual events using baojuan (precious scrolls) performances. The performance as well as social and historical aspects of Assemblies for the Loan for Life in Changshu have never been analyzed; this article prepares the way by clarifying these topics from the perspective of their cultural significance, using fieldwork materials juxtaposed with related historical evidence. It endeavors to contribute to our understanding of the functioning of baojuan texts in traditional society as well as the development of popular religion in the Lower Yangtze region generally.
Berezkin, Rostislav. "Baojuan (Precious Scrolls) and Festivals in the Temples of Local Gods in Changshu, Jiangsu." Minsu quyi, no. 206 (2019): 115–175.
Berezkin, Rostislav. "The Precious Scroll of Miaoying in the Performative Context of Southern Jiangsu Storytelling." CLEAR 42 (2020): 93–117.
Berezkin, Rostislav. "The 'Penitence of Merciful Ullambana" and the Mulian Story in the Buddhist Ritual Context of Late Imperial China." Manuscripta Orientalia 26, no. 1 (2020): 14–25.
Berezkin, Rostislav. “The Precious Scroll of the Blood Pond in the “Telling Scriptures” Tradition in Changshu, Jiangsu, China.” Religions 12 (2021).
Berezkin, Rostislav and Vincent Goossaert. “The Three Mao Lords in Modern Jiangnan: Cult and Pilgrimage between Daoism and baojuan Recitation.” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 99 (2012-13): 295-326.
Berg, Daria, "Reformer, Saint, and Savior: Visions of the Great Mother in the Novel 'Xingshi yinyuan zhuan'." Nan Nü. Men, Women and Gender in Early and Imperial China 1(1999)2: 237-267.
Berndt, Andreas. “Heiligkeitskonzeptionen im spätkaiserlichen China: Die Drachenkönige (longwang) im Spiegel zweier Werke der traditionellen Literatur.” In Sakralität und Sakralisierung: Perspektiven des Heiligen, ed. Andrea Beck & Andreas Berndt. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013. Pp. 141-175.
Blauth, Birthe, Altchinesische Geschichten über Fuchsdämonen. Kommentierte Übersetzung der Kapitel 447 bis 455 des Taiping guangji. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 1996.
Brandl, Rudolf M., "Das nuo in Guichi (Anhui, China) 1994: Ein Feldforschungsbericht." In: Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller, Uwe Pätzold & Chung Kyo-chul [eds.], "Lux Oriente": Begegnungen der Kulturen in der Musikforschung: Festschrift Robert Günther zum 65. Geburtstag. Kassel: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1995. Pp. 111-148.
Brereton, Brian G. "Taiwan’s Mythological Theme Parks: Mnemonic Guardians and Uncanny Imaginaries." Acta Orientalia Vilnensia 7.1-2 (2006): 61-76.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the mnemonic roles of mythological theme parks in contemporary Taiwan. I investigate two popular theme parks, Madou’s “Prefecture that Represents Heaven” and its single Taiwanese precedent, the “Palace of Southern Heaven” in Zhanghua. I term these sites “mythological theme parks” because they differ significantly in form and function from other popular religious temples throughout Taiwan and China. Though both theme park and temple are loci of social production and reproduction, the nature of interaction at mythological theme parks resembles in many ways that which occurs at the imaginary realms manufactured by secular theme parks. These mythological theme parks feature moral imaginaries displayed in sculptural and animatronic depictions of the afterlife and acts of filial piety. My study addresses both textual sources and ethnographic data, collected while conducting fieldwork during the summers of 2004 and 2005, to evaluate how these mythological theme parks culturally convey the past into the present.
Brereton, Brian Gosper. “From Flesh to Fantasy: Contemporary Conceptions of the Chinese Afterlife in Spirit-travelogues and Mythological Theme Parks.” Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 2009.
Abstract: My dissertation analyzes the influence of conceptions and representations of the religious afterlife on individual and collective action in contemporary Taiwan. The critical study of representations of the Chinese afterlife has occurred almost exclusively in their anthropological locus classicus : the ancestral tablet, funerary ritual, and the underworld (Ahern 1973; Wolf 1974; Cohen 1988). My research, which builds on these foundtional inquiries, focuses on two alternative and fecund fields of otherworldly (re)production and representation: recent textual depictions of the afterlife and mythological theme parks. In this study, I will address both textual sources and ethnographic data to launch an inquiry into three key research questions concerning conceptions of the afterlife in Taiwan today: namely, (1) the struggle between individual desire and collective concerns, (2) the applicability and adaptability of traditional models of the religious afterlife, and (3) the processes by which representations of the afterlife illuminate and influence contemporary social systems. My analytical framework - inspired by practice theory, psychoanalytic thought, and psychological anthropology - illuminates an otherwise overlooked integrity in conventional Chinese conceptions of the afterlife and reveals the emotional correlates of their continuities and changes in current Taiwanese society.
Brokaw, Cynthia, "Supernatural Retribution and Human Destiny." In: Lopez, Donald S., Jr. [ed.], Religions of China in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. Pp.423-436.
Bumbacher, Stephan Peter. Empowered Writing: Exorcistic and Apotropaic Rituals in Medieval China. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2013.
Abstract: Empowered Writing explores the inherent powers of Chinese talismans, petitions, registers, and holy scriptures, presenting a systematic study of their exorcistic and apotropaic properties. The book divides into three parts: tallies, petitions, and scriptures—all inherently empowered since they originate from the very same primordial energy as Dao, the heavens, and highest gods. Tallies emerge as certificates of legitimation, used both in the imperial government and in religion. Petitions and registers, on the other hand, are writings addressed to higher ranking spirits to control demons, disease, and misfortunes. Scriptures, third, contain power even in their physical presence: entrained with superior spiritual beings, they can exorcize evil spirits and negative energies. This feature holds also true in Buddhism, where the readers of sutras can count on the support of unseen guardian buddhas and bodhisattvas. Using a vast arsenal of original sources, the book traces the unfolding and transformation of empowered writing from the Warring States period through the Six Dynasties, closely examining the different kinds of writing, their uses, and interpretation as well as relating uniquely Daoist features to imperial and Buddhist usages. The book is pathbreaking in its endeavor and stunning in its depth of analyis. It is a must for all China historians and scholars of religion. (Source: publisher's website)
Cai, Jiehua. “Xiyang ji und Tianfei niangma zhuan: Ein Vergleich.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.1 (Maritime Asia, vol. 23), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 139-154. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2011.
Abstract: This article compares some basic features of Xiyang ji and Tianfei niangma zhuan, especially their macro-structure, the role of Tianfei, the position of different religious strata within the overall construction, and the implicit political messages behind each story. In both cases, the westbound movement underlying the narration seems to express the hope that Ming-China will reemerge as a powerful nation. In Xiyang ji this can be linked to the preface and other features. Certain similarities between both texts also pertain to the portrayal of Tianfei or Mazu; generally, however, she plays a more active role in Tianfei nianma zhuan, where she is one of the main protagonists; in Xiyang ji she is implicitly present as Zheng He’s guardian, but she usually stays in the background. Moreover in the first case, Tianfei appears as a reincarnation of a fairy, who is the daughter of Beitian miaoji xingjun. This can be linked to the idea of san jiao gui yi. Here, one can also detect several differences in the structure of both novels. In Tianfei niangma zhuan, Daoism and Buddhism are closely interlaced, in Xiyang ji they appear as com-petitive strata. These findings also have certain implications for the role of “Confucianism” and the classification of both novels within the xiaoshuo genre.
Cai, Jiehua. “Li Hai und der Affengeist des Xiyang ji.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.2 (Maritime Asia, vol. 24), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 123-139. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2013.
Abstract: Xiyang ji contains several short episodes that frame the longest and central section of the novel, namely Zheng He’s voyage through the Indian Ocean. Symbolically, as well as in terms of space, these segments mark the transition from the familiar Chinese to the unknown foreign world. One story in this “transitional segment” deals with a certain Li Hai, who drifts to a small island (evidently located in the Yangzi estuary), where he is saved by the local spirit – an old monkey mother – and her children (chs. 19 and 20). The monkey spirit becomes Li’s consort. In the end Li kills a giant snake and obtains a “night-glooming pearl” (yemingzhu). When the fleet returns to China he joins Zheng He and accompanies to the imperial capital where the pearl is pre-sented to the emperor. The article examines the internal structure of the Li Hai story, its unusual symbolism and the remarkable role of the monkey spirit. It also compares this multi-facetted episode to other narrations on the relations between monkeys and humans.
Cai, Jiehua. Das Tianfei niangma zhuan des Wu Huanchu. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2014. (Maritime Asia, vol. 26)
Abstract: Das Tianfei niangma zhuan des Wu Huanchu ist ein kurzer Roman aus der späten Ming-Zeit (1368-1644) über die Wundertaten der Göttin Tianfei, die - zumeist unter dem Namen Mazu - bis in die Gegenwart entlang den chinesischen Küsten und weit darüber hinaus als Schutzpatronin der Seefahrer verehrt wird. Die Erzählung berichtet von zwei bösen Dämonen - einem Affen- und einem Krokodilgeist -, die aus dem Himmel fliehen. Das veranlasst die mitfühlende Tochter eines Sternenfürsten, persönlich in die Welt der Menschen hinabzusteigen, um Unheil abzuwenden und für Ordnung zu sorgen. Sie wird dazu in die Familie Lin geboren, steigt schließlich als Tianfei erneut in den Himmel auf und jagt die beiden Flüchtigen, auch jenseits der Reichsgrenzen, bis sie diese nach zahlreichen Abenteuern zur Strecke bringt. In einer ausführlichen Studie der Hauptfiguren der Erzählung wird der langen Tradition dieser Götter und Monster in der chinesischen Literaturgeschichte nachgegangen, um so dem Schaffen des Verfassers näher auf die Spur zu kommen und die Feinheiten des Romans auskosten zu können. Auf der Grundlage dieser Detailstudien werden abschließend strukturelle und inhaltliche Deutungsansätze geboten, welche die religionshistorische Bedeutung des Tianfei niangma zhuan unterstreichen. (Source: publisher's website)
Campany, Robert Ford, Strange Writing: Anomaly Accounts in Early Medieval China. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Campany, Robert Ford, To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong's Traditions of Divine Transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. [NOTE: Full translation of the Shenxian zhuan.]
Campany, Robert Ford. "Miracle Tales as Scripture Reception: A Case Study Involving the Lotus Sutra in China, 370-750 CE." Early Medieval China 24 (2018): 24-52.
Chao, Shin-yi. "The Precious Volume of Bodhisattva Zhenwu Attaining the Way: A Case Study of the Worship of Zhenwu (Perfected Warrior) in Ming-Qing Sectarian Groups." In: The People and the Dao: New Studies in Chinese Religions in Honour of Prof. Daniel L. Overmyer, edited by Philip Clart & Paul Crowe. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 63-81.
Chau, Adam Yuet. "Script Fundamentalism: The Practice of Cherishing Written Characters (Lettered Paper xizizhi) in the Age of Literati Decline and Commercial Revolution." In Chinese and European Perspectives on the Study of Chinese Popular Religions, edited by Philip Clart. Taipei: Boyang Publishing, 2012. Pp.129-167.
Abstract: The practice of cherishing written characters (xizizhi) has a long history. Many late imperial morality books (shanshu) included xizizhi as one of the many merit-generating practices that people should be engaged in. Xizizhi often appeared as an item in ledgers of merits and demerits (gongguoge). It later became attached to the worship of Lord Wenchang (Wenchang Dijun), who was the patron deity of candidates for the imperial civil service examination. In the early 20th century, however, xizizhi acquired a new significance. With the abolition of the imperial civil service examination in 1905 and the introduction of ”Western Learning,” the traditional literati lost their sense of purpose and superiority and the foundation of their identity. As a response to such sudden transformation, many grassroots literati resorted to advocating practices that emphasized the role of writing and the Chinese language, which allowed them to recreate a sense of purpose and identity and to maintain or regain respectability in local society. Spirit-writing became increasingly popular among local literati groups, often connected to newly- established redemptive societies. On the other hand, xizizhi became an all-purpose devotional practice, as a new generation of advocates fetishized the Chinese written language as the foundation of Chinese civilization. More interestingly, merchants and commerce featured more prominently in stories of divine retribution relating to xizizhi practices, which more than hinted at the impact of the commercial and consumer revolutions in the early 20th century on popular religiosity. In other words, what seems like a very old traditional practice (xizizhi) was deployed and repackaged strategically to respond to a very modern situation. (Source: book)
Chen, Fan Pen Li. Chinese Shadow Theatre: History, Popular Religion, and Women Warriors. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.
Abstract: In her study of Chinese shadow theatre Fan Pen Li Chen documents and corrects misconceptions about this once-popular art form. Drawing on extensive research and fieldwork, she argues that these plays served a mainly religious function during the Qing dynasty and that the appeal of women warrior characters reflected the lower classes' high tolerance for the unorthodox and subversive.
Chinese Shadow Theatre includes several rare transcriptions of oral performances, including a didactic play on the Eighteen Levels of Hell, and Investiture of the Gods, a sacred saga, and translations of three rare, hand-copied shadow plays featuring religious themes and women warrior characters.
Chen examines the relationship between historical and fictional women warriors and those in military romances and shadow plays to demonstrate the significance of both printed works and oral transmission in the diffusion of popular culture. She also shows that traditional folk theatre is a subject for serious academic study by linking it to recent scholarship on drama, popular religion, and popular culture. [Source: publisher's website.]
Chen, Fan Pen Li. Journey of a Goddess: Chen Jinggu Subdues the Snake Demon. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2017.
Abstract: This book offers the first translation into English of the Chinese novel Haiyouji, as well as excerpts of a marionette play based on the cult lore of the goddess Chen Jinggu (766–790), a historical shaman priestess who became one of Fujian's most important goddesses and the Lüshan Sect's chief deity. The novel, a 1753 reprint of what is possibly a Ming dynasty novel, was both a popular fiction and a religious tract. It offers a lively mythological tale depicting combat between the shaman goddess and a snake demon goddess. Replete with the beliefs and practices of the cult of this warrior goddess, the novel asserts the importance of Shamanism (i.e., local religious beliefs) as one of the four religions of China, along with Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. To further develop the links between literature and local religion, Fan Pen Li Chen includes translations of two acts from a Fujian marionette play, Biography of the Lady, featuring the goddess.
Chen, Frederick Shih-Chung. "Who are the Eight Kings in the Samadhi-Sutra of Liberation Through Purification? Otherworld Bureaucrats in India and China." Asia Major 3rd series, 26, pt.1 (2013): 55-78
Chen Hong, "Concepts of Chinese Purgatory in Pu Song-ling's Fiction Liao-zhai zhi-yi." British Columbia Asian Review 8(1994/95):128-149.
Chen Yi-yuan, "The Drama of Redemption of Vows of the Living (Yangxi) in Sichuan: A Critical Review of Current Research." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.53-66.
Cheng, Hsiao-wen. “Deviant Viewers and Gendered Looks: Erotic Interactions with Images and Visual Culture in Song Popular Religion.” Journal of Chinese Religions 49, no. 1 (2021): 21–47.
Abstract: This article examines popular anecdotes about erotic responses to religious images during the Song dynasty (960–1279). It first compares three interrelated traditions in order to see different agents at work: discussions of living images in art criticism, stories about miraculous icons in religious accounts, and erotic encounters with nonhumans in tales and anecdotes. In comparison with these traditions, narratives of erotic interaction with religious images often emphasize the agency of the viewer. For cases in which images are said to have responded, the narrative often displays deliberate efforts toward justification and interpretation. This article then examines the materiality of religious imagery in Song anecdotes and compares it with the nonreligious images and objects that become jingguai 精怪 (transforming creatures). Finally, through analyzing the depiction of female beholders and their desire in anecdotes and medical treatises, this article argues that a changing discourse on female sexuality took place during the Song-Yuan period.
Cheng, Hsiao-wen. Divine, Demonic, and Disordered: Women without Men in Song Dynasty China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021.
Abstract: A variety of Chinese writings from the Song period (960–1279)—medical texts, religious treatises, fiction, and anecdotes—depict women who were considered peculiar because their sexual bodies did not belong to men. These were women who refused to marry, were considered unmarriageable, or were married but denied their husbands sexual access, thereby removing themselves from social constructs of female sexuality defined in relation to men. As elite male authors attempted to make sense of these women whose sexual bodies were unavailable to them, they were forced to contemplate the purpose of women’s bodies and lives apart from wifehood and motherhood. This raised troubling new questions about normalcy, desire, sexuality, and identity. In Divine, Demonic, and Disordered, Hsiao-wen Cheng considers accounts of “manless women,” many of which depict women who suffered from “enchantment disorder” or who engaged in “intercourse with ghosts”—conditions with specific symptoms and behavioral patterns. Cheng questions conventional binary gender analyses and shifts attention away from women’s reproductive bodies and familial roles. Her innovative study offers historians of China and readers interested in women, gender, sexuality, medicine, and religion a fresh look at the unstable meanings attached to women’s behaviors and lives even in a time of codified patriarchy.
Chia, Caroline. “'Negotiation' Between a Religious Art Form and the Secular State: Chinese Puppet Theater in Singapore and the Case Study of Sin Hoe Ping.” Asian Ethnology 76, no.1 (2017): 117-144.
Abstract: Traditional art forms often face rapid decline if they are not able to keep pace with a changing society. This article will examine puppet theater as performed by Chinese descent groups in temples and public spaces in Singapore as a case study of the adaptation of particular ethnic traditions at a time of an intense process of modernization. The island state of Singapore comprises various ethnic groups from different religious backgrounds living together in an advanced economy. On the one hand, the government ensures that the ethno-religious framework is protected through policies and laws. On the other, it seeks to maintain social cohesion by not favoring any religious group and by downplaying religious and ethnic divides. As discussed here, notions of “Chineseness” need to be accommodated within state policies based on the “harmonization” of racial and religious differences. The traditional art form investigated here, Chinese puppet theater, is characteristically linked to ethnicity and religion. How, then, does this ritual art form “negotiate” with a state that emphasizes secularism and seeks to elide multiracial and multi-religious differences? This study proposes a distinction between the “state-regulated realm” and the “state-tolerated realm” to suggest how Chinese puppet theater has engaged in negotiation with the Singaporean state to enable it to survive and even flourish. The focus will be on the Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe, which has demonstrated considerable flexibility in adapting to secularized Singapore. (Source: journal)
Clart, Philip, "The Birth of a New Scripture: Revelation and Merit Accumulation in a Taiwanese Spirit-Writing Cult." British Columbia Asian Review 8(Winter 1994/95):174-203.
Clart, Philip, "Chinese Tradition and Taiwanese Modernity: Morality Books as Social Commentary and Critique." In: Philip Clart & Charles B. Jones [eds.], Religion in Modern Taiwan: Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Society. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003. Pp.84-97.
Clart, Philip. "Generals, Pigs, and Immortals: Views and Uses of History in Chinese Morality Books." Journal of Ritual Studies 19(2005)1: 99-113.
Clart, Philip. "Generals, Pigs, and Immortals: Views and Uses of History in Chinese Morality Books." In Asian Ritual Systems: Syncretisms and Ruptures, edited by Pamela J. Stewart & Andrew Strathern. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2007. Pp.209-238.
Clart, Philip. “The Relationship of Myth and Cult in Chinese Popular Religion: Some Remarks on Han Xiangzi.” Xingda zhongwen xuebao 23 (2008): 479-513. (Supplementary issue, zengkan)
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.
Clart, Philip. “Merit beyond Measure: Notes on the Moral (and Real) Economy of Religious Publishing in Taiwan.” In: The People and the Dao: New Studies in Chinese Religions in Honour of Prof. Daniel L. Overmyer, edited by Philip Clart & Paul Crowe. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 127-142.
Clart, Philip. “Anchoring Guanyin: Appropriative Strategies in a New Phoenix Hall Scripture.” Min-su ch’ü-i / Journal of Chinese Theatre, Ritual and Folklore 173 (2011): 101-128.
Abstract: The fact that scriptures play such a significant role in the supposedly mainly oral culture of Chinese popular religion raises a number of questions: Who writes them? How are they used? What religious ideas do they manifest? How do they appropriate and affect the cult of their protagonist deities? The present article seeks to address these questions using the case of Guanyin’s Lotus Sutra of the Marvellous Dao (Guanyin miaodao lianhua jing), a text revealed between 1998 and 2000 by means of spiritwriting at a Taichung city phoenix hall, the Xuyuan tang. The analysis of the scripture’s structure and rhetoric reveals that the Guanyin sutra represents a mode of popular and sectarian engagement with the Buddhist tradition that differs from and enriches the picture provided for us by Chün-fang Yü’s studies of Guanyin and by Prasenjit Duara’s notion of “superscription.” While we are definitely looking at a layering of meanings, as Duara did by regarding the Guandi myth as “a palimpsest of layered meanings,” the image of “superscription” does not accurately describe the way the Guanyin sutra does not so much overwrite but underlay Buddhist devotionalism with phoenix hall notions of Dao cultivation. In effect, the Guanyin sutra provides an inclusivist re-anchoring of Guanyin-related devotional practices in a core set of sectarian notions of personal cultivation, thus allowing us to differentiate a distinct mode of the syncretic construction of religious doctrine in a popular sectarian context. (Source: journal)
Clart, Philip. “New Technologies and the Production of Religious Texts in China, 19th to 21st Century.” In Modern Chinese Religion II, 1850-2015, edited by Vincent Goossaert, Jan Kiely, and John Lagerwey, 560-578. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2016. (Handbook of Oriental Studies, section 4: China, vol.32)
Clart, Philip. “Han Xiangzi 韩湘子 in Popular Literature of the Qing Period: A Preliminary Investigation of the Hanxian baozhuan 韩仙宝传.” In Duoyuan yiti de Huaren zongjiao yu wenhua: Su Qinghua boshi huajia jinian lunwenji 多元一体的华人宗教与文化——苏庆华博士花甲纪念论文集/ Diversity in Unity: Studies of Chinese Religion & Culture: A Festschrift in Honour of Dr. Soo Khin Wah on His Sixtieth Birthday, edited by Yan Jiajian 嚴家建, 367-411. Sg. Buloh, Selangor: The Malaya Press 马来亚文化事业有限公司, 2017.
Clart, Philip; David Ownby and Wang Chien-chuan, eds. Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Clart, Philip. “Text and Context in the Study of Spirit-Writing Cults: A Methodological Reflection on the Relationship of Ethnography and Philology.” In Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts, edited by Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan, 309–322. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Cozad, Laurie, "Reeling in the Demon: An Exploration into the Category of the Demonized Other as Portrayed in The Journey to the West." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 66(1998)1: 117-145.
De Meyer, Jan, "From beyond the Grave: Remarks on the Poetical Activities of Tang Dynasty Ghosts." In: Angela Schottenhammer (ed.), Auf den Spuren des Jenseits. Chinesische Grabkultur in den Facetten von Wirklichkeit, Geschichte und Totenkult. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2003. Pp.141-166.
Dean, Kenneth, "The Masked Exorcistic Theatre of Anhui and Jiangxi." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002 Pp.183-197.
DeWoskin, Kenneth J. & J.I.Crump, Jr. [trsls.], In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996.
Duan Chengshi; trsl. by Carrie E. Reed, Chinese Chronicles of the Strange: The "Nuogao ji". New York: Peter Lang, 2001.
Dudbridge, Glen, Religious Experience and Lay Society in T'ang China. A Reading of Tai Fu's Kuang-i chi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
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.]
Dudbridge, Glen, "Tang Sources for the Study of Religious Culture: Problems and Procedures." Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 12(2001): 141-154.
Abstract: Cet article étudie les problèmes de l'utilisation des témoignages écrits comme sources permettant de comprendre la religion telle qu'elle se pratiquait en réalité. Son point de départ est la forte dénonciation faite par J. J. M. de Groot des textes canoniques en tant que représentations adéquates d'une culture religieuse diverse selon les lieux et qui change au fil du temps. Cet article accepte la tension entre travail de terrain et interprétation historique, mais il veut rappeler que toute analyse ou description de la vie sociale provient de la perception de ses observateurs. Ceux-ci donnent naissance à leur propre lecture des sources qu'ils ont choisies. En gardant ce point précis à l'esprit, l'article examine un certain nombre d'études récentes sur la religion à l'époque Tang tout en essayant de trouver un mode de lecture plus critique des sources. Il plaide pour une approche plus nuancée de la question du genre des Ïuvres littéraires en introduisant un éventail plus large de matériaux dans le champ de l'analyse. Les récits appelés Zhi guai peuvent avoir une légitimité égale à celle des inscriptions et des histoires chronologiques, quand leur mode de lecture rend compte de la complexité des actes sociaux et des contextes qu'ils impliquent. La conclusion est tournée vers une reconstruction plus riche et plus subtile de la vie religieuse à l'époque Tang, rendue possible une fois que ces nouveaux modes de lecture ont inclus la totalité des diverses sources héritées du passé. (Source: journal)
Durand-Dastès, Vincent, "Prodiges ambigus. Les récits non canoniques sur le surnaturel entre histoire religieuse, histoire littéraire et anthropologie." Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie 20(2002): 317-344.
Durand-Dastès, Vincent. "Trois galipettes de Ji-le-Fou: voyages littéraires d'un moine excentrique chinois, de Hangzhou aux steppes mongoles et au Japon, XVIe-XXe siècles." In: Daniel Struve [ed.], Autour de Saikaku: Le roman en Chine et au Japon aux XVIIème et XVIIIème siècles. Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2004. Pp.69-94.
Durand-Dastès, Vincent. "L'interminable leçon d'un bonze de papier: Bodhidharma comme héraut confucéen dans un roman didactique du XVIIe siècle." In: Catherine Despeux & Christine Nguyen-Tri [eds.], Education et instruction en Chine 3: aux marges de l'orthodoxie. Paris, Louvain: Peeters, 2004. Pp.125-143.
Durand-Dastès, Vincent. "Le hachoir du juge Bao: Le supplice idéal dans le roman et le théâtre chinois en langue vulgaire des Ming et des Qing." In: Antonio Dominguez Leiva & Muriel Détrie [eds.], Le supplice oriental dans la littérature et les arts. Neuilly-les-Dijon: Éditions du Murmure, 2005. Pp.187-225.
Durand-Dastès, Vincent. “Poisons exotiques et vices domestiques: de vertueux héros aux prises avec les gu dans un roman du XVIIe siècle.” Études chinoises 26(2007): 83-107.
Durand-Dastès, Vincent. La Conversion de l’Orient: une pérégrination didactique de Bodhidharma. (Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques XXIX). Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises, 2008.
Abstract: La figure de Bodhidharma, le mythique fondateur du bouddhisme Chan (Zen), n'a cessé d'être inventée et réinventée à travers toute l'Asie orientale, de l'époque médiévale à nos jours. Prenant pour point de départ un moment bien précis de cette histoire, la Chine de la fin des Ming, l'ouvrage évoque les premières hagiographies en langue vulgaire consacrées au religieux, avant d'analyser un roman fleuve publié à Suzhou en 1635 et intitulé « La Conversion de l'Orient ». Cette pérégrination vers l'est du patriarche indien dépeint un Bodhidharma qui, loin d'incarner la radicalité religieuse souvent prêtée au Chan, se fait le héraut des valeurs confucéennes les plus conformistes. Le saint bonze devient, au fil de ce récit, le pivot autour duquel gravitent humains égarés, démons tentateurs, esprits animaux, maîtres de pratiques religieuses et quêteurs de perfection. Le bouddhisme, bien que relativisé par sa mise en perspective comme un des « Trois enseignements » (bouddhisme, taoïsme, confucianisme) occupe néanmoins une place centrale dans le roman : les techniques de méditation propagées par le Chan, le respect bouddhique de la vie animale et sa conséquence diététique, le végétarisme, y occupent une place de choix qui montre la profonde pénétration de ces thèmes et pratiques dans la société chinoise du temps. La « Conversion de l'Orient », au carrefour de la littérature didactique et du genre alors en vogue du roman en langue vulgaire, s'emploie à concilier les besoins de l'édification et ceux de la composition d'un récit fantastique de longue haleine. L'identification de ses sources et influences et la reconstitution détaillée de son histoire éditoriale permettent de mieux comprendre le statut social, culturel et religieux de l'écriture narrative en Chine à la veille des temps modernes. On trouvera en annexe la traduction d'un large extrait de l'œuvre originale. [Source: publisher's website]
Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Ping Yao, and Cong Ellen Zhang, eds. Chinese Funerary Biographies: An Anthology of Remembered Lives. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020.
Abstract: Tens of thousands of epitaphs, or funerary biographies, survive from imperial China. Engraved on stone and placed in a grave, they typically focus on the deceased's biography and exemplary words and deeds, expressing the survivors' longing for the dead. These epitaphs provide glimpses of the lives of women, men who did not leave a mark politically, and children—people who are not well documented in more conventional sources such as dynastic histories and local gazetteers. This anthology of translations makes available funerary biographies covering nearly two thousand years, from the Han dynasty through the nineteenth century, selected for their value as teaching material for courses in Chinese history, literature, and women's studies as well as world history. Because they include revealing details about personal conduct, families, local conditions, and social, cultural, and religious practices, these epitaphs illustrate ways of thinking and the realities of daily life. Most can be read and analyzed on multiple levels, and they stimulate investigation of topics such as the emotional tenor of family relations, rituals associated with death, Confucian values, women's lives as written about by men, and the use of sources assumed to be biased. These biographies will be especially effective when combined with more readily available primary sources such as official documents, religious and intellectual discourses, and anecdotal stories, promising to generate provocative discussion of literary genre, the ways historians use sources, and how writers shape their accounts.
Eichman, Jennifer. "Women and Animals: Culinary Dilemmas and Karmic Entanglements." Nan nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 24, no. 1 (2022): 95–133.
Abstract: The primary focus of this article is the gendering of Buddhist karmic culpability presented in the extra-canonical Buddhist essay, "Quan funü jiesha wen" (On exhorting women to refrain from killing). This mid-1650 work written by the Ming loyalist Chai Shaobing (1616-70) was subsequently reprinted in the Republican era Buddhist periodical press. "Quan funü jiesha wen" offers an extraordinary entry into a Buddhist moral universe in which women who kill animals are subject to various levels of karmic retribution. The bodily intimacy of such retributions is experienced in the form of complicated pregnancies, difficult childbirths, and a myriad of diseases unique to the female reproductive body. The first half of this study provides a full translation and detailed analysis of the Buddhist tropes and exemplary stories Chai employs as he sought to change women's culinary choices. The second half of this study shifts attention to the essay's historical context, first through a consideration of its early publication history and the seventeenth-century milieu in which it was created, and then through an examination of how the essay's ideas on gender fit within the changing world of Republican era China.
Fan Chun-wu (trsl. by David Ownby). “The Religious Texts of the Moral Studies Society: Print Publications, Photographs, and Visual Presentations.” In Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts, edited by Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan, 82–125. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Fan Lizhu, "A Review of Minxiang: Civil Incense Worship in Liaoning, China by Ren Guangwei." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.297-309.
Fang Ling. "Inscription pour la stèle de restauration de la salle principale du palais de repos et de la scène d'opéra couverte du temple du roi des Remèdes (Pékin, Yaowang miao, 1806)." Sanjiao wenxian: Matériaux pour l'étude de la religion chinoise 4(2005): 82-90.
Fang Ling & Vincent Goossaert, "L'inscription pour le temple du roi des Remèdes (Pékin, Yaowang miao, 1596)." Sanjiao wenxian: Matériaux pour l'étude de la religion chinoise 3(1999): 159-167.
Fisher, Gareth. “Morality Books and the Revival of Lay Buddhism in China.” In: Adam Yuet Chau [ed.], Religion in Contemporary China: Revitalization and Innovation. London: Routledge, 2011. Pp. 53-80.
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)
Fryklund, Kristin Ingrid, trsl. The Lady of Linshui Pacifies Demons: A Seventeenth-Century Novel. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021.
Abstract: The Lady of Linshui—the goddess of women, childbirth, and childhood—is still venerated in south China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Her story evolved from the life of Chen Jinggu in the eighth century and blossomed in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) into vernacular short fiction, legends, plays, sutras, and stele inscriptions at temples where she is worshipped. The full-length novel The Lady of Linshui Pacifies Demons narrates Chen Jinggu’s lifelong struggle with and eventual triumph over her spirit double and rival, the White Snake demon. Among accounts of goddesses in late imperial China, this work is unique in its focus on the physical aspects of womanhood, especially the dangers of childbirth, and in its dramatization of the contradictory nature of Chinese divinities. This unabridged, annotated translation provides insights into late imperial Chinese religion, the lives of women, and the structure of families and local society.
Führer, Bernhard, "Die Projektion der Zukunft in die Vergangenheit. Ein Versuch über 'Die Ballade vom angebissenen Shaobing' (Shaobingge)." In: Christiane Hammer & Bernhard Führer [eds.], Tradition und Moderne - Religion, Philosophie und Literatur in China. Dortmund: projekt verlag, 1997. Pp. 113-142.
Abstract: This essay provides some glimpses at textual traces of the allegedly prophetic text Shaobingge, commonly attributed to Liu Ji (Liu Bowen), strategist and advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty. In the light of its development, the Shaobingge is presumed to be a compilation based on legends and predictions scattered in various sources mainly dated post eventum. The current version of the Shaobingge is presumed to have been assembled around the downfall of the Qing and attributed to the celebrated Liu Bowen, shrouded in mystery in order to reinforce its authority in the anti-Manchu propaganda. This essay further investigates some of the linguistic devices used by the unknown compiler(s), who translated the accounts events past into dark and cryptic language riddles pretending to predict the end of both the Ming and the Qing dynasties. [Source of abstract: article]
Galambos, Imre. "Laozi Teaching Confucius: History of a Text Through Time." Studies in Chinese Religions 4, no. 4 (2018): 355–381.
Abstract: In addition to religious scriptures that survive from the Ming-Qing period, the Qing archives related to the prosecution of secret societies contain references to texts and images found in the possession of members of such societies at the time of their arrest. Texts may also be mentioned or at times quoted in full by the accused in the course of their interrogation. Some of these texts are unknown from other sources and thus the archival material offers precious insights into religious literature used by sectarian groups. This article examines a text that appears in the archives under the title Laojun du fuzi 老君度夫子 (The Elderly Lord Saves the Master), tracing the history of its transmission from the Song dynasty until modern days. In the course of the centuries, the text changed its title and part of its content, to the extent that it may be argued that its versions no longer constitute the same text but rather several interrelated ones, each with its own agenda and socio-cultural background.
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.
Ganany, Noga. “Journeys Through the Netherworld in Late-Ming Hagiographic Narratives” Late Imperial China 42, no. 2 (2021): 137–178.
Abstract: This article examines the trope of journeys through the netherworld in late Ming hagiographic narratives, or "origin narratives," that celebrate the life stories of gods, immortals, and historic figures. Origin narratives share a common narrative structure that standardizes the life stories of revered figures as a cyclical journey, marked by the protagonist's descent to the human world and final re-ascent to heaven. The protagonist's journey through the netherworld not only mirrors the overarching structure of origin narratives, but also represents a turning point, both structurally and thematically. While traveling through the realm of the dead is not in itself a precondition for deification, it provides the protagonists with a canvas to demonstrate the specific attributes for which they are revered, and therefore acts as a rite of passage that paves the way for the protagonist's deification. This article explores the significance of the netherworld-journey trope in the hagiographic vision propagated by origin narratives by focusing on three case studies: the demon-queller Zhong Kui, the bodhisattva Guanyin, and the Daoist saint Sa Shoujian. Through these case studies, I argue that netherworld journeys in origin narratives represent the culmination of two concomitant trends in late-Ming print culture: the rise of a standardized hagiographical vision in "vernacular" narrative writing (xiaoshuo), and an intensified preoccupation with the realm of the dead.
Ganany, Noga. “Writing and Worship in Deng Zhimo’s Saints Trilogy.” Religions 13 (2022).
Gernant, Karen, Imagining Women: Fujian Folk Tales. New York: Interlink Books, 1995.
Gerritsen, Anne, "Visions of Local Culture: Tales of the Strange and Temple Inscriptions from Song-Yuan Jizhou." Journal of Chinese Religions 28(2000): 69-92.
Goossaert, Vincent. L'interdit du boeuf en Chine. Agriculture, éthique et sacrifice. Paris: Collège de France, 2005. Bibliothèque de l'Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises, vol. XXXIV.
Abstract: L'interdit du boeuf (ne pas tuer de bovin, ne pas manger leur chair) se forme entre le 9e et le 13e siècle, en même temps que la religion chinoise moderne dont il est indissociable. Si la justification de cette nouvelle règle éthique se place d'abord au niveau de l'économie agricole -- les bovins, symboles fragiles de la civilisation céréalière chinoise, sont nos compagnons de travail -- la très abondante littérature (traités, poèmes, romans, théâtre, révélation ...) qui exhorte les lecteurs à ne pas tuer et manger les animaux les plus proches de l'homme relie cet interdit à de multiples enjeux: les règles de pureté rituelle (est-il nécessaire d'être végétarien pour être pur?), le choix des animaux sacrificiels (que mangent les dieux?), l'éthique du respect de la vie (tous les animaux sont-ils égaux?). Certains respectent l'interdit, des activistes en faisant même une croisade morale; d'autres le bravent, se démarquant par là-même du reste de la société. L'interdit du boeuf se révèle ainsi comme une perspective inédite et fascinante pour comprendre certains modes de fonctionnement de la société chinoise à la fin de la période impériale: qui dicte les règles éthiques et rituelles: les lettrés, les religieux bouddhistes et taoïstes, les leaders des communautés locales? Finalement, en Chine comme ailleurs, tuer et manger contribuent à ordonner la société. [Source: publisher's website]
Goossaert, Vincent. “Yu Yue (1821–1906) explore l’au-delà: La culture religieuse des élites chinoises à la veille des revolutions.” Miscellanea Asiatica: Mélanges en l’honneur de Françoise Aubin / Festschrift in Honour of Françoise Aubin, edited by Roberte Hamayon, Denise Aigle, Isabelle Charleux, and Vincent Goossaert. Sankt Augustin, Monumenta Serica, 2011. Pp. 623-656.
Goossaert, Vincent. “La sexualité dans les livres de morale chinois,” in Normes religieuses et genre. Mutations, résistances et reconfiguration, xixe- xxie siècle, ed. Florence Rochefort & Maria Eleonora Sanna, 37-46. Paris, Armand Colin, 2013.
Goossaert, Vincent. "Modern Daoist Eschatology: Spirit-Writing and Elite Soteriology in Late Imperial China." Daoism: Religion, History and Society 6 (2014): 219-246.
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)
Goossaert, Vincent. “Yu Yue (1821-1906) Explores the Other World: Religious Culture of the Chinese Elites on the Eve of the Revolutions.” In Religion in Taiwan and China : Locality and Transmission, edited by Hsun Chang & Benjamin Penny, 59-107. Taipei: Academia Sinica, Institute of Ethnology, 2017.
Goossaert, Vincent. “The Textual Canonization of Guandi.” In Rooted in Hope / In der Hoffnung verwurzelt: China - Religion - Christianity / China - Religion - Christentum. Festschrift in Honor of Roman Malek S.V.D. on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday / Festschrift für Roman Malek S.V.D. zu seinem 65. Geburtstag, edited by B. Hoster, D. Kuhlmann, Z. Wesołowski S.V.D., 509-526. London: Routledge, 2017.
Goossaert, Vincent. "Late Imperial Chinese Piety Books." Studies in Chinese Religions 5, no. 1 (2019): 38-54.
Abstract: From the late Ming onwards, the intense production of spirit-written texts, and morality books in particular, resulted in the circulation of a huge amount of religious literature. This led to various processes of canonization. This article examines one of the results of such processes, namely the publication of short compendiums of essential religious knowledge, oriented toward individual practice, that have circulated in Chinese society since the late eighteenth century, and that I call piety books. I first define this genre, introduce several examples published during the early nineteenth century, and then discuss the type of piety that these books recommended and articulated, organized around daily spiritual exercises.
Goossaert, Vincent. "Divine Codes, Spirit-Writing, and the Ritual Foundations of Early-Modern Chinese Morality Books." Asia Major, 3rd ser., 33, no. 1 (2020): 1–31.
Abstract: In China's early-modern period (11th–14th centuries), a large number of divine codes (guilü 鬼律, or tianlü 天律) were revealed to adepts in the context of the new exorcistic ritual traditions (daofa 道法) of that period. Their texts prescribed how hu-mans and spirits should behave; and laid out the mechanisms of divine punishments in case of any breach. After introducing the corpus of these codes, the article ex-plores the moral charter they outline for priests. It argues that this moral discourse is contiguous with that of a genre called morality books (shanshu 善書), and shows how priestly codes gradually entered general circulation and thereby became morality books. An important link between the two genres is spirit-writing. During the early-modern period priests used spirit-writing for producing ritual documents (including moral exhortations from the gods), but later the technique became generalized and was used to mass-produce morality books.
Grant, Beata, "Patterns of Female Religious Experience in Qing Dynasty Popular Literature." Journal of Chinese Religions 23(1995):29-58.
Haar, Barend J. ter. Practicing Scripture: A Lay Buddhist Movement in Late Imperial China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2014.
Abstract: Practicing Scripture is an original and detailed history of one of the most successful religious movements of late imperial China, the Non-Action Teachings, or Wuweijiao, from its beginnings in the late sixteenth century in the prefectures of southern Zhejiang to the middle of the twentieth century, when communist repression dealt it a crippling blow. Uncovering important data on its beliefs and practices, Barend ter Haar paints a wholly new picture of the group, which, despite its Daoist-sounding name, was a deeply devout lay Buddhist movement whose adherents rejected the worship of statues and ancestors while venerating the writings of Patriarch Luo (fl. early sixteenth century), a soldier-turned-lay-Buddhist. The texts, written in vernacular Chinese and known as the Five Books in Six Volumes, mix personal experiences, religious views, and a wealth of quotations from the Buddhist canon. Ter Haar convincingly demonstrates that the Non-Action Teachings was not messianic or millenarian in orientation and had nothing to do with other new religious groups and networks traditionally labelled as White Lotus Teachings. It combined Chan and Pure Land practices with a strong self-identity and vegetarianism and actively insisted on the right of free practice. Members of the movement created a foundation myth in which Ming (1368–1644) emperor Zhengde bestowed the right upon their mythical forefather. In addition, they produced an imperial proclamation whereby Emperor Kangxi of the Qing (1645–1911) granted the group similar privileges. (Source: publisher's website)
Haar, Barend J. ter. "The Sutra of the Five Lords: Manuscript and Oral Tradition." Studies in Chinese Religions 1, no. 2 (2015): 172-197.
Halperin, Mark. „Case Studies in Efficacy: A Reading of Shenxian ganyu zhuan.“ Journal of Chinese Religions 41, no.1 (2013): 1-24.
Hamilton, Patricia L., "Feng Shui, Astrology, and the Five Elements: Traditional Chinese Belief in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club." Melus 24(1999)2: 125-145.
Hammond, Charles E., "The Demonization of the Other: Women and Minorities as Weretigers." Journal of Chinese Religions 23(1995):59-80.
Hammond, Charles E. "What Yuan Mei Spoke of." Journal of Chinese Religions 36 (2008): 84-117.
He, Xuewei, "Narrators of Buddhist Scriptures and Religious Tales in China." In: Vibeke Børdahl [ed.], The Eternal Storyteller: Oral Literature in Modern China. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1999. (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Studies in Asian Topics, no.24.) Pp. 40-44
Ho Ts'ui-p'ing, "Ritual Literalized: A Critical Review of Ritual Studies on the National Minorities in Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and Sichuan." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.135-155.
Holm, David, "A Review of the Celebration of the Bodhisattva Ritual of the Vernacular Priests of the Zou Lineage in Poji Township, Zhenxiong County, Zhaotong Region, Yunnaan by Guo Siju and Wang Yong." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.109-116.
Holm, David, "A Review of the Yangxi of Guizhou: The Theatrical Troupe of the Deng Lineage in Dashang Village, Limu Township, Luodian by Huangfu Chongqing." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.117-127.
Holm, David, "A Review of the Celebration of the Bodhisattva Ritual of the Han Chinese in Poji Township, Zhenxiong County, Yunnan by Ma Chaokai." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.129-132.
Holm, David, "A Review of Pleasing the Nuo Gods in Cengong County, Guizhou." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.171-180.
Holm, David, "The Death of Tiaoxi (the 'Leaping Play'): Ritual Theatre in the Northwest of China." Modern Asian Studies 37(2003)4: 863-884.
Homola, Stéphanie. "Les usages de la main dans les calculs divinatoires." Études chinoises 33, no.1 (2014): 113-132.
Abstract: Les praticiens des arts divinatoires chinois ont l’habitude de s’aider de la paume de la main pour effectuer diverses opérations en parcourant avec le pouce les positions matérialisées par les phalanges des quatre autres doigts. Deux techniques sont ici examinées : la méthode du petit liuren ???, pratiquée par tout un chacun dans la vie quotidienne, et le calcul des signes horoscopiques par les spécialistes des arts divinatoires. En facilitant la manipulation et la mémorisation des réseaux complexes de symboles cosmologiques, le dispositif de la main opère comme un outil de communication entre le microcosme et le macrocosme. Il est également l’expression d’un savoir commun sur le destin et peut ainsi être mis en parallèle avec les arts de la mémoire occidentaux qui renvoient non seulement à une mnémotechnique mais également aux valeurs partagées par une communauté.
Hou Jie, "Mulian Drama: A Commentary on Current Research and Source Materials." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002 Pp.23-48.
Hou Song, Wu Zongjie, and Liu Huimei. "Multi-Discursive Ethnography and the Re-Narration of Chinese Heritage: Stories about the Yueju Opera Performance at the Heavenly Queen Palace of Quzhou." Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies 16, no.2 (2016): 197-222.
Hsieh, Daniel. "Fox as Trickster in Early Medieval China." In: Alan K.L. Chan & Yuet-keung Lo [eds.], Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2010. Pp. 223-249.
Hsu Li-ling, "Three Books on the Duangong Ritual of Jiangbei County, Sichuan by Wang Yue." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.67-73.
Hu, Jiechen. “The Scripture of Filial Piety [Revealed] by Wenchang: A Bibliographical Study.” Acta Orientalia Hungarica 74, no. 2 (2021): 241–265.
Abstract: This article discusses the date of the Scripture of Filial Piety [Revealed] by Wenchang (Wenchang xiaojing 文 昌孝經). The central claim of this contribution is that the Scripture appeared during the Ming-Qing transition, being a product of the ritualisation of the Classic of Filial Piety (Xiaojing 孝經). By examining more than twenty different editions, this article identifies at least three different lines of textual transmission, each connected to distinctive commentaries and reprints. Confucian literati were the main social actors responsible for the creation, reproduction, redaction, and annotation of the extant editions.
Huang, Martin W., "Karmic Retribution and the Didactic Dilemma in the Xingshi Yinyuan Zhuan." Chinese Studies 15 (1997) 1: 397-440.
Huntington, Rania, "Foxes and Sex in Late Imperial Chinese Narrative." Nan Nü 2(2000)1: 78-128.
Huntington, Rania. “Charting a Strange Garden: Mapping the Kuaiyuan Zhiyi.” Late Imperial China 42, no. 2 (2021): 179–224.
Abstract: No matter how bizarre or fantastic the events they describe, zhiguai (tales of the strange) are almost always set in mundane locations that can be located on a map, proving a wealth of geographic information for a body of narrative between the personal and the collective. Using GIS (Geographic Information Systems), this article explores the intersection of geography with conceptual categories of the strange in Qian Xiyan's early seventeenth century collection Kuaiyuan zhiyi, examining it on the levels of the collection as a whole, thematic categories, a particular region, and interregional connections. The city of Suzhou is Qian's central focus where all the different forms of the divine and the demonic cross paths.
Idema, Wilt L., "The Pilgrimage to Taishan in the Dramatic Literature of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries." Chinese Literature, Essays, Articles, Reviews 19 (1997): 23-57.
Idema, Wilt L., "Guanyin's Acolytes." 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.205-226.
Idema, Wilt L. , "The Filial Parrot in Qing Dynasty Dress: A Short Discussion of the Yingge baojuan [Precious scroll of the parrot]." Journal of Chinese Religions 30(2002): 77-96.
Idema, Wilt, "Evil Parents and Filial Offspring: Some Comments on the Xiangshan baojuan and Related Texts." Studies in Central and East Asian Religions 12/13(2001-2002): 1-40.
Idema, Wilt L., with an essay by Haiyan Lee. Meng Jiangnü Brings Down the Great Wall: Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2008.
Abstract: Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall brings together ten versions of a popular Chinese legend that has intrigued readers and listeners for hundreds of years. Elements of the story date back to the early centuries B.C.E. and are an intrinsic part of Chinese literary history. Major themes and subtle nuances of the legend are illuminated here by Wilt L. Idema's new translations and pairings.
In this classic story, a young woman named Meng Jiang makes a long, solitary journey to deliver winter clothes to her husband, a drafted laborer on the grandiose Great Wall construction project of the notorious First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (BCE 221-208). But her travels end in tragedy when, upon arrival, she learns that her husband has died under the harsh working conditions and been entombed in the wall. Her tears of grief cause the wall to collapse and expose his bones, which she collects for proper burial. In some versions, she tricks the lecherous emperor, who wants to marry her, into providing a stately funeral for her husband and then takes her own life.
The versions presented here are ballads and chantefables (alternating chanted verse and recited prose), five from urban printed texts from the late Imperial and early Republican periods, and five from oral performances and partially reconstructed texts collected in rural areas in recent decades. They represent a wide range of genres, regional styles, dates, and content. From one version to another, different elements of the story - the circumstances of Meng Jiangnu's marriage, her relationship with her parents-in-law, the journey to the wall, her grief, her defiance of the emperor - are elaborated upon, downplayed, or left out altogether depending on the particular moral lessons that tale authors wished to impart.
Idema brings together his considerable translation skills and broad knowledge of Chinese literature to present an assortment of tales and insightful commentary that will be a gold mine of information for scholars in a number of disciplines. Haiyan Lee's essay discusses the appeal of the Meng Jiangnu story to twentieth-century literary reformers, and the interpretations they imposed on the material they collected. [Source: publisher's website]
Idema, Wilt L. Personal Salvation and Filial Piety: Two Precious Scroll Narratives of Guanyin and Her Acolytes. Honolulu: Kuroda Institute & University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008.
Abstract: The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was a handsome prince when he entered China. As Guanyin, the bodhisattva was venerated from the eleventh century onward in the shape of a beautiful woman who became a universal savior. Throughout the last millennium, the female Guanyin has enjoyed wide and fervid veneration throughout East Asia and has appeared as a major character in literature and legend. In one tale, Guanyin (as the princess Miaoshan) returns from the dead after being executed by the king, her father, for refusing to marry. The most popular version of this legend is The Precious Scroll of Incense Mountain (Xiangshan baojuan), a long narrative in prose and verse and a work of considerable literary merit. It emphasizes the conflict between father and daughter, in the course of which all conventional arguments against a religious lifestyle are paraded and rebutted. A lengthy description of Guanyin’s visit to the underworld, which focuses on the conflict between grace and justice, is also included.
Personal Salvation and Filial Piety offers a complete and fully annotated translation of The Precious Scroll, based on a nineteenth-century edition. The translation is preceded by a substantial introduction that discusses the origin of the text and the genre to which it belongs and highlights the similarities and differences between the scroll and female saints’ lives from medieval Europe. There follows a translation of the much-shorter Precious Scroll of Good-in-Talent and Dragon Daughter, which provides a humorous account of how Guanyin acquired the three acolytes—Sudhana, Nagakanya, and a white parrot—who are often shown surrounding her in popular prints. [Source: publisher's website]
Idema, Wilt L. “English-language Studies of Precious Scrolls: a Bibliographical Survey.” CHINOPERL Papers no.31 (2012): 163-176.
Idema, Wilt L., trans. The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2015.
Idema, Wilt L., “Narrative daoqing, the Legend of Han Xiangzi, and the Good Life in the Han Xiangzi jiudu Wengong daoqing quanben.” Daoism: Religion, History and Society, no. 8 (2016): 93-150.
Idema, Wilt L., and Stephen H. West. "Zhong Kui at Work: A Complete Translation of The Immortal Officials of Happiness, Wealth and Longevity Gather in Celebration by Zhu Youdun (1379-1439)." Journal of Chinese Religions 44, no. 1 (2016): 1–34.
Abstract: The development of the legend of Zhong Kui 鍾馗 can be traced in considerable detail from the Tang dynasty onward. As a demon-chaser Zhong Kui came to play a major role in the Nuo 儺 ceremonies of New Year's Eve. This article presents a complete translation of a script for such a Nuo ceremony at the palace of the Prince of Zhou 周王 in the early decades of the fifteenth century composed as a zaju 雜劇 play by Zhu Youdun 朱有燉 (1379-1439). The play, here translated in full, not only provides a lively picture of the Nuo ceremony itself, but also provides a discussion of the nature of Zhong Kui's divinity, a god without any temple or festival in his honor.
Imbach, Jessica. “Variations on gui and Trouble with Ghosts in Modern Chinese Fiction.” Asiatische Studien/Études asiatiques 70, no. 3 (2016): 865-880.
Inglis, Alister D. Hong Mai’s Record of the Listener and Its Song Dynasty Context. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.
Abstract: Song dynasty historian Hong Mai (1123–1202) spent a lifetime on a collection of supernatural accounts, contemporary incidents, poems, and riddles, among other genres, which he entitled Record of the Listener (Yijian zhi). His informants included a wide range of his contemporaries, from scholar-officials to concubines, Buddhist monks, and soldiers, who helped Hong Mai leave one of the most vivid portraits of life and the different classes in China during this period. Originally comprising a massive 420 chapters, only a fraction survived the Mongol ravaging of China in the thirteenth century.
The present volume is the first book-length consideration of this important text, which has been an ongoing source of literary and social history. Alister D. Inglis explores fundamental questions surrounding the work and its making, such as theme, genre, authorial intent, the veracity of the accounts, and their circulation in both oral and written form. In addition to a brief outline of Hong Mai’s life that incorporates Hong’s autobiographical anecdotes, the book includes many intriguing stories translated into English for the first time, including Hong’s legendary thirty-one prefaces. Record of the Listener fills the gaps left by official Chinese historians who, unlike Hong Mai, did not comment on women’s affairs, ghosts and the paranormal, local crime, human sacrifice, little-known locales, and unofficial biographies. [Source: publisher's website]
Janousch, Andreas. “The Censor’s Stele: Religion, Salt-Production and Labour in the Temple of the God of the Salt Lake in Southern Shanxi Province.” East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine 39 (2014): 7-53.
Abstract: This case study analyses religious and technological changes that occurred during the last seventy years of the Ming dynasty (1574-1644) around the Hedong Salt Lake, situated south of Yuncheng City in southern Shanxi province. Based on a close reading of inscriptions found on stone steles at the Temple of the God of the Salt Lake and of different kinds of gazetteers, the article documents the processes and analyses the factors that shaped the expanding pantheon of local salt-production-related deities during this period. I argue that these religious changes need to be understood in the context of a wider sociotechnical system around the Salt Lake, especially the emergence of new salt production methods that were introduced at this time under the increasingly affirmative leadership of local salt merchants, as well as the changing conditions of local labour management. The larger methodological point the article makes is about the necessity to take stone steles themselves in their spatial and material dimensions as evidence of historical processes: this will allow us to see that by means of these steles and their inscriptions the temple became an architectural discursive space that facilitated new forms of social participation and of administrative intervention, while offering simultaneously a nexus be- tween the sphere of human intervention and the relevant ‘natural’ factors of the salt production at the Salt Lake. Accordingly, the article proposes novel ways to understand the role of religious institutions such as temples in their relation to ‘natural’ and ‘technological’ processes. (Source: journal)
Jansen, Thomas. “Sectarian Religions and Globalization in Nineteenth Century Beijing: The Wanbao baojuan (1858) and Other Examples.” 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, 115-135. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
Johnson, David [ed.], Ritual and Scripture in Chinese Popular Religion. Five Studies. Berkeley, Calif.: Chinese Popular Culture Project, 1995.
Johnson, David (1995), "Mu-lien in Pao-chüan. The Performance Context and Religious Meaning of the Yu-ming Pao-ch'uan." In: Johnson, David [ed.], Ritual and Scripture in Chinese Popular Religion. Five Studies. Berkeley, Calif.: Chinese Popular Culture Project, 1995. Pp.55-103.
Ju Xi. “The Transformations of Our Lady.” Arts Asiatiques 74 (2019): 45–68.
Abstract: In 1890, the abbot of the Daoist monastery Baiyunguan in Beijing, Gao Rentong, commissioned a painter who remained anonymous to do a set of twenty-one paintings, The Transformations of Our Lady. These paintings show how Bixia yuanjun, an ordinary woman, transformed during her asceticism into a multitude of divided bod- ies before becoming the Primordial Sovereign of the Azure Clouds. Indeed, having become an adept of Daoist inner alchemy, she attained divine status. A specialist in Daoism, Liu Xun put forward the idea that this series owed its origin to the links between Baiyunguan and the imperial court at the end of the Qing (1644–1911), and above all to the Manchu noblewomen. In the article, the author demonstrates that the themes of the Baiyunguan paintings were probably based on the murals of a temple from the early Qing period in Hebei. In addition, she shows that their content, like that of the wall paintings, was taken directly from the Precious Scroll of the Taishan on the origins of the Celestial Immortal and the Holy Mother, a sacred writing (baojuan) that circulated widely in the capital region.
Judd, Ellen R., "Ritual Opera and the Bonds of Authority: Transformation and Transcendence." In: Yung, Bell, Evelyn S. Rawski & Rubie S. Watson [eds.], Harmony and Counterpoint: Ritual Music in Chinese Context. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996. Pp.226-246.
Kang, Xiaofei, "The Fox [hu] and the Barbarian [hu]: Unraveling Representations of the Other in Late Tang Tales." Journal of Chinese Religions 27(1999): 35-67.
Katz, Paul R., "Morality Books and Taiwanese Identity: The Texts of the Palace of Guidance." Journal of Chinese Religions 27(1999): 69-92.
Katz, Paul R., "Recent Developments in the Study of Chinese Ritual Dramas: An Assessment of Xu Hongtu's Research on Zhejiang." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.199-229.
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.
Kiely, Jan.“Shanghai Public Moralist Nie Qijie and Morality Book Publication Projects in Republican China.” Twentieth-Century China 36 (2011): 4-22.
Abstract: With an emphasis on the compilations of Shanghai philanthropist Nie Qijie, this article examines the flourishing of morality book and popular moral prescriptive text publication in the early decades of the twentieth century. The mass production and dissemination of such ostensibly traditional didactic texts advanced, in large part, due to the interests and resources of new urban elites and the capacity of the Shanghai-centered modern publishing industry. In the course of this process, the uses and meanings of these books shifted, and their lessons in traditional ethics often affiliated age-old terms and concepts with emerging ideologies and social images identified with a new, urban modern world. These widely available texts, in effect, became scripts of public moralism that were readily available to and influential among those promoting elite and state-building projects. (Source: journal)
Kleeman, Terry F., "The Lives and Teachings of the Divine Lord of Zitong." In: Lopez, Donald S., Jr. [ed.], Religions of China in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. Pp.64-71.
Klöpsch, Volker, "Dramatische Wirkung und religiöse Läuterung am Beispiel der buddhistischen Mulian-Spiele." In: Christiane Hammer & Bernhard Führer [eds.], Tradition und Moderne - Religion, Philosophie und Literatur in China. Dortmund: projekt verlag, 1997. Pp. 99-112.
Abstract: The Indian saint Maudgalyayana, known in China as Mulian, is regarded as one of the ten main disciples of Buddha. The story of his life has been embellished and enhanced by several mythological features, the most famous one being his descent into hell in order to save his mother from eternal damnation. This plot proved to be especially appealing to Chinese audiences as it epitomized filial piety (xiao). The history of literary tradition from the translation of the Ullambana Sûtra to the bianwen texts of Dunhuang and several later versions are traced down to this century, when Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren still witnessed Mulian plays performed by troupes of the local Shaoxing opera. A 17th century account by Zhang Dai describing an actual performance at the end of the Ming dynasty is translated in full. [Source of abstract: article]
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. 6: "Art, Literature, and Talismans: Lord Lao as Popular Protector."
Kosa, Gabor, "The Shaman and the Spirits: The Meaning of the Word 'ling' in the Jiuge poems." Acta Orientalia (Budapest) 56(2003)2-4: 275-294.
Kow, Mei-kao, Ghosts and Foxes in the World of Liaozhai Zhiyi. London: Minerva Press, 1998.
Lagerwey, John, "The Altar of Celebration Ritual in Lushan County, Sichuan." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.75-79.
Lagerwey, John, "Duangong Ritual and Ritual Theatre in the Chongqing Area: A Survey of the Work of Hu Tiancheng." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.81-107.
Lai, Whalen W. "The Earth Mother Scripture: Unmasking the Neo-Archaic." In: Jacob K. Olupona [ed.], Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity. New York, London: Routledge, 2004. Pp. 200-213.
Lan, Xing. “The Influence of Daoism on the Dramatization of the Liaozhaixi of Chuanju.” Religions 13 (2022).
Lei Yang. “Les inscriptions sonores: les textes sacrés sur les cloches dans les temples de Pékin, 1368-1911.” Études chinoises 36, no. 2 (2017): 147-163.
Lévy, André, "Brève note sur un long bâton. À propos de l'arme magique de Sun Wukong dans le Xiyou ji." 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.329-331.
Abstract: This short note points to some possible Indian sources other than the Ramayana for the Monkey's cudgel peculiar feature of changing size at will. [Source: article.]
Ling, Chi-shiang. "Morality Books and the Moral Order: A Study of the Moral Sustaining Function of Morality Books in Taiwan." In: Fenggang Yang & Joseph B. Tamney [eds.], State, Market, and Religions in Chinese Societies. Leiden: Brill, 2005. Pp.203-227.
Ling Xiaoqiao. “Law, Deities, and Beyond: From the Sanyan Stories to Xingshi yinyuan zhuan.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 74, no.1 (2014): 1-42.
Liu Tik-sang, "Ritual, Context, and Identity: The Lingmu Ritual of the Liangshan Yi People in Sichuan." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.157-169.
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)
Llamas, Regina. “A Reassessment of the Place of Shamanism in the Origins of the Chinese Theater.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 133, no.1 (2013): 93-109.
Lo, Yuet Keung. "Indeterminacy in Meaning: Religious Syncretism and Dynastic Historiography in the Shannüren zhuan." Gender and History 25, no.3 (2013): 461-476.
Louie, Kam & Louise Edwards [eds. and trsl.], Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996.
Ma, Xu. “Textual Memorial Temples: Writing Hagiographies for Mothers in Late Imperial China.” Nan nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 23, no. 2 (2021): 199–236.
Abstract: In Chinese culture, the honor of textual immortality was traditionally reserved for a select, extraordinary few. As Martin Huang points out, however, the Ming-Qing era witnessed a general “secularization” process in which eulogistic writings were increasingly dedicated to women who lived relatively “trivial” lives. Building on Huang’s insights, this paper examines another important evolution within this genre of secularized elegies dedicated to women: the simultaneous sacralizing of deceased mothers by filial sons writing their mothers’ lives as hagiography. As these authors energetically extolled their mothers’ religious piety and identified them with Bodhisattvas/deities, the hitherto lackluster biographies became saturated with supernatural occurrences and miraculous events. Transformed into cultural and emotional sites where ordinary women could be commemorated, immortalized, and apotheosized, these otherwise insignificant life stories evoked a kind of textual memorial temple. Such infusions of spirituality into the writing of Confucian mourning both signal and fuel the broader penetration of heterodox worship (Buddhism) into Confucian society. This practice also allows a glimpse into important gender dimensions in the religious syncretism and secularism of late imperial China.
Mair, Victor H., "Sariputra Defeats the Six Heterodox Masters: Oral-Visual Aspects of an Illustrated Transformation Scroll (P4524)." Asia Major 8(1995)2: 1-55.
Martin, Sylvia J. “Of Ghosts and Gangsters: Capitalist Cultural Production and the Hong Kong Film Industry.” Visual Anthropology Review 28.1 (2012): 32-49.
Abstract: This article contends that ghosts and gangsters are not merely popular genres in the Hong Kong film industry; they are also legitimate participants in the film production process itself, influencing financial, creative, and logistical resources and decisions. Film personnel's accounts of the possession and protection of their bodies by members of the cosmological and criminal underworlds, particularly in location filming in graveyards and gangster turf as well as ritual payments and appeasements made to the underworlds, reveal the diverse risks and cultural practices in film production. This article argues that despite the rationalization of commercial filmmaking, 'enchantments' in the form of religion and feudalistic crime linger within capitalist production. (Source: journal)
Mathieu, Rémi, Démons et merveilles dans la littérature chinoise des Six Dynasties: Le fantastique et l'anecdotique dans le Soushen ji de Gan Bao. Paris: Editions You-Feng, Librairie Editeur, 2000.
Mead, Virginia Lee, "Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety." Arts of Asia 27 (1997) 4: 85-95.
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)
Mori Yuria, "Identity and Lineage: The Taiyi jinhua zongzhi and the Spirit-Writing Cult of Patriarch Lü in Qing China." In: Livia Kohn & Harold D. Roth [eds.], Daoist Identity: History, Lineage, and Ritual. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002. Pp.165-184.
Murray, Julia K. Mirror of Morality: Chinese Narrative Illustration and Confucian Ideology. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007.
Abstract: Mirror of Morality takes an interdisciplinary look at an important form of pictorial art produced during two millennia of Chinese imperial rule. Ideas about individual morality and state ideology were based on the ancient teachings of Confucius with modifications by later interpreters and government institutions. Throughout the imperial period, members of the elite made, sponsored, and inscribed or used illustrations of themes taken from history, literature, and recent events to promote desired conduct among various social groups. This dimension of Chinese art history has never before been broadly covered or investigated in historical context.
The first half of the study examines the nature of narrative illustration in China and traces the evolution of its functions, conventions, and rhetorical strategies from the second century BCE through the eleventh century. Under the stimulus of Buddhism, sophisticated techniques developed for representing stories in visual form. While tracing changes in the social functions and cultural positions of narrative illustration, the second half of the book argues that narrative illustration continued to play a vital role in elite visual culture. [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)
Olles, Volker. "Die Halle der Drei Urspünge. Teil III einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 168, no.2 (2018): 465-480.
Abstract: This contribution is the third in a series of articles presenting the texts and annotated translations of five stele inscriptions, which were included in the collection Chongkan Daozang jiyao 重刊道藏輯要 (Reedited Essentials of the Daoist Canon), a Daoist anthology published in 1906 at the monastery Erxian An 二仙菴 (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 青羊宮 (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 劉門 (Liu School) tradition. The term Liumen refers to the teachings of the Confucian scholar Liu Yuan 劉沅 (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 Sanyuan Dian beiji 重 修青羊宮三元殿碑記 (Stele Inscription on Rebuilding the Three Primes Hall at Qingyang Gong). 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. The Three Primes Hall inside the Qingyang Gong was rebuilt by Liumen adherents in the early 19th century. In addition to the annotated translation of the inscription, the present contribution introduces the deities worshiped in the temple hall and briefly discusses how Liu Yuan perceived the Daoist notion of the Three Primes (sanyuan). (Source: journal)
Olles, Volker. “Die Halle der Reinen und der Pavillon der Acht Trigramme. Teil IV einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in der daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 169, no. 2 (2019): 437-453.
Olles, Volker. “Verborgene Tugend: Liu Yuan über Laozi. Teil V einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in der daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 171, no. 1 (2020): 173-190.
Olles, Volker. "Verborgene Tugend: Liu Yuan über Laozi. Teil V einer Reihe kommentierter Übersetzungen von fünf Inschriften aus der Liumen-Tradition in der daoistischen Anthologie Chongkan Daozang jiyao." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 171, no. 1 (2021): 173–190.
Abstract: This contribution is the last 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 Laozi kaobian (Critical Study of Laozi). Among the five inscriptions preserved in the Chongkan Daozang jiyao, this text is the only one which does not commemorate any concrete renovation project, but contains Liu’s personal appraisal of Laozi. According to the Daoist tradition, Laozi manifested himself twice at the location of today’s Qingyang Gong, and the temple is consequently dedicated to the cult of Laozi. 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. In 1905, the text Laozi kaobian was copied by the scholar and eminent Liumen adherent Yan Kai (1877–1927) to be inscribed on a stele in the Qingyang Gong. The stele was erected under the auspices of the Qingyang Gong’s abbot and with the support of the then Liumen patriarch and other donors. The original stele is not extant, only a precious rubbing of the text survived in a private collection. Moreover, the compilers of the Chongkan Daozang jiyao included the Laozi kaobian in the section Qingyang Gong beiji (Stele Inscriptions of the Qingyang Gong) of the anthology. Thus, in the early 20th century, Liu Yuan’s treatise served as a visible written artefact manifesting the Liumen community’s patronage of the Qingyang Gong.
Ouyang Nan. "Localizing a Bodhisattva in Late Imperial China: Kṣitigarbha, Mt. Jiuhua, and Their Connections in Precious Scrolls." Journal of Chinese Religions 47, no. 2 (2019): 195-219.
Overmyer, Daniel L., "Social Perspectives in Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Fifteenth to the Sixteenth Centuries." In: Charles Le Blanc & Alain Rocher [eds.], État, société civile et sphère publique en Asie de l'Est: regards sur les traditions politiques de la Chine, du Japon, de la Corée et du Vietnam. Montréal: Centre d'Études de l'Asie de l'Est, Université de Montréal, 1998. Pp.7-35.
Overmyer, Daniel L., Precious Volumes: An Introduction to Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Sixteenth to the Seventeenth Centuries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999.
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: Xuefang Wenhua Shiye, 1999. Pp.73-93.
Overmyer, Daniel L., "Hope in Chinese Popular Religious Texts." In: Overmyer, Daniel L. and Chi-tim Lai [eds.], Interpretations of Hope in Chinese Religions & Christianity. Hong Kong: Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture, 2002. Pp. 105-116.
Overmyer, Daniel L. [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002.
Abstract: This book includes twenty chapters reviewing a total of sixty-four books in Chinese in the two series: "Studies in Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore" and "Traditional Hakka Society," edited respectively by Wang Ch'iu-kuei and John Lagerwey.
It is intended to inform the wider world of scholarship of this new research, which provides the most detailed information ever available about Chinese local culture, drama and religion. Together with the excellent studies of this dimension of culture by scholars in Taiwan, and with a revived interest in this area by other China mainland scholars, this book represents a resumption of the folklore studies movement of the 1920s and 1930s that was interrupted by the war with Japan. These new reports may also be seen as a complement to the work of anthropologists, who until recently have not been able to conduct many field studies in China. As such, this research provides fresh information for an understanding of the culture of the majority of the Chinese people, an understanding based on their lived experiences and values. [From the book's cover.]
Ownby, David [ed.]; David Ownby & Qiao Peihua [trsl.], "Scriptures of the Way of the Temple of the Heavenly Immortals." Chinese Studies in History 29(1996)3: 1-101.
Ownby, David. “Text and Context: A Tale of Two Masters.” In Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts, edited by Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan, 173–216. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Plowright, Poh Sim, "The Birdwoman and the Puppet King: A Study of Inversion in Chinese Theatre." New Theatre Quarterly vol.13/no.50 (1997): 106-118.
Poo, Mu-chou, "Ghost Literature: Exorcistic Ritual Texts or Daily Entertainment?" Asia Major (Third series) 13(2000)1: 43-64.
Ptak, Roderich. “Vom Weißen Aalgeist oder Baishan jing.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.1 (Maritime Asia, vol. 23), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 119-138. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2011.
Abstract: In some earlier studies Xiyang ji emerges as a complex novel of quest. The quest theme and certain similarities between Xiyang ji and Xiyou ji are also addressed in the present note. Among other things, this implies that the heroes are moving from a familiar environment to an unknown space, where they are put to test. In Xiyang ji, the passage between both spheres is marked by a chain of initial challenges. One such challenge concerns the role of Baishan jing (White Eel Spirit), who threatens the fleet on the outbound voyage. Some years later, when the ships return home, he also causes trouble. Both episodes involve Zheng He and Zhang Tianshi. – The paper shows, how Baishan’s role and Zheng He’s behaviour should be understood and how one can relate the relevant segments to the overall structure of the story. It also provides some notes on the term baishan (and similiar expressions) and on earlier references to eel spirits.
Ptak, Roderich. “Qianliyan und Shunfeng’er in Xiaoshuo und anderen Texten der Yuan- und Ming-Zeit.” In Rooted in Hope / In der Hoffnung verwurzelt: China - Religion - Christianity / China - Religion - Christentum. Festschrift in Honor of Roman Malek S.V.D. on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday / Festschrift für Roman Malek S.V.D. zu seinem 65. Geburtstag, edited by B. Hoster, D. Kuhlmann, Z. Wesolowski S.V.D., 571-596. London: Routledge, 2017.
Ptak, Roderich, and Jiehua Cai. "Reconsidering the Role of Mazu under the Early Hongwu Reign." Ming Qing Yanjiu 20, no. 1 (2017): 3–20.
Abstract: The worship of Mazu, the Chinese Goddess of Sailors, began in Fujian, under the early Song. Migrants from that province gradually spread this cult to other coastal regions and among the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. The present article investigates one particular episode in the history of the Mazu cult. Its stage is Guangzhou and the period dealt with is the beginning of the Hongwu reign. In 1368, Liao Yongzhong’s troops moved to that city, putting it under control of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Ming emperor. Local chronicles pertaining to Guangdong and certain other sources briefly refer to this event. They report that Liao promoted the worship of Mazu in that region and they indicate that Mazu received an official title in 1368, by imperial order. The Tianfei xiansheng lu, one of the key texts for the Mazu cult, provides different details: It associates the title granted by the imperial court with the year 1372, and not with the context of Central Guangdong. Furthermore, the attributes which form part of the title vary from one text to the next. The paper discusses these and other points, arguing there could be two different narrative traditions surrounding Mazu’s role in 1368/72: the Guangdong version and the “conventional” view, similar to the one found in Tianfei xiansheng lu. Although there is no definite solution for this dilemma, the article tries to expose the general background into which one may embed these observations. (Source: journal)
Ptak, Roderich & Cai Jiehua: "The Mazu Inscription of Chiwan (1464) and the Early Ming Voyages." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 167, no. 1 (2017): 191-214.
Abstract: There are several inscriptions in the famous Chiwan Temple near Shekou in Shenzhen. One item dates from 1464. This text is important for a number of reasons: It is an early document for the Mazu cult in Central Guangdong; it refers to several Ming envoys and thereby indirectly to the voyages of Zheng He; and it also tells us something about China's maritime connections after the end of these expeditions, in the Guangdong context. The present article provides an annotated translation of the text and discusses these and other issues, mainly by relating them to historical sources and religious works. (Source: journal)
Roderich Ptak. “Mazu und Zheng He im Jahre 1403: Notizen zu Einträgen in zwei religiösen Texten.“ In Profesor Roman Malek SVD i jego dzieło dla Kościoła w Chinach: Księga pamiątkowa / Prof. Roman Malek SVD und sein Wirken für die Kirche in China: Gedenkschrift / Prof. Roman Malek SVD and His Work for the Church in China: Commemorative Volume, edited by Barbara Hoster, Dirk Kuhlmann, Michał Studnik SVD, and Zbigniew Wesołowski SVD, 263–281. Górna Grupa: VERBINUM, 2021.
Abstract: The Tianfei xiansheng lu 天妃顯聖錄, a familiar work, tells us that Zheng He 鄭和 undertook a voyage in 1403 and that Mazu 媽祖, the Chinese goddess of seafarers, assisted him in a storm. Another text, the Meizhou haishen zhuan 湄州海神傳, written earlier and less well known, refers to the same event. The present article examines the relevant parts in both sources. It offers suggestions regarding the possible interpretations of certain details and how they might fit into the general narrative of these accounts. The conclusion is that the entry in Tianfei xiansheng lu could be based on the earlier text and that historians must be careful when using such records for the study of Zheng He’s voyages.
Reed, Barbara, "Guanyin Narratives--War and Postwar." In: Philip Clart & Charles B. Jones [eds.], Religion in Modern Taiwan: Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Society. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003. Pp.186-203.
Reed, Carrie. “Messages from the Dead in Nanke Taishou zhuan.” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 31 (2009): 121:130.
Riley, Jo, Chinese Theatre and the Actor in Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Robson, James. “Brushes with Some ‘Dirty Truths’: Handwritten Manuscripts and Religion in China.” History of Religions 51.4 (2012): 317-343.
Ruizendaal, Robin, "The Quanzhou Marionette Theater: A Fieldwork Report (1986-1995)." China Information 10(1995)1: 1-18.
Ruizendaal, Robin, "Ritual Text and Performance in the Marionette Theatre of Southern Fujian and Taiwan." 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.336-360.
Russell, T.C., "The Spiritualization of Feminine Virtue: Religion and Social Conservatism in the Late Qing." In: Steven Totosy de Zepetnek & Jennifer W. Jay [eds.], East Asian Cultural and Historical Perspectives. Edmonton: Research Institute for Comparative Literature and Cross-Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, 1997. Pp. 135-151.
Salguero, Pierce C. “’A Flock of Ghosts Bursting Forth and Scattering’: Healing Narratives in a Sixth-Century Chinese Buddhist Hagiography.” East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine 32 (2010): 89-120.
Sanft, Charles. “Paleographic Evidence of Qin Religious Practice from Liye and Zhoujiatai.” Early China 37 (2014): 327-358.
Sangren, P. Steven, "Myths, Gods, and Family Relations." In: Meir Shahar & Robert P. Weller [eds.], Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1996. Pp.150-183.
Sangren, P. Steven, Myth, Gender, and Subjectivity. Hsin-chu: Program for Research of Intellectual-Cultural History, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, 1997. (Hsin Chu Bank Endowed Lecture Series on Thought and Culture) [Note: On the "Third Prince Nezha" from the epic novel Fengshen yanyi.]
Schwarz, Rainer [trsl.], Yuan Mei, Chinesische Geistergeschichten. Frankfurt/M.: Insel Verlag, 1997.
Scott, Gregory. "Heterodox Religious Groups and the State in Ming-Qing China." M.A. thesis, University of Toronto, 2005.
Abstract: The present paper looks at two texts relating to 'White Lotus' sectarian religious groups in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties and examines how they illuminate the relationship between heterodox cults and the state during this period. Huang Yupian's A Detailed Refutation of Heresy demonstrates how the government viewed the heretical teachings presented in sectarian scripture, while the Chuxi baojuan is an example of a scripture that expresses orthodox moral values while criticizing the contemporary society and government.Based on the selected translations provided of the two texts, as well as the research and scholarship of other researchers in the field, it is argued that the key factors behind the conflict between religious groups and the state are still influencing present-day Chinese society, as evidenced by the fate of the Falun Gong group in the People's Republic. [Source: thesis]
Seiwert, Hubert, "Häresie im neuzeitlichen China: die Erlösungslehre der Drachenblumenschrift (Longhua jing)." In: Manfred Hutter, Wassilios Klein & Ulrich Vollmer [eds.], Hairesis: Festschrift für Karl Hoheisel zum 65. Geburtstag. Münster : Aschendorff, 2002. Pp. 341-353.
Shahar, Meir, Crazy Ji: Chinese Religion and Popular Literature. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 1998.
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)
Shahar, Meir. "Newly-Discovered Manuscripts of a Northern-Chinese Horse King Temple Association." T'oung Pao 105, no. 1-2 (2019): 183–228.
Abstract: Written documents from rural north China are rare. This essay examines the newly-discovered records of a Shanxi village association, which was dedicated to the cult of the Horse King. The manuscripts detail the activities, revenues, and expenditures of the Horse King temple association over a hundred-year period (from 1852 until 1956). The essay examines them from social, cultural, and religious perspectives. The manuscripts reveal the internal workings and communal values of a late imperial village association. They unravel the social and economic structure of the village and the centrality of theater in rural culture. Furthermore, the manuscripts bring to the fore a forgotten cult and its ecological background: the Horse King was among the most widely worshiped deities of late imperial China, his flourishing cult reflecting the significance of his protégés – horses, donkeys, and mules – in the agrarian economy.
Stevens, Keith, "The Han Lin Academy and a Chinese Deity." Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 36(1996): 231-233.
Sun Xiaosu. “Liu Qingti’s Canine Rebirth and Her Ritual Career as the Heavenly Dog: Recasting Mulian’s Mother in Baojuan (Precious Scrolls) Recitation.” CHINOPERL 35.1 (2016): 28-55.
Abstract: In the Tang dynasty Dunhuang transformation text (bianwen) about Mulian rescuing his mother from the underworld, Madame Liu Qingti, mother of the filial monk Mulian, is allowed to ascend to the Trayastrimsa Heaven once her sins have been purged. A similar happy ending is found in the most widespread versions of the legend. However, in many baojuan (precious scrolls) from the late imperial period and the modern era, Qingti is depicted as an inveterate sinner who continues to misbehave when reborn as a dog. For example, in the baojuan about Mulian used nowadays in Changshu, southern Jiangsu province, in a ritual to expel evil spirits and ensure a successful pregnancy, Qingti appears as the Heavenly Dog—a malign, infant-eating star spirit capable of causing miscarriage or neonatal death. This paper combines fieldwork on a ritual to expel the Heavenly Dog in Changshu and textual analysis to explore the ways in which Liu Qingti has been recast in baojuan literature. I consider, in particular, the motif of Qingti's unenlightened soul, and its relation to her ritual career as the Heavenly Dog in baojuan recitation. Special attention is paid to the different ritual contexts of such rituals. (Source: journal)
Teri, Silvio. Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2019.
Abstract: The early twenty-first century has seen an explosion of animation. Cartoon characters are everywhere—in cinema, television, and video games and as brand logos. There are new technological objects that seem to have lives of their own—from Facebook algorithms that suggest products for us to buy to robots that respond to human facial expressions. The ubiquity of animation is not a trivial side-effect of the development of digital technologies and the globalization of media markets. Rather, it points to a paradigm shift. In the last century, performance became a key term in academic and popular discourse: The idea that we construct identities through our gestures and speech proved extremely useful for thinking about many aspects of social life. The present volume proposes an anthropological concept of animation as a contrast and complement to performance: The idea that we construct social others by projecting parts of ourselves out into the world might prove useful for thinking about such topics as climate crisis, corporate branding, and social media. Like performance, animation can serve as a platform for comparisons of different cultures and historical eras.
Teri Silvio presents an anthropology of animation through a detailed ethnographic account of how characters, objects, and abstract concepts are invested with lives, personalities, and powers—and how people interact with them—in contemporary Taiwan. The practices analyzed include the worship of wooden statues of Buddhist and Daoist deities and the recent craze for cute vinyl versions of these deities, as well as a wildly popular video fantasy series performed by puppets. She reveals that animation is, like performance, a concept that works differently in different contexts, and that animation practices are deeply informed by local traditions of thinking about the relationships between body and soul, spiritual power and the material world. The case of Taiwan, where Chinese traditions merge with Japanese and American popular culture, uncovers alternatives to seeing animation as either an expression of animism or as “playing God.” Looking at the contemporary world through the lens of animation will help us rethink relationships between global and local, identity and otherness, human and non-human.
Tsai, S.C. Kevin. "Ritual and Gender in the 'Tale of Li Wa'." Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 26(2004): 99-127.
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 Chien-ch’uan. “Spirit-Writing Groups in Modern China (1840-1937): Textual Production, Public Teachings, and Charity.” In Modern Chinese Religion II, 1850-2015, edited by Vincent Goossaert, Jan Kiely, and John Lagerwey, 651-684. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2016. (Handbook of Oriental Studies, section 4: China, vol.32)
Wang Chien-chuan (trsl. by David Ownby). “The Composition and Distribution of the Scriptures of the Tongshanshe 同善社, with a Focus on the Ten Thousand Buddha Scripture (1917–1949).” In Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts, edited by Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan, 55–81. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Wang, Ch'iu Kuei, "Studies in Chinese Ritual and Ritual Theatre: A Bibliographical Report." CHINOPERL Papers no.18 (1995): 115-129.
Wang Ch'iu-kuei, "Chinese Ritual and Ritual Theatre." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.11-22.
Wang Xiaoyang, Bao Yan. “Ways to Immortality: In Popular and Daoist Tales.” Journal of Daoist Studies 10 (2017): 149-156.
Weigold, Katrin. “Guan Yus Gastrolle im Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.1 (Maritime Asia, vol. 23), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 171-189. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2011.
Abstract: Guan Yu, one of the heroes in Sanguo yanyi, also appears in chapters 75 and 76 of Xiyang ji. In this section, which is set in Mogadishu, Zheng He and his soldiers are confronted with Chanshi feibo, a powerful magician, who uses “flying saucers” to kill his enemies (hence his name). Zhang Tianshi, the Daoist leader in the Chinese team, is commissioned to clear the way for China’s fleets, but he cannot overcome Feibo. Therefore, he calls the Heavenly Marshal Guan Yu for help. Guan Yu quickly understands the situation and takes Feibo as prisoner. However, Feibo outwits his “master”: He reminds the latter of his virtues (an allusion to Sanguo yanyi, in which Guan Yu releases Cao Cao) and Guan Yu lets him go. – As in the case of the previous paper, this arrangement shows that the author has opted to “play” with a set of familiar elements, which includes Guan Yu’s sense of loyality and righteousness, but also his arrogance. By displaying these features against the background of a totally different setting, the author reveals a good sense of humour. Moreover, seen from the internal setting of the novel, Guan Yu’s behaviour can be interpreted as a blow against Zhang Tianshi, who stands below the Buddhist leader Jin Bifeng.
Weiß, Katrin. “Lishan laomu im Xiyang ji.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.2 (Maritime Asia, vol. 24), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 107-121. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2013.
Abstract: In the Java segment of Xiyang ji Zheng He and his men are drawn into heavy conflicts that involve several female figures with supernatural powers: Wang Shengu, Huomu and Lishan laomu. They all belong to the Daoist world. The conflict is solved through the joint efforts of Guanyin, commonly associated with Buddhism, and the Jade Emperor, who belongs to the Daoist pantheon. While there is mutual understanding in the supreme spheres of “Heaven”, the “earthly” contest between Buddhism and Daoism, as represented through the rivalry between Jin Bifeng and Zhang Tianshi, remains a recurrent theme in the novel. It is largely against this background that the article analyses the role and story of Lishan laomu, her presentation in earlier texts, certain common features she seems to share with Nüwa, and possible influences of her description in Xiyang ji on later works such as the Fan Lihua quanzhuan.
Witt, Barbara. “General unter Jiang Ziya, göttlicher Beistand für Jin Bifeng: Der Himmelskönig Li im Fengshen yanyi und Xiyang ji.” In Studien zum Roman Sanbao taijian Xiyang ji tongsu yanyi, vol.2 (Maritime Asia, vol. 24), edited by Shi Ping & Roderich Ptak, 141-163. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; Shanghai: Shanghai Zheng He yanjiu zhongxin, 2013.
Abstract: The “Heavenly King Li” (Li tianwang) – also known as the “Pagoda-Bearing Heavenly King” (Tuo ta tianwang), or Li Jing, etc. –, belongs to the Daoist pantheon. He appears in several popular narratives such as Fengshen yanyi and Xiyang ji – often together with his son Nezha san taizi. Usually they are portrayed as powerful, yet minor military characters with no individual traits, and they are instrumentalized by nominal leaders of different backgrounds, such as Jiang Ziya, Jin Bifeng, and others. The present paper outlines the historical roots of Li and then turns to his role in both novels. In each case – and that also includes another book, Xiyou ji – Li and his son are “adjusted” to the specific conditions of the narrative. To understand why this is so, one has to examine individual scenes and the functional dimensions of the major characters in these works. This kind of comparative approach permits us to draw several conclusions in regard to minor figures in different types of traditional novels.
Witt, Barbara. “The Hagiography of Tianfei in the Soushen daquan and the Zengbu soushen ji.” In The Mazu Cult: Historical Studies and Cross-Cultural Comparisons, edited by Cai Jiehua & Marc Nürnberger, 89-110. Lisbon: Centro Cientifico e Cultural de Macau/Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa, 2017.
Witt, Barbara. Die "Nezha-Legende" im Roman Investitur der Götter (Fengshen yanyi): Eine literaturwissenschaftliche Untersuchung und Kontextualisierung. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2020.
Abstract: Die Hagiographie des Gottes Nezha 哪吒 gehört zu den bekanntesten Episoden der chinesischen Erzählliteratur. Sie erzählt vom Kampf des jungen Helden gegen Drachen, eine Steindämonin und seinen eigenen Vater sowie von wundersamer Geburt, aufopfernder Selbsttötung und Wiedergeburt in einem Lotuskörper. Als gelungenste Version dieser Geschichte gilt die "Nezha-Legende" des Romans Investitur der Götter (Fengshen yanyi 封神演義), der vermutlich in den 1620er Jahren erstmals veröffentlicht wurde. Barbara Witt legt in ihrer Studie eine Kontextualisierung der "Nezha-Legende" aus strukturalistischer, religionsgeschichtlicher und literaturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive vor und analysiert die darin enthaltenen Motive und Themen vor dem Hintergrund der Kultur Chinas der späten Kaiserzeit. Ausgehend von Gérard Genettes Begriff der "Transtextualität" werden dabei buddhistische und daoistische Vorläufertexte, zeitgenössische Figurendarstellungen und geläufige Handlungsstränge sowie verschiedene vormoderne Romanausgaben betrachtet. Hierbei zeigt sich, dass der Roman Investitur der Götter bewusst bekannten Elementen der Nezha-Geschichte eine eigene Bedeutung verleiht, die im Gegensatz zu zeitgenössischen Bearbeitungen des gleichen Ausgangsstoffes steht.
Woolley, Nathan. "The Many Boats to Yangzhou: Purpose and Variation in Religious Records of the Tang." Asia Major 3rd series, 26, pt.2 (2013): 59-88.
Wu, Cuncun & Mark Stevenson. "Karmic Retribution and Moral Didacticism in Erotic Fiction from the Late Ming and Early Qing." Ming Qing Studies 2011: 471-486.
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)
Wu Shu-hui, "On Chinese Sacrificial Orations chi wen." Monumenta Serica 50(2002): 1-33.
Yan Jinfen. "A Feminine Expression of Mysticism, Romanticism and Syncretism in A Plaint of Lady Wang." In: Elise Anne DeVido and Benoît Vermander [eds.], Creeds, Rites and Videotapes: Narrating Religious Experience in East Asia. Taipei: Taipei Ricci Institute, 2004. Pp.49-72.
Yang Erzeng; Philip Clart (translator). The Story of Han Xiangzi: The Alchemical Adventures of a Daoist Immortal. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2007.
Abstract: In this seventeenth-century Chinese novel, Han Xiangzi, best known as one of the Eight Immortals, seeks and achieves immortality and then devotes himself to converting his materialistic, politically ambitious Confucian uncle-Han Yu, a real historical figure-to Daoism. Written in lively vernacular prose interspersed with poems and songs, the novel takes its readers across China, to the heavens, and into the underworld. Readers listen to debates among Confucians, Daoists, and Buddhists and witness trials of faith and the performance of magical feats. In the mode of the famous religious novel Journey to the West (also known in English as Monkey), The Story of Han Xiangzi uses colorful characters, twists of plot, witty dialogue, and action suitable for a superhero comic book to convey its religious message-that worldly life is ephemeral and that true contentment can be found only through Daoist cultivation.
This is the first translation into any Western language of Han Xiangzi quanzhuan (literally, The Complete Story of Han Xiangzi). On one level, the novel is a delightful adventure; on another, it is serious theology. Although The Story of Han Xiangzi's irreverent attitude toward the Confucian establishment prevented its acceptance by literary critics in imperial China, it has remained popular among Chinese readers for four centuries. [Source: Publisher's website]
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.
Yeung, Tuen Wai Mary. “To Entertain and Renew: Operas, Puppet Plays and Ritual in South China.” Ph.D. dissertation, The University of British Columbia, 2008.
Abstract: Operas and puppet plays have long been performed both to entertain gods and people, and to thank the gods for renewing the life forces of the community. Such performances are carried out all over China. With special attention devoted to the religious dimensions of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong and marionette theatre in western Fujian, this Ph.D. thesis is a preliminary attempt to examine the religious traditions of regional operas in south China. Supplemented by some written sources, the present study is based on face-to-face interviews with actors and puppeteers, as well as direct observations of their religious practices. The first research aim is to discuss the inseparable relationship between traditional opera and religion in China (especially the southeastern part) from the ancient periods up to the present. Important or auspicious occasions are often accompanied by puppet or/and opera performances. The second aim is to examine the beliefs and practices of actors of regional operas in south China, especially Cantonese opera players and marionettists in western Fujian, with special attention devoted to the birthday celebrations their main occupational deities. It is important to point out that no single forms of Chinese traditional opera can be classified in terms of "either-or" categories. The question is a matter of degree. Traditional literary operas contain some religious elements and ritual operas also include some literary or artistic elements. There are neither absolute traditional literary operas nor absolute ritual operas in China. The present study is concerned both with the ritual functions of operas and plays in the communities where they are performed, and with the beliefs and taboos of the performers themselves. Actors or puppeteers of both types of opera usually worship a group of deities as their occupational deities. Hence, their beliefs can be characterized as polytheistic. Moreover, the beliefs and practices of performers of various types of regional operatic genre in south China are related to some extent since the worship of Chinese theatre deities was spread from place to place by lineages, merchants and opera troupes during the imperial times.
Yeung, Tuen Wai Mary. "Rituals and Beliefs of Female Performers in Cantonese Opera." 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. 303-325.
Yu Weijie, "Nuoxi Theatre in China." Archív orientální 64(1996)1: 115-134.
Zeitlin, Judith T. The Phantom Heroine: Ghosts and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Literature. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007.
Abstract: The “phantom heroine”—in particular the fantasy of her resurrection through sex with a living man—is one of the most striking features of traditional Chinese literature. Even today the hypersexual female ghost continues to be a source of fascination in East Asian media, much like the sexually predatory vampire in American and European movies, TV, and novels. But while vampires can be of either gender, erotic Chinese ghosts are almost exclusively female. The significance of this gender asymmetry in Chinese literary history is the subject of Judith Zeitlin’s elegantly written and meticulously researched new book.
Zeitlin’s study centers on the seventeenth century, one of the most interesting and creative periods of Chinese literature and politically one of the most traumatic, witnessing the overthrow of the Ming, the Manchu conquest, and the subsequent founding of the Qing. Drawing on fiction, drama, poetry, medical cases, and visual culture, the author departs from more traditional literary studies, which tend to focus on a single genre or author. Ranging widely across disciplines, she integrates detailed analyses of great literary works with insights drawn from the history of medicine, art history, comparative literature, anthropology, religion, and performance studies.
The Phantom Heroine probes the complex literary and cultural roots of the Chinese ghost tradition. Zeitlin is the first to address its most remarkable feature: the phenomenon of verse attributed to phantom writers—that is, authors actually reputed to be spirits of the deceased. She also makes the case for the importance of lyric poetry in developing a ghostly aesthetics and image code. Most strikingly, Zeitlin shows that the representation of female ghosts, far from being a marginal preoccupation, expresses cultural concerns of central importance. [Source: Publisher's website]
Zhang Zhenjun. “A Textual History of Liu Yiqing’s You ming lu.” Oriens Extremus 48 (2009): 87-101.
Zhang, Zhenjun. "From Demonic to Karmic Retribution: Changing Concepts of bao in Early Medieval China as Seen in the You ming lu." Acta Orientalia 66, no.3 (2013): 267-287
Zhao, Xiaohuan. “Form Follows Function in Community Rituals in North China: Temples and Temple Festivals in Jiacun Village.” Religions 12 (2021).
Zhu Qiuhua, "Achievements in the Study of the Tongzi Ritual Drama in Jiangsu." In: Daniel L. Overmyer [ed.] (with the assistance of Shin-yi Chao), Ethnography in China Today: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Results. Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., 2002. Pp.231-241.