4. Local Studies: Taiwan


Allio, Fiorella, "Rituel, territoire et pouvoir local: Le procession du "pays" de Sai-kang (T'ainan, Taiwan)." Doctoral dissertation, U. de Paris X, Paris-Nanterre, 1996.


Allio, Fiorella, "Procession et identité: mise en scène rituelle de l'histoire locale." Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 10 (1998): 1-18.

Abstract: This article focuses on the Sai-kang procession, an inter-communal ritual performed by local people, with distinct territorial implications. Processions constitute the ritual form most clearly connected with local territory, history, and the environment. Performed in the name of tutelary deities, they reveal the supernatural map of a region. They also establish a direct and concrete relationship between local inhabitants and their living space, while organizing the latter politically and symbolically. Processions demarcate borders and deploy spiritual and physical defenses, while staging socio-political interactions among constituted groups and individuals. The triennial procession of Sai-kang, named koah-hiu*, "to cut and share incense," and held without interruption since 1784, draws delegations from eighty-odd contiguous cult communities, binding them in a supra-local alliance. The procession takes place within a larger festival marking the visitation of the Gods of Pestilence and comprising other collective rituals, such as Taoist jiao. The location is the region of the earliest large-scale Hokkien immigration in Taiwan. The ritual shows how important territorial religious activities have been for the definition of the pioneer frontier, the establishment of local identity and the power, and the expression and development of local traditions and culture. In Sai-kang, the history of the ritual merges with the history of regional settlement, as well as a succession of geomorphologic disruptions (land reclamation, resettlement, river diversions, flood, alluvia, drying up). Such upheavals left profound marks on the collective memory, in time translated into various symbolic inscriptions. Beside manifesting a higher-level alliance, the procession also dramatizes ritualized competitions for prestige, mingled with motifs of old rivalries. The processional ritual presents a dynamic and living tableau of local history and society. It constitutes an unusual but highly pertinent source for historians. [Source: article]


Allio, Fiorella, "Spatial Organization in a Ritual Context: A Preliminary Analysis of the Koah-hiu(n) Processional System of the Tainan Region and Its Social Significance." In: Lin Mei-rong [ed.], Xinyang, yishi yu shehui: Di san jie guoji Hanxue huiyi lunwenji (renleixue zu) = Belief, Ritual and Society: Papers from the Third International Conference on Sinology (Anthropology Section). Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, 2003. Pp.131-178.


Allio, Fiorella. "Matsu Enshrined in the Sanctuary of World Heritage: The 2009 Inscription of 'Mazu Belief and Customs' on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the Role of Taiwan in Preserving the Cult of the Goddess." In Yanjiu xin shijie: “Mazu yu Huaren minjian xinyang” guoji yantaohui lunwenji, ed. Wang Chien-chuan, Li Shiwei, Hong Yingfa, 91-180. Taipei: Boyang, 2014.


Boretz, Avron A., "Martial Gods and Magic Swords: Identity, Myth, and Violence in Chinese Popular Religion." Journal of Popular Culture 29(1995)1: 93-109.


Boretz, Avron Albert, "Martial Gods and Magic Swords: The Ritual Production of Manhood in Taiwanese Popular Religion." Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 1996.


Boretz, Avron A., "Righteous Brothers and Demon Slayers: Subjectivities and Collective Identities in Taiwanese Temple Processions." In: Paul R. Katz and Murray A. Rubinstein [eds.], Religion and the Formation of Taiwanese Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp.219-251.


Boretz, Avron. Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts, and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011.

Abstract: Demon warrior puppets, sword-wielding Taoist priests, spirit mediums lacerating their bodies with spikes and blades—these are among the most dramatic images in Chinese religion. Usually linked to the propitiation of plague gods and the worship of popular military deities, such ritual practices have an obvious but previously unexamined kinship with the traditional Chinese martial arts. The long and durable history of martial arts iconography and ritual in Chinese religion suggests something far deeper than mere historical coincidence. Avron Boretz argues that martial arts gestures and movements are so deeply embedded in the ritual repertoire in part because they iconify masculine qualities of violence, aggressivity, and physical prowess, the implicit core of Chinese patriliny and patriarchy. At the same time, for actors and audience alike, martial arts gestures evoke the mythos of the jianghu, a shadowy, often violent realm of vagabonds, outlaws, and masters of martial and magic arts. Through the direct bodily practice of martial arts movement and creative rendering of jianghu narratives, martial ritual practitioners are able to identify and represent themselves, however briefly and incompletely, as men of prowess, a reward otherwise denied those confined to the lower limits of this deeply patriarchal society. Based on fieldwork in China and Taiwan spanning nearly two decades, Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters offers a thorough and original account of violent ritual and ritual violence in Chinese religion and society. Close-up, sensitive portrayals and the voices of ritual actors themselves—mostly working-class men, many of them members of sworn brotherhoods and gangs—convincingly link martial ritual practice to the lives and desires of men on the margins of Chinese society. (Source: publisher's website)


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.


Brown, Melissa J. "The Cultural Impact of Gendered Social Roles and Ethnicity: Changing Religious Practices in Taiwan." Journal of Anthropological Research 59(2003)1: 47-67.


Brown, Melissa J. "Ethnic Identity, Cultural Variation, and Processes of Change: Rethinking the Insights of Standardization and Orthopraxy." Modern China 33(2007)1: 91-124.


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

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

Broy, Nikolas. "Die religiöse Praxis der Zhaijiao („Vegetarische Sekten“) in Taiwan." Doctoral dissertation, Universität Leipzig, 2014. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-138361

Abstract: Die Dissertation beschäftigt sich mit drei Religionsgemeinschaften in Taiwan, die spätestens seit der japanischen Kolonialzeit (1895-1945) unter der Bezeichnung „vegetarische Sekten“ (Zhaijiao) klassifiziert werden. Auffälligstes Merkmal dieser Gruppen war und ist das der Mahayana-buddhistischen Tradition entlehnte Gebot vegetarischer Ernährung. Während sich der chinesische Mönchsorden von Beginn an Anfeindungen ausgesetzt sah, welche die tatsächliche Befolgung des vegetarischen Gebots in Frage stellten, waren es oft nicht-monastische Gruppierungen außerhalb des klerikalen Machtmonopols, welche dieses und andere Gebote scheinbar viel strikter befolgten. Zu diesem Kreis „außerbuddhistischer Buddhisten“ zählen die in dieser Studie untersuchten Religionsgemeinschaften Longhuapai („Sekte der Drachenblume“), Xiantianpai („Sekte des früheren Himmels“) und Jintongpai („Sekte des Goldwimpels“), die generisch als Zhaijiao bezeichnet werden. Diese drei ursprünglich vom chinesischen Festland stammenden Traditionen werden heute zumeist als laienbuddhistische Vereinigungen angesehen, teilen aber eine Geschichte, die weit über die Grenzen des „orthodoxen“ und distinkten Buddhismus hinausgeht. In ihnen verschmelzen nicht nur buddhistische und daoistische Elemente sowie Vorstellungen und Praktiken der kommunalen Volksreligiosität. Sie stehen auch in ungebrochener Tradition mit volksreligiösen Sekten der späten Ming- (1368-1644) und frühen Qing-Zeit (1644-1911). Während die religiösen Vorstellungen und sozialen Organisationsformen der seit der Ming-Zeit entstandenen volksreligiösen Sekten – in deren Tradition die Zhaijiao Taiwans stehen – durch das Studium schriftlicher Quellen bereits recht gut bekannt sind, ist ihre religiöse Praxis hingegen bisher kaum erforscht. Die Dissertation unternimmt daher den Versuch, einen Beitrag dazu zu leisten, diese Lücke zu schließen. Sie hat es sich zum Ziel gemacht, die religiöse Praxis der vegetarischen Sekten im heutigen Taiwan zu analysieren und sie vor dem Hintergrund ihrer historischen Entwicklung einzuordnen. „Religiöse Praxis“ fungiert dabei als Oberbegriff für alles soziale und individuelle Sichverhalten in einem religiösen Feld und schließt damit sowohl hochgradig standardisiertes, formelles und vorgeprägtes Handeln (z.B. Rituale), als auch Formen religiös geprägter Lebensführung ein. Die religiöse Praxis der Zhaijiao wird dabei erstmals einer ausführlichen diachronen Untersuchung unterzogen, die von den ältesten Erwähnungen im 16. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart des frühen 21. Jahrhunderts reicht. Ein zentrales Element besteht dabei in der Verknüpfung von Feldforschung und dem Studium literarischer Quellen, welche es ermöglicht, einerseits historische Veränderungen zu erkennen und andererseits die historischen Quellen vor dem Hintergrund empirischer Beobachtungen besser zu verstehen. Zu diesem Zweck wurde im Jahr 2010 eine Erhebung von Primärdaten im Zuge einer Feldforschung durchgeführt, die sich insgesamt über sieben Monate erstreckte und in der 31 Gemeinden in ganz Taiwan besucht wurden. Erst mit diesen vor Ort gewonnenen Daten über das religiöse Leben der Zhaijiao-Anhänger in ihrem „natürlichen Umfeld“ können die spärlichen Informationen, die aus historischen Quellen und bisherigen Forschungsarbeiten gewonnen werden konnten, in einen lebensweltlichen Kontext eingebettet und interpretiert werden. Die heutigen Zhaijiao in Taiwan tragen als Abkömmlinge festlandchinesischer Sekten der Ming- und Qing-Zeit ein tief verwurzeltes historisches Erbe in sich. Dies besteht nicht nur aus jahrhundertealten Texten, die noch immer gedruckt, gelesen und rituell benutzt werden. Auch die religiöse Vorstellungswelt und Praxis nährt sich weiterhin aus dieser Tradition. Auf der anderen Seite erlebte Taiwan im vergangenen Jahrhundert infolge von Modernisierung, Verwestlichung, Urbanisierung usw. erhebliche politische und gesellschaftliche Umwälzungen, die auf die Entwicklung der Zhaijiao einen nachhaltigen Einfluss ausübten. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser zum Teil gegenläufigen Entwicklungen soll nach dem Verhältnis von Kontinuität und Wandel der Zhaijiao gefragt werden: Wie haben sich die kulturell eher konservativ und traditionell eingestellten Sekten unter den Bedingungen einer modernen und demokratischen Gesellschaft entwickelt und möglicherweise verändert? (Source: see URL above)


Broy, Nikolas. "The Filial Sectarian: Confucian Values and Popular Sects in Late Imperial China and Modern Taiwan." In New Religious Movements in Modern Asian History: Sociocultural Alternatives, edited by David W. Kim, 139–163. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020.


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


Chang, Hsun. “Between Religion and State: the Dajia Pilgrimage in Taiwan.” Social Compass 59.3 (2012): 298-310.

Abstract: In this paper the author will utilize both anthropological and historical approaches to illustrate how religion and the State intersect in the Dajia Mazu pilgrimage. Moreover, she will critique the conventional binary model of sacred versus profane by demonstrating how these two concepts are intricately intertwined in the course of the Dajia pilgrimage. The article aims to: provide a brief introduction and background to the Dajia pilgrimage; explore how the pilgrimage route is determined; discuss the protagonists involved in the choice of the pilgrimage route – temple committee leaders and members, as well as local politicians; and examine how temple committee members exploit the pilgrimage to express dissent against the central government of Taiwan. (Source: journal)


Chang Hsun. “A Resurgent Temple and Community Development: Roles of the Temple Manager, Local Elite and Entrepreneurs.” In Religion in Taiwan and China : Locality and Transmission, edited by Hsun Chang & Benjamin Penny, 293-331. Taipei: Academia Sinica, Institute of Ethnology, 2017.


Chang, Hsun. “Between Religious Authenticity and Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Cult of Mazu in Taiwan, Fujian, and Hainan Island.” In Heritage and Religion in East Asia, edited by Shu-Li Wang, Michael Rowlands, and Yujie Zhu, 167–186. London: Routledge, 2021.



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

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


Chang, Wen-Chun. “Buddhism, Taoism, Folk Religions, and Rebellions: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 45.4 (2010): 445-460.

Abstract: This study investigates the influences of religion in determining whether to support what might be perceived to be rebellious actions in Taiwan where most people are adherents of Buddhism, Taoism, and folk religions. Using data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey 2004, the estimations of the probit model suggest that there are some strong links between religion and the attitudes toward rebellious actions. In particular, being a Taoist reduces the probability of protest participation while being a Buddhist and being a folk religionist cut the likelihood of signing a petition. Moreover, the frequencies of religious attendance are positively associated with the probabilities of participating in a protest, signing a petition, and taking actions against injustice or harmful regulations.


Chao, Shin-yi. " A Danggi Temple in Taipei: Spirit-Mediums in Modern Urban Taiwan." Asia Major 15(2002)2: 129-156.


Chen, Hsinchih, "The Development of Taiwanese Folk Religion, 1684-1939." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, 1995.


Cheng, Tien-Ming; Chen, Mei-Tsun. "Image Transformation for Mazu Pilgrimage and Festival Tourism." Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research 19, nos.4-6 (2014): 538-557.


Chi, Chang-Hui, "The Politics of Deification and Nationalist Ideology: A Case Study of Quemoy." Thesis (Ph.D.), Boston University, 2000, 236p.

Abstract: This anthropological study explores the cults of two ghostly deities emerging after 1949 on the Quemoy Islands, Republic of China. These cults became the foci of a symbolic contest between local inhabitants and the Kuomintang (KMT) military authorities over the interpretation of their meaning. Based on 11 months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted in 1996-97, as well as archival research, this work employs a case study of religion to examine the limits of authoritarian rule.

Quemoy is a KMT frontline military zone located in close proximity to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and was a symbol of the threat posed by the PRC during the Cold War era. The KMT had given high priority to controlling the islands by means of a military government and a nationalist ideology. To this end, it particularly sponsored the cults of a slain general, Li Guangqian, and another of a chaste female martyr, Lienu, to serve as the foci for veneration. They then became icons in a KMT Orientalist nationalist ideology in which they were officially deified and their worship was elevated in the manner of a state cult: the two deified martyrs received regular homage from the military. By contrast, local villagers interpreted the cults as an excuse for hot and noisy carnival celebrations that provided a temporary liberation from the prevailing nationalist ideology and military gaze.

With the end of the Cold War and reduced tension in the Taiwan Strait in the late 1980s, KMT Orientalist nationalism began to lose its grip. In consequence, the meaning of the cults was replaced with themes that reflected a search for a new Taiwanese identity and nationhood. This dynamic politics of deification now stands for the contesting forces in a quest for nationhood.

This dissertation takes villagers' interpretations as a case of what Bakhtin called "dialogized heteroglossia," where events are loaded with possible meanings in specific contexts. It sheds light on the anthropological study of religion and state hegemony by showing the dynamics of discourse objectifying local consciousness under authoritarian rule. [Source: Dissertation Abstracts International]


Chi, Chang-hui. “The Death of a Virgin: the Cult of Wang Yulan and Nationalism in Jinmen, Taiwan.” Anthropological Quarterly 82.3 (2009): 669-690.

Abstract: This article explores the impact of the global Cold War on local politics through the study of a state deified female ghost Wang Yulan in Jinmen, Taiwan. The liminal status of ghosts in the Chinese celestial order makes room for possible multiple meanings of state-local contestation. Civilians’ interpretations of the cult engaged with the official discourse to generate what Bakhtin called “dialogized heteroglossia,” revealing the limits of state control over interpretation and ambiguous relations between the state and local society under martial law.


Chipman, Elana. “Our Beigang: Culture Work, Ritual, and Community in a Taiwanese Town.” Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 2007.

Abstract: This dissertation examines the production of locality in Beigang, a rural Taiwanese town, which is a famous popular-religious transnational pilgrimage center for the goddess Mazu. It is based on 14 months of fieldwork research in Taiwan and five months at two related pilgrimage centers in Fujian, China. I focus on two interrelated and mutually constitutive mediating processes through which locality is produced: First, the rituals of Beigang's local territorial cult and of visiting pilgrims; and second, "culture work," a relatively recent form of explicit cultural production through amateur historical and folklore research and related cultural activities. Ritual and culture work can be analyzed as forms of media which mediate between people and place, and between local and trans-local processes and power. I trace the production of identities anchored in Mazu's temple by examining communal and individual practices and the ways in which their discourses of history, tradition, and piety are framed and deployed. Following an introduction, I describe how ritual mediates local identity in Beigang. The next two chapters map historical transformations in Beigang using a regional systems approach. I examine pilgrimage networks and other hierarchical relationships across Taiwan in order to trace Beigang's transformation into an island-wide pilgrimage center. The following chapters examine the practices and discourses of "culture workers." They are co-opted by the state in the construction of an explicitly cultural national narrative, yet also challenge and critique particular local formations of power through their work. Local agents also deploy cultural and ritual practices and discourses through which they gain prestige and other forms of value. Finally, I discuss inter-communal rivalries as expressed through competition between temples and disputes over archaeological artifacts, to reveal local cultural identity practices as forms of boundary making. Religion and culture work have played an important role in Taiwan's largely successful negotiations with pressures of colonialism, modernity and globalization by providing a coherent framework within which the tensions inherent in change are both highlighted and contained. These cultural practices mediate and inscribe local identity. Yet, because they are symbolic systems, they are forever uncanny, contingent, and open to competing interpretations.


Chipman, Elana. "The De-territorialization of Ritual Spheres in Contemporary Taiwan." Asian Anthropology 8 (2009): 31-64.

Abstract: This article considers the transformations over time of ritual networks centered on the town of Beigang, Taiwan in dialogue with earlier treatments of ritual and social organization. The case of this pilgrimage center supports observations on contemporary Taiwanese ritual and belief spheres, but it also complicates the understanding that contemporary trans-local political and economic processes have strengthened pan-island belief spheres at the expense of local communal ritual organization. Ritual networks in contemporary Taiwan are increasingly de-territorialized, but in Beigang they remain linked to locality, even as worshippers and natives become de-territorialized as individuals in their relationship to Beigang Mazu. Thus, I argue, if a trans-local cult is strong enough, the deity’s perceived powers serves to bolster the local ritual community, as well as to bring outsiders into the fold and keep sojourners linked to it.


Chou, Hansen. “Politics of the Periphery: Religion and Its Place at a City’s Edge in Taiwan.” MA thesis, University of British Columbia, 2009.

Abstract: This thesis explores the recent revival of popular religion in Taiwan through broader anthropological concerns regarding place and space. Swift industrialization and rapid urbanization of past decades have not dissuaded religious practice; instead they have flourished on the island. This study pays specific attention to their proliferation at the urban margins. Drawing on historical and ethnographic data based on field research conducted in 2007, the present work examines the spatial politics of place at a community on the urban periphery, just outside of Taipei in northern Taiwan. More specifically, it analyzes two key sites within the community that locals often evoke as crucial locations in their cultural and social imaginings of place: a cultural heritage district and the local communal temple. It documents various “spatial practices” (de Certeau 1984) of place, and focuses particularly on the divination ritual at the temple. This work draws upon some of the ideas advanced by Henri Lefebvre (1991) in his theorization of urbanization, particularly his notion of “abstract space”: the expanding spaces of homogeneity created in the wake of global capitalism’s spread. By addressing the everyday experiences of space, this thesis addresses the dynamics between histories, affect and place. In all, it argues that, amidst the uncertainties of change brought on by their modern(izing) surroundings, people resort to rituals like divination in hopes to mitigate their maladies and misfortunes. By turning to the past in their attempts to make sense of the present, they further engage in a form of local production.


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, "Sects, Cults, and Popular Religion: Aspects of Religious Change in Post-War Taiwan." British Columbia Asian Review 9(Winter 1995/96):120-163.


Clart, Philip, "The Ritual Context of Morality Books: A Case-Study of a Taiwanese Spirit-Writing Cult." Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia, 1996.

Abstract: The present study focusses on the description and analysis of the religious beliefs and practices of a central Taiwanese spirit-writing cult or "phoenix hall" (luantang). A phoenix hall is a voluntary religious association of congregational character centring upon communication with the gods by means of the divinatory technique of "spirit-writing" (fuluan). While spirit-writing can be and is used as an oracle for the solving of believers' personal problems, its more high-profile application is for the writing of so-called "morality books" (shanshu), i.e., books of religious instruction and moral exhortation. Spirit-writing cults are nowadays the most important sources of such works. Much attention has been given to morality books as mirrors of the social concerns of their times, but comparatively little work has been done on the groups that produce them and the meaning these works have for them. An adequate understanding of the meanings and functions of morality books, however, is impossible without some knowledge of the religious groups that produce them and the role played by morality books in their beliefs and practices. It is the objective of this thesis to provide a detailed description and analysis of one such group, the "Temple of the Martial Sage, Hall of Enlightened Orthodoxy" (Wumiao Mingzheng Tang), a phoenix hall in the city of Taizhong that was founded in 1976 and has played a significant role in the modern development of the shanshu genre through the active and varied publications programme of its publishing arm, the Phoenix Friend Magazine Society. The study utilizes data extracted from the Hall's published writings as well as interview, observation, and questionnaire data collected during an eight month period of field research in Taizhong.

Part I provides a macrohistorical overview of the development of spirit-writing cults on the Chinese mainland (chapter 1) and on Taiwan (chapter 2) since the nineteenth century, leading up to the case-example's microhistory (chapter 3). Part II is devoted to an account of the beliefs and practices of the Wumiao Mingzheng Tang, including descriptions and analyses of its organization, deities, ritual activities, concepts of moral cultivation, and of the body of morality book literature it has produced over the years. The appendix contains samples of the cult's morality book and scriptural literature, as well as of various liturgical texts. [Source: author.]


Clart, Philip & Charles B. Jones [eds.], Religion in Modern Taiwan: Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Society. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003.


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. "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)


Davison, Gary Marvin & Barbara E. Reed, Culture and Customs of Taiwan. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.


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

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


Dell'Orto, Alessandro, Place and Spirit in Taiwan: Tudi Gong in the Stories, Strategies and Memories of Everyday Life. London, New York: Routledge/Curzon, 2002.


Dell'Orto, Alessandro, "Narrating Place and Tudi Gong in Taiwan." In: Lin Mei-rong [ed.], Xinyang, yishi yu shehui: Di san jie guoji Hanxue huiyi lunwenji (renleixue zu) = Belief, Ritual and Society: Papers from the Third International Conference on Sinology (Anthropology Section). Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, 2003. Pp.37-86.


DeVido, Elise A. "The 'New Funeral Culture' in Taiwan." In: Elise Anne DeVido and Benoît Vermander [eds.], Creeds, Rites and Videotapes: Narrating Religious Experience in East Asia. Taipei: Taipei Ricci Institute, 2004. Pp.235-249.


Feuchtwang, Stephan. "Hopes, Fears and Excitement: the Authority of a Local Festival." In: Lin, Tsong-yuan [ed.], Proceedings of the International Conference on Anthropology and the Museum = Renleixue yu bowuguan guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwen zhuanji. Taipei: Taiwan Museum, 1995. Pp. 101-118. [Note: on a Mazu festival in Guandu]


Feuchtwang, Stephan, "Spiritual Recovery: A Spirit-writing Shrine in Shifting under Japanese Rule." Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica 88(1999): 63-89.


Feuchtwang, Stephan, "The General and the Immortal: The Authors and the Authority of Custom." In: Anders Hansson, Bonnie S. McDougall, and Frances Weightman [eds.], The Chinese at Play: Festivals, Games, and Leisure. London: Kegan Paul, 2002. Pp. 34-54. (Note: On temple festivals in Shiding, near Taipei.)


Feuchtwang, Stephan & Wang Mingming, Grassroots Charisma in China: Four Local Leaders in China. London: Routledge, 2001. Note: A comparative study of religion and local leadership in Meifa (Fujian) and Shiding (Taiwan).


Feuchtwang, Stephan; Shih Fang-Long; Paul-François Tremlett. "The Formation and Function of the Category 'Religion' in Anthropological Studies of Taiwan." Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 18(2006)1: 37-66.


Feuchtwang, Stephan. “Centres and Margins: The Organisation of Extravagance as Self-Government in China.” In: Chang Hsun & Yeh Chuen-rong [eds.], Contemporary Religions in Taiwan: Unities and Diversities /Taiwan bentu zongjiao yanjiu: jiegou yu bianyi. Taipei: SMC Publishing, 2006. Pp.87-126.


Fong, Shiaw-Chian, "The Politics of Narrative Identity in the Mazu Cult." Issues and Studies 32(1996)11: 103-125.


Gallin, Bernard & Rita S. Gallin, "Folk Religion as a Mobilizing Identity: The Ta Shih Kung Temple in Taipei." In: Wang Ch'iu-kui, Chuang Ying-chang & Chen Chung-min [eds.], Shehui, minzu yu wenhua zhanyan guoji yantaohui lunwenji. Taipei: Hanxue Yanjiu Zhongxin, 2001. Pp.183-203.


Gates, Hill, "Religious Real Estate as Indigenous Civil Space." Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica 88(1999): 313-333.


Gildow, Douglas. "Flesh Bodies, Stiff Corpses, and Gathered Gold: Mummy Worship, Corpse Processing, and Mortuary Ritual in Contemporary Taiwan." Journal of Chinese Religions 33(2005): 1-37.


Haar, Barend J. ter, "Traditional Chinese Religions on Taiwan." In Mark de Fraeye [ed.]. Taiwan, Island of Beauty. Freiburg: Schillinger Verlag, 1995. Pp.93-99.


Hall, Christopher A. “Tudi Gong in Taiwan.” Southeast Review of Asian Studies 31 (2009): 97-112.

Abstract: Studies of Tudi Gong ??? in English are relatively rare. This article reports the his- tory, faces, roles, and duties of Tudi Gong, one of the lowest-ranked gods of the tradi- tional Taiwanese pantheon, whose name can be translated as “Earth Lord.” Tudi Gong is the most ubiquitous and one of the most commonly worshipped gods in Taiwan; he is the approachable genius loci with access to the higher gods. This article brings together various perspectives on Tudi Gong from previous studies of Chinese or Taiwanese reli- gion. To these portrayals it adds notes from the author’s observations of worshippers and informal interviews at temples, homes, and other places around Taiwan in 2008.


Hatfield, Donald J. "Fate in the Narrativity and Experience of Selfhood, a Case from Taiwanese chhiam Divination." American Ethnologist 29(2002)4: 857-877.


Hatfield, D.J. “Remediation and Innovation in Taiwanese Religious Sites: Lukang’s Glass Temple.” Asian Ethnology 78, no. 2 (2019): 263–288.

Abstract: Drawing from the case of Taiwan Hu-sheng Temple, a temple to the God- dess Mazu in Lukang constructed nearly entirely from glass, I argue that multiplicity and remediation have become dominant tropes in Taiwanese ritual life. While both of these tropes rely upon the overall logic of Taiwanese ritual practices, they also foster innovative and entrepreneurial projects to market "local culture" in a variety of new media. Hu-sheng Temple is exceptional: it was constructed to showcase the ingenuity of Taiwanese glass manufacturers, makes connections to environmentalist movements, and represents Taiwanese landscapes as a sacred geography. However, mainstream temples share these features—reflexivity, entrepreneurship, and cosmic projection—in often less obvious forms. Lukang's glass temple provides a lens through which we can better understand the role of remediation in ritual practices, particularly in their entanglements with variously situated attempts to reimagine (and market) Taiwan.


Holroyd, Ryan. “Schools, Temples, and Tombs across the Sea: The Re-Civilization of Post-Zheng Taiwan, 1683–1722.” Frontiers of History in China 10, no. 4 (2015): 571–593.

Abstract: This article examines the strategies employed by the Qing empire to induce the Han population in Taiwan to accept its rule following the island’s conquest in 1683. Late-seventeenth-century Taiwan had a sparse population and a huge hinterland, and this made it difficult for the Qing government to enforce its rule by military means alone. I will argue that the Qing officials in Taiwan also used a number of cultural tactics to legitimize their government in the eyes of the Han Taiwanese. First, they built culture temples and schools in the hopes of both demonstrating their moral authority and convincing the Taiwanese to participate in the dynasty’s examination system. Second, they involved themselves in local religion by founding or refurbishing temples to popular deities, demonstrating sympathy for local concerns and solidarity between religious groups on the mainland and in Taiwan. Finally, rather than denigrate the memory of the island’s former rulers, the Ming-loyalist Zheng family who had resisted the Qing government’s conquest of southern China, they portrayed them as honorable servants of the former dynasty whose legacy could be proudly remembered, but whose time had ultimately passed. (Source: journal)


Homola, Stéphanie. "La relation de maître à disciple en question: transmission orale et écrite des savoirs divinatoires en Chine et à Taiwan." Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 35 (2013): 11-43.

Abstract: This paper explores two contrasting modes of transmission of divinatory knowledge in contemporary Taiwan and mainland China. One is built on the academic model which emphasizes written communication and the other one on the teacher to student relationship which favors oral transmission. In Taiwan, faced with the declining quality of teaching and the multiplication of schools of thought, divinatory arts specialists tried to reform their knowledge and teaching methods to make them fit with the scientific requirements of contemporary society. This endeavor which had already been launched in mainland China in the Republican era, resulted in Taiwan in a boom of popular handbooks and a standardization of training. Then, I qualify this evolution through a case study conducted in mainland China which, on the contrary, highlights the importance of personal relationship and orality in the transfer of mantic techniques. In this context, methods and know-how are taught through predestined affinities, initiatory journeys and legends. (Source: journal)


Homola, Stéphanie. “Pursue Good Fortune and Avoid Calamity: The Practice and Status of Divination in Contemporary Taiwan.” Journal of Chinese Religions 41.2 (2013): 124-147.

Abstract: This article describes divination practices and analyses the evolution of their status in contemporary Taiwan. Unlike classical studies on divination, which focus on fortune tellers and aim to explain the symbolic system on which divination is based, this research carries out an ethnography of clients’ practices.1 Thus, in the first part of the article, I put divination practices in the context of the clients’ life stories and commitments of daily life to underline how they are led to consult, and how they process divination results. In the second part, I rely on the historical factors that have shaped the social status of divination as “superstition” from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards, and on the development of scholarly studies of divination, to account for the current evolution of its meaning in Taiwanese society. Indeed, Taiwanese social science researchers have shown a growing interest in this subject, particularly in the context of the “indigenization movement” (bentuhua), which advocates a new approach to the study of divination practices. (Source: journal)


Hong, Keelung & Stephen O. Murray. Looking through Taiwan: American Anthropologists' Collusion with Ethnic Domination. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. [See chapter 8: "A Taiwanese Woman Who Became a Spirit Medium: Native and Alien Models of How Taiwanese Identify Spirit Possession."]


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

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


Hu, Anning; Yang, Fenggang. "Trajectories of Folk Religion in Deregulated Taiwan: an Age, Period, Cohort Analysis. Chinese Sociological Review 46, no.3 (2014): 80-100.


Huang, Shih-ju. "Religious Experiences of Taiwanese I-Kuan Tao and Buddho-Daoism." In Religious Experience in Contemporary Taiwan and China, ed. Yen-zen Tsai. Taipei: Chengchi University Press, 2013. Pp. 91-104.


Hung Lichien. “Ritual Healing in Taiwan: The Rite for Concealing the Soul.” Journal of Daoist Studies 12 (2019): 123-140.


Jackson, Paul Allen. “Logographic Elements of Daoist Religious Language: A Case Study of Two Temples in Southern Taiwan.” Huaren zongjiao yanjiu/Studies in Chinese Religions 1(2013): 135-173.


Jochim, Christian, "Carrying Confucianism into the Modern World: The Taiwan Case." 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.48-83.


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


Jones, Charles B., "Religion in Taiwan at the End of the Japanese Colonial Period." 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.10-35.


Jordan, David K., "Filial Piety in Taiwanese Popular Thought." In Walter H. Slote & George A. De Vos [eds.], Confucianism and the Family. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998. Pp.267-283.


Jordan, David K., "Pop in Hell: Representations of Purgatory in Taiwan." In: David K. Jordan, Andrew D. Morris, and Marc L. Moskowitz [eds.], The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2004. Pp. 50-63.


Katz, Paul, "The Wayward Phoenix?--The Early History of the Palace of Guidance." In Li Fengmao & Zhu Ronggui [eds.], Yishi, miaohui yu shequ--Daojiao, minjian xinyang yu minjian wenhua. Taipei: Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan, Zhongguo Wenzhe Yanjiusuo Choubeichu, 1996. Pp.197-228.


Katz, Paul R., "Temple Cults and the Creation of Hsin-chuang Local Society." In: T'ang Hsi-yung [ed.], Papers from the Seventh Conference on Chinese Maritime History. Nankang: Sun Yat-sen Institute of Social Sciences, 1999. Pp.735-798.


Katz, Paul R., "The Cult of the Lord of the Hordes at the Abbey of Ksitigarbha in Hsin-chuang." Journal of Humanities East/West 16(1998): 123-159.


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., "Divine Justice: Chicken-beheading Rituals in Japanese Occupation Taiwan and Their Historical Antecedents." In: Shehui, minzu yu wenhua zhanyan guoji yantaohui lunwenji. Taipei: Hanxue Yanjiu Zhongxin, 2001. Pp.111-160.


Katz, Paul R., "Festival Systems and the Division of Ritual Labor: A Case Study of the An-fang at Hsin-chuang's Ti-tsang An." Minsu quyi 130(2001): 57-124.


Katz, Paul & Murray Rubinstein [eds.], Religion and the Formation of Taiwanese Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Abstract: This volume examines the creation of forms of individual and group identity in Taiwan, the relationship between these forms of identity, and patterns of Taiwanese religion, politics, and culture. The contributors explore the Taiwanese sense of self, attempting to discern how Taiwanese identify themselves as individuals and as collectivities. Ranging from the local to the national level and within the larger Chinese cultural and religious universe, these essays explore the complex nature of identity/role and the processes of identity formation which have shaped Taiwan's multi-leveled past and its many faceted present. [Source: publisher's web site]


Katz, Paul R., "Identity Politics and the Study of Popular Religion in Postwar Taiwan." In: Paul R. Katz and Murray A. Rubinstein [eds.], Religion and the Formation of Taiwanese Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp.157-180.


Katz, Paul R., "Religion and the State in Post-war Taiwan." The China Quarterly 174(2003): 395-412.


Katz, Paul R., "The Cult of the Royal Lords in Postwar Taiwan." 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.98-124.


Katz, Paul R., "Local Elites and Sacred Sites in Hsin-chuang: The Growth of the Ti-tsang An during the Japanese Occupation." In: Lin Mei-rong [ed.], Xinyang, yishi yu shehui: Di san jie guoji Hanxue huiyi lunwenji (renleixue zu) = Belief, Ritual and Society: Papers from the Third International Conference on Sinology (Anthropology Section). Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, 2003. Pp.179-227.


Katz, Paul R., "Fowl Play: Chicken-Beheading Rituals and Dispute Resolution in Taiwan." In: David K. Jordan, Andrew D. Morris, and Marc L. Moskowitz [eds.], The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2004. Pp. 35-49.


Katz, Paul R. "Governmentality and Its Consequences in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915." Journal of Asian Studies 64(2005)2: 387-424.


Katz, Paul R. When Valleys Turned Blood Red: The Ta-pa-ni Incident in Colonial Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005.

Abstract: When Valleys Turned Blood Red tells the story of colonial policies and their tragic impact on local communities. The Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915 was the largest single act of Han Chinese armed resistance during the fifty years of Taiwan's colonial era. More than a thousand villagers and Japanese were killed during the fierce fighting and thousands more were later arrested and made to stand trial.

Based on detailed archival research, interviews with survivors, painstaking demographic analysis, and a thorough reading of secondary scholarship in all of the relevant languages, Paul Katz examines the significance of the Ta-pa-ni Incident by focusing on what Paul Cohen terms history's "three keys": event, experience, and myth. Katz provides a vivid description of events surrounding the uprising as well as the ways in which it has been mythologized over time. His primary emphasis, however, is on the experiences of the men and women who were caught up in the flow of history. [Source: publisher's website]


Katz, Paul R. "Religion, Recruiting and Resistance in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Xilai An Incident, 1915." 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. 249-282.


Katz, Paul R. „Spirit-writing Halls and the Development of Local Communities: A Case Study of Puli (Nantou County).“ Min-su ch’ü-i / Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore 174 (2011): 103-184.


Kennedy, Brian L. & Elizabeth Nai-Jia Guo. "Taiwanese Daoist Temple Parades and Their Martial Motifs." Journal of Daoist Studies 2 (2009): 197-209.


Koo, Hui-Wen. “Worship Associations in Taiwan.” Australian Economic History Review 53.1 (2013): 1-21.

Abstract: We analyse why Taiwanese families during the Ch'ing Dynasty still held communal assets vested in worship associations (chi ssu kung yeh) even after the division of family assets. Our analysis shows that worship associations benefitted the living as well as the dead. Although the high cost of managing common assets meant the associations were established infrequently, they arose often in a response to clan feuds and served as martial-style corporations for the protection of family property before the twentieth century. (Source: journal)


Kuo, Cheng-tian. Religion and Democracy in Taiwan. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008.

Abstract: In Religion and Democracy in Taiwan, Cheng-tian Kuo meticulously explores various Taiwanese religions in order to observe their relationships with democracy. Kuo analyzes these relationships by examining the democratic theology and ecclesiology of these religions, as well as their interaction with Taiwan. Unlike most of the current literature, which is characterized by a lack of comparative studies, the book compares nearly all of the major religions and religious groups in Taiwan. Both case studies and statistical methods are utilized to provide new insights and to correct misperceptions in the current literature. The book concludes by highlighting the importance of breaking down the concepts of both religion and democracy in order to accurately address their complicated relationships and to provide pragmatic democratic reform proposals within religions. [Source: publisher's website]


Laing, Ellen Johnston & Helen Hui-ling Liu, Up in Flames: The Ephemeral Art of Pasted-Paper Sculpture in Taiwan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.


Lazzaroti, Marco. “Modern Life and Traditional Death: Tradition and Modernization of Funeral Rites in Taiwan.” Fu-Jen International Religious Studies 8, no.1 (2014): 108-126.


Lee, Anru. “Women of the Sisters' Hall: Religion and the Making of Women's Alternative Space in Taiwan's Economic Restructuring." Gender, Place and Culture 15.4 (2008): 373-393.

Abstract: Against the background of Taiwan's recent economic restructuring, this article investigates the lives of a group of working-class women who were believers of I-Kuan Tao, a sectarian religion, and who had by and large decided to remain single in order to better practice their religious teaching. They lived together in an I-Kuan Tao temple. This article situates singlehood in the literature of resistance and sees it as a strategy of these women seeking an alternative lifestyle from the culturally prescribed roles of wife, mother and daughter-in-law. Three interlocking factors are particularly important to an understanding of these women's experience: cultural (the Taiwanese patrilineal family), religious (I-Kuan Tao), and economic (Taiwan's post-World War II export-oriented industrialization and its recent economic restructuring). Paradoxically, while trying to establish an alternative social space, these women were also seeking cultural legitimacy for their choice. Marriage resistance, in this case, was an act of both transgression and conformity. Yet the different readings that these women and their families applied to their situations, as well as the ingenuous strategies they deployed to solve their predicaments, also added new elements to the cultural repertoire which, collectively considered, might broaden the range of options for future Taiwanese women who attempt a similar life trajectory. In this article, I therefore caution against a totalizing understanding of the concept of resistance based on its final result, but call for a more nuanced analysis focusing on the process. (Source: journal)


Lee, Anru & Anna Wen-hui Tang. “The Twenty-five Maiden Ladies’ Tomb and Predicaments of the Feminist Movement in Taiwan.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 39(3): 23-49.

Abstract: “The Twenty-five Maiden Ladies’ Tomb” is the collective burial site of the female workers who died in a ferry accident on their way to work in 1973. The fact that of the more than 70 passengers on board all 25 who died were unmarried young women, and the taboo in Taiwanese culture that shuns unmarried female ghosts, made the Tomb a fearsome place. Feminists in Gaoxiong had for some years wanted the city government to change the tomb’s public image. Their calls were not answered until the Gaoxiong mayor’s office finally allocated money to clean up the gravesite and, as part of the city’s plans to develop urban tourism, to remake it into the tourist-friendly “Memorial Park for Women Labourers”. Consequently, even though the tomb renovation seemed to indicate a triumph of the feminist endeavour, it was more a result of the Gaoxiong city governmurban revitalization. (Source: journal)


Lee, Anru & Anna Wen-hui Tang. “From the 'Twenty-five Ladies’ Tomb' to a 'Memorial Park for Women Laborers': Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Memory in Taiwan’s Urban Renewal.” Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology 75 (2011):37-70.

Abstract: This essay looks at the recent renovation of the Twenty-five Ladies’ Tomb, and examines the politics of the feminist movements and the politics of memory as they are expressed through different meanings of female ghosts, in southern Taiwan. People who were involved in the renovation process included the families of the deceased “twenty-five maidens,” the Kaohsiung city government, and feminist groups in Kaohsiung and elsewhere in Taiwan – most notably the Kaohsiung Association for the Promotion of Women’s Rights – all of whom had different considerations and therefore diverse expectations regarding the future and purpose of the tomb. In Specters of Marx (2006), Derrida uses the idea of “specters” and “haunting” as consequences of historical injustice and tragedy metaphorically but powerfully. These two elements come together in our essay as well. However, the “ghosts” in our accounts are more literally ghosts with whom some (if not all) of our ethnographic subjects interact. They appear, express their sorrow, and demonstrate their grievances. The reestablishment of peace and order essential to residents of both the living world and the afterlife thus hinges upon mutual understanding and close collaboration between them. Yet, as meanings are constantly contested, so is the nature of the deceased’s requests. The different interpretations that the (living) socio-political forces give to the deceased’s needs open up new terrains of contestation for the memory of the past and the rights and obligations at the present. Ghosts are agencies that inform changes in the social life of the living. (Source: journal)

Lhamo, Yeshe Choekyi, "The Fangs of Reproduction: An Analysis of Taiwanese Menstrual Pollution in the Context of Buddhist Philosophy and Practice." History and Anthropology 14(2003)2: 157-178.


Li, Fong-mao. "It took a Millennium to be Mazu and Mazu Deserves to be Worshipped for a Millennium." Translated by Sue Wiles. Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 14 (2004): 17-19.


Li, Ping-hui, "Processional Music in Traditional Taiwanese Funerals." 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.130-149.


Li, Shiwei. “A Survey and Evaluation of Postwar Scholarship of Popular Taiwan (1950–2000).” Chinese Studies in History 44.1-2 (2010/11): 38-75.

Abstract: Most of the best Chinese-language scholarship on redemptive societies, and on religion in general, has been done by Taiwanese scholars, both because religion in Taiwan has been subject to less state intervention than on the main- land, and because scholarship on Taiwan is both freer and more open to Western influence. Although Li Shiwei’s article is not focused squarely on the subject of redemptive societies, he offers a comprehensive and valuable overview of the last half century of work on Chinese popular religion by Taiwanese scholars, a useful shortcut to a very useful body of knowledge. (Source: journal)


Lin, Amy Hui-Mei Huang, "Factors Related to Attitudes toward Death among Chinese and American Older Adults." Thesis (Ph.D.), The Ohio State University, 2000, 191p.

Abstract: This ex-post facto cross-cultural study was designed to compare five dimensions of attitudes toward death (fear of death, death avoidance, neutral acceptance of death, approach acceptance of death, and escape acceptance of death) and related personal factors (spirituality, emotional support, and religiosity) among American and Chinese older adults. Using survey method, data were collected from a convenience sample of older adults living in central Ohio areas and the metropolitan city of Taipei in Taiwan. A total of 178 older adults (91 Americans and 87 Chinese) participated in this study.

Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. In this study, the typical American older adults were female, between 65 and 74 years old, married, lived with their spouses, had at least a high school or higher education, and identified their religion as Protestant. The typical Chinese older adults were female, between 65 and 74 years old, married, and lived with their spouses. Slightly over 60% of Chinese had a high school diploma. Most identified their religions as Buddhism (40%), Protestant (23%), or dual religions (20%).

Older adults in this study were categorized into four groups: American young-old, American old-old, Chinese young-old, and Chinese old-old. ANOVA revealed that a statistically significant difference existed between these four groups of older adults in death avoidance attitude. However, a significant difference of approach acceptance of death attitude, existed only between three groups of American and Chinese subjects. No statistically significant differences existed between American and Chinese older adults in fear of death, neutral acceptance, and escape acceptance of death attitudes.

Multiple regression analyses revealed that for American older adults, spirituality contributed a significant proportion to the variance in their fear of death and avoidance of death attitudes but both spirituality and religiosity contributed to their approach acceptance and escape acceptance of death attitudes. For Chinese older adults, spirituality contributed a significant proportion to the variance in their fear of death and religiosity contributed a significant proportion to their approach acceptance of death attitudes. Emotional support failed to demonstrate any statistically significant relationship with death attitudes in either American or Chinese subjects. [Source: Dissertation Abstracts International]


Lin, Szu-Ping. “The Woman with Broken Palm Lines: Subject, Agency, Fortune-Telling, and Women in Taiwanese Television Drama.” In Multiple Modernities: Cinemas and Popular Media in Transcultural East Asia, ed. Jenny Kwok Wah Lau. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003. Pp. 222-238.


Lin, Wei-ping. "Conceptualizing Gods through Statues: A Study of Personification and Localization in Taiwan." Comparative Studies in Society and History 50.2 (2008): 454-477.


Lin, Wei-Ping. "Local History through Popular Religion: Place, People and Their Narratives in Taiwan." Asian Anthropology 8 (2009): 1-30.

Abstract: This paper explores how popular religion can offer a different interpretation of history than the macro politico-economic perspective. It draws on ethnography from rural Taiwan to discuss how the local people have their own ways of understanding history. The author examines religious narratives, the revelations of spirit mediums, and changes in the governance of temples to show how the social histories of the region and the wider society are reconstituted locally. These religious narrations and practices, grounded in ideas of place and in the social relations between deities and their adherents, are important means of constructing local identity and conveying people’s agency.


Lin Wei-ping. "Son of Man or Son of God? The Spirit Medium in Chinese Popular Religion." In Affiliation and Transmission in Daoism: A Berlin Symposium, edited by Florian C. Reiter, 249-275. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2012.


Lin Wei-Ping. Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, vol. 97. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015.

Abstract: Materializing Magic Power paints a broad picture of the dynamics of popular religion in Taiwan. The first book to explore contemporary Chinese popular religion from its cultural, social, and material perspectives, it analyzes these aspects of religious practice in a unified framework and traces their transformation as adherents move from villages to cities. In this groundbreaking study, Wei-Ping Lin offers a fresh perspective on the divine power of Chinese deities as revealed in two important material forms—god statues and spirit mediums. By examining the significance of these religious manifestations, Lin identifies personification and localization as the crucial cultural mechanisms that bestow efficacy on deity statues and spirit mediums. She further traces the social consequences of materialization and demonstrates how the different natures of materials mediate distinct kinds of divine power. The first part of the book provides a detailed account of popular religion in villages. This is followed by a discussion of how rural migrant workers cope with challenges in urban environments by inviting branch statues of village deities to the city, establishing an urban shrine, and selecting a new spirit medium. These practices show how traditional village religion is being reconfigured in cities today. (Source: publisher's website)


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.


Lipinsky, Astrid, Taiwan: Tempel, Gläubige, Religionen. Bonn: published by the author, 1996.


Liu, Huan-yueh. "Placating Lost Souls and Praying for Them to be at Peace--the Mid Prime Festival of Universal Salvation in Worship of Lonely Ghosts." Translated by Lin Pei-yin. Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 14 (2004): 119-128.


Lu, Paul Yunfeng. "Helping People to Fulfill Vows: Commitment Mechanisms in a Chinese Sect." In: Fenggang Yang & Joseph B. Tamney [eds.], State, Market, and Religions in Chinese Societies. Leiden: Brill, 2005. Pp.181-201. [Note: The sect in question is Yiguan Dao; data were collected during fieldwork in Taiwan in 2002.]


Lu Yunfeng, Byron Johnson, Rodney Stark. "Deregulation and the Religious Market in Taiwan: A Research Note." The Socological Quarterly 49 (2008): 139-153.

Lu Yunfeng. The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan: Adapting to a Changing Religious Economy. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2008.

Abstract: Yiguan Dao, the most influential sect in the Chinese mainland in the 1940s, was largely destroyed in mainland China by 1953. However, Yiguan Dao survived and developed into the largest sect in Taiwan, despite its suppression by the Kuomintang state. In 1987, through relentless efforts, the sect finally gained legal status in Taiwan. Today, Yiguan Dao not only thrives in Chinese societies, but has also become a worldwide religion that has spread to more than sixty countries.

The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan is the first English-language scholarly study exclusively focusing on Yiguan Dao. Utilizing fieldwork conducted in 2002 in Taiwan, Yunfeng Lu provides a history of Yiguan Dao in mainland China and focuses on the sect's evolution in Taiwan in the past few decades. Lu probes the operation of Yiguan Dao under suppression over the past twenty years, and examines the relationship between Yiguan Dao and its rivals in Taiwan's religious market. The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan also develops the religious economy model by extending it to Chinese societies. It is essential reading for anyone interested in religion and contemporary Chinese society. [Source: publisher's website]


Madsen, Richard. Democracy’s Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Development in Taiwan. Berkeley: University of California, Press, 2007.

Abstract: This book explores the remarkable religious renaissance that has reformed, revitalized, and renewed the practices of Buddhism and Daoism in Taiwan. Democracy's Dharma connects these noteworthy developments to Taiwan's transition to democracy and the burgeoning needs of its new middle classes. Richard Madsen offers fresh thinking on Asian religions and shows that the public religious revival was not only encouraged by the early phases of the democratic transition but has helped to make that transition successful and sustainable. Madsen makes his argument through vivid case studies of four groups--Tzu Chi (the Buddhist Compassion Relief Association), Buddha's Light Mountain, Dharma Drum Mountain, and the Enacting Heaven Temple--and his analysis demonstrates that the Taiwan religious renaissance embraces a democratic modernity. [Source: publisher's website.]


Madsen, Richard. “Religious Renaissance and Taiwan’s Modern Middle Classes.” In: Mayfair Mei-hui Yang [ed.], Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. Pp. 295-322.


Marshall, Alison R., "Moving the Spirit on Taiwan: New Age Lingji Performance." Journal of Chinese Religions 31(2003): 81-99.


Marshall, Alison, "Shamanism in Contemporary Taiwan." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.123-145.


Mio Yuko. "Deified Ghosts: Popular and Authorised Interpretations of Religious Symbols." In: Suenari Michio, J.S. Eades & Christian Daniels [eds.], Perspectives on Chinese Society: Anthropological Views from Japan. Canterbury: Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent, 1995. Pp.136-155. (Note: On wangye cults in Taiwan.)


Miska, Maxine, "Aftermath of a Failed Seance: The Functions of Skepticism in a Traditional Society." In Barbara Walker [ed.], Out of the Ordinary: Folklore and the Supernatural. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1995. Pp.90-106.


Morris Wu, Eleanor, "The Historical Background of Three Taiwanese Folk Temples." In: Eleanor Morris Wu, From China to Taiwan: Historical, Anthropological, and Religious Perspectives. Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2004. Pp. 107-131.


Morris Wu, Eleanor, "The Symbolic Structure of Three Taiwanese Chinese Folk Temples." In: Eleanor Morris Wu, From China to Taiwan: Historical, Anthropological, and Religious Perspectives. Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2004. Pp. 133-177.


Morris Wu, Eleanor, "Chinese Roots of Taiwanese Sectarianism." In: Eleanor Morris Wu, From China to Taiwan: Historical, Anthropological, and Religious Perspectives. Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2004. Pp. 179-199.


Morris Wu, Eleanor, "An Overview of the Varieties of Religious Practices in Taipei." In: Eleanor Morris Wu, From China to Taiwan: Historical, Anthropological, and Religious Perspectives. Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2004. Pp. 201-224.


Moskowitz, Marc L. , "The Haunting Fetus: Greed, Healing, and Religious Adaptation in Modern Taiwan." Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica 86(1998): 157-196.


Moskowitz, Marc L., "Fetus-Spirits: New Ghosts in Modern Taiwan." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California-San Diego, 1999.


Moskowitz, Marc L., The Haunting Fetus: Abortion, Sexuality, and the Spirit World in Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001.


Moskowitz, Marc L., "Yang Sucking She-Demons: Penetration, Fear of Castration, and other Freudian Angst in Modern Chinese Cinema." In: David K. Jordan, Andrew D. Morris, and Marc L. Moskowitz [eds.], The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2004. Pp. 205-217.


Moskowitz, Marc L. "Magic Tricks, Midnight Grave Outings, and Transforming Trees: Performance and Agency in Taiwanese Religion." Journal of Ritual Studies 19(2005)1: 19-29.


Moskowitz, Marc L. "Magic Tricks, Midnight Grave Outings, and Transforming Trees: Performance and Agency in Taiwanese Religion." In Asian Ritual Systems: Syncretisms and Ruptures, edited by Pamela J. Stewart & Andrew Strathern. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2007. Pp.63-81.


Nadeau, Randall & Chang Hsun, "Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors: Religious Studies and the Question of 'Taiwanese Identity'." 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.280-299.


Nickerson, Peter, "A Poetics and Politics of Possession: Taiwanese Spirit-Medium Cults and Autonomous Popular Cultural Space." Positions 9(2001)1: 187-217.


Nyitray, Vivian-Lee, "The Sea Goddess and the Goddess of Democracy." Annual Review of Women in World Religions 4(1996):164-177.


Olds, Kelly B. & Ruey-Hua Liu, "Economic Cooperation in 19th-Century Taiwan: Religion and Informal Enforcement." Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 156(2000)2: 404-427.


Paper, Jordan, "A Note on Contemporary Religion in Taiwan: Domestic Architecture." Journal of Chinese Religions 24(1996):101-104.


Paper, Jordan, "Mediums and Modernity: The Institutionalization of Ecstatic Religious Functionaries in Taiwan." Journal of Chinese Religions 24(1996):105-129.


Pas, Julian F., "Religious Life in Present Day Taiwan: A Field Observations Report, 1994-1995." Journal of Chinese Religions 24(1996):131-158.


Pas, Julian, "Stability and Change in Taiwan's Religious Culture." 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.36-47.


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.


Reich, Aaron K. "In the Shadow of the Spirit Image: The Production, Consecration, and Enshrinement of a Daoist Statue in Northern Taiwan." Journal of Chinese Religions 49, no. 2 (2021): 265–324.

Abstract: Statues of the gods, or spirit images (shenxiang ??), remain among the most ubiquitous material objects in the religious culture of modern-day Taiwan. Notwithstanding, research to date has yet to examine adequately the people and processes that produce, consecrate, and enshrine these statues, work that effects a transformation of these cult statues into sacred presences. How should we understand the relationship between these artistic and ritual processes and the resulting spirit image that is born out of them? The article argues that the spirit image at the heart of this study, a statue of the Daoist god Guangcheng Zi ???, emerges in the context of its religious lifeworld not as a discrete entity, but rather as an “assemblage,” a coming together of the people who contribute to it, the materials those people use, and the specific spirits and divine powers those people invoke.



Reiter, Florian C. "Tao ? and Fa ? in the Taoist Cult of Mar?ci ?????? and a Coastal Cult in Present-Day Northern Taiwan: Basic Aspects of the Study of Taoist Religion and Folk Religion." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 171, no. 2 (2021): 459–478.


Rubinstein, Murray, "The Revival of the Mazu Cult and of Taiwanese Pilgrimage to Fujian." Harvard Studies on Taiwan: Papers of the Taiwan Studies Workshop, vol.1, pp.89-125 (Cambridge, MA: Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University, 1995).


Rubinstein, Murray A., "Statement Formation and Institutional Conflict in the Mazu Cult: Temples, Temple-Created Media, and Temple Rivalry in Contemporary Taiwan." In: Zhou Zongxian [ed.], Taiwanshi guoji xueshu yantaohui (shehui, jingji yu kentuo) lunwenji. Danshui: Guoshi Guan, 1995. Pp. 189-229.


Rubinstein, Murray A., "'Medium/Message' in Taiwan's Mazu-Cult Centers: Using 'Time, Space, and Word' to Foster Island-Wide Spiritual Consciousness and Local, Regional, and National Forms of Institutional Identity." In: Paul R. Katz and Murray A. Rubinstein [eds.], Religion and the Formation of Taiwanese Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp.181-218.


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.


Sangren, P. Steven, "Anthropology and Identity Politics in Taiwan: The Relevance of Local Religion." In: Paul R. Katz and Murray A. Rubinstein [eds.], Religion and the Formation of Taiwanese Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp.253-287.


Sangren, Steven, "American Anthropology and the Study of Mazu Worship." In: Lin Meirong, Chang Hsun & Cai Xianghui [eds.], Mazu xinyang de fazhan yu bianqian: Mazu xinyang yu xiandai shehui guoji yantaohui lunwenji. Taipei: Taiwan zongjiao xuehui; Beigang: Chaotian Gong, 2003. Pp.7-23.


Sheng Kai. “The Different Faces of Nezha in Modern Chinese Culture.” Archiv orientální 81, no.3 (2013): 391-410.


Skoggard, Ian A., The Indigenous Dynamic in Taiwan's Postwar Development: The Religious and Historical Roots of Entrepreneurship. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996.


Shih, Fang-Long. "Generation of a New Space: a Maiden Temple in the Chinese Religious Culture of Taiwan." Culture and Religion 8.1 (2007): 89-104.


Shih, Shu-ch'ing. "The Procession of Lord Guan Di." Translated by Hwang Yingtsih. Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 14 (2004): 73-78.


Stafford, Charles, The Roads of Chinese Childhood: Learning and Identification in Angang. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.


Stafford, Charles. “Misfortune and What Can Be Done about It: A Taiwanese Case Study.” Social Analysis 56, no.2 (2012): 90–102.

Abstract: Drawing primarily on ethnographic material from Taiwan, this paper focuses on misfortune, and more especially on the question of whether people are felt to deserve what happens to them - be it bad or good. I examine the cases of several people who have suffered misfortune in life, exploring ways in which they might actively try to make good things happen – as a way of convincing others, an d indeed themselves, that they are, after all, good. In considering these cases, I discuss three intersecting accounts of fate which are widely held by ordinary people in Taiwan and China: a cosmological one, a spirit - focused one, and a social one. (Source: LSE repository)


Stevens, Keith, "Impermanence of Images in Chinese Popular Religion Temples." Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 36(1996): 235-237.


Stevens, K.G. "Images on Taiwanese Temple Altars of Koxinga and His Generals." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong 55 (2015): 157-182.


Sutton, Donald S., "Transmission in Popular Religion: The Jiajiang Festival Troupe of Southern Taiwan." In: Shahar, Meir & Robert P. Weller [eds.], Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996. Pp.212-249.


Sutton, Donald S., "The Uses of Ritual in a Chinese Festival: The Jiajiang Troupe in Southern Taiwan." Journal of Ritual Studies 11(1997)1: 45-60.


Szonyi, Michael. "The Virgin and the Chinese State: The Cult of Wang Yulan and the Politics of Local Identity on Jinmen (Quemoy)." Journal of Ritual Studies 19(2005)1: 87-98.


Szonyi, Michael. "The Virgin and the Chinese State: The Cult of Wang Yulan and the Politics of Local Identity on Jinmen (Quemoy)." In Asian Ritual Systems: Syncretisms and Ruptures, edited by Pamela J. Stewart & Andrew Strathern. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2007. Pp.183-208.


Takacs, Jeffrey Lee. "All Heroes Think Alike: Kinship and Ritual in Baguazhang." Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2001.


Takacs, Jeff, "A Case of Contagious Legitimacy: Kinship, Ritual and Manipulation in Chinese Martial Arts Societies." Modern Asian Studies 37(2003)4: 885-917.


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

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


Thompson, Stuart. “On (not) Eating the Dead: A Reader’s Digest of a ‘Chinese’ Funerary Taboo.” In Consuming China: Approaches to Cultural Change in Contemporary China, ed. by Kevin Latham, Stuart Thompson & Jakob Klein. London: Routledge, 2006. Pp. 121-149.


Tischer, Jacob. Mazus neue Heimat: Interpretationen und Institutionen einer chinesischen Göttin in Taiwan. Berlin: regiospectra Verlag, 2014.

Abstract: Wie kann eine chinesische Göttin zum Symbol einer nationalen taiwanischen Identität werden? Welchen Einfluss üben lokale Gemeindetempel auf die Formulierung politischer Maßnahmen der taiwanischen Regierung aus? Welche institutionelle Rolle spielen sie im demokratischen Prozess? Diesen Fragen widmet sich Jacob Tischer in seiner Analyse der heutigen Bedeutung Mazus, deren Entwicklung er historisch nachverfolgt und dabei neben der religiösen auch politische und soziokulturelle Dimensionen einbezieht. Mazu ist mit über 800 ihr gewidmeten Tempeln eine der bedeutendsten Gottheiten Taiwans. Obwohl aus China stammend, ist die Göttin ein wichtiger Anker für verschiedene lokale und regionale Identitäten und wird sogar als Repräsentantin der Einheit aller Taiwanerinnen und Taiwaner wahrgenommen. Mazus Stellung als Schutzpatronin Taiwans ist jedoch – wie die politische Unabhängigkeit des Inselstaats selbst – aufgrund chinesischer Ansprüche prekär. (Source: publisher's website)


Tischer, Jacob Friedemann. "The Invisible Hand of the Temple (Manager): Gangsters, Political Power, and Transfers of Spiritual Capital in Taiwan's Mazu Pilgrimages." Review of Religion and Chinese Society 8, no. 1 (2021): 61–91.

Abstract: Religious institutions continue to provide important stages on which politicians participate in public rituals in secular democratic Taiwan. In particular, the annual Mazu pilgrimages bring together tens of thousands of people from all over the island, including candidates in presidential elections. I interpret temple ritual as a public arena in which the community of worshipers creates a reservoir of symbolic capital. Political and economic elites seek to gain access to this resource and appeal to the mass of worshipers by conducting what has essentially become a nation-defining ritual. At the same time, relying on temples as institutions of cultural authority raises the profile of their managing elites, who may themselves become influential powerbrokers. I explore these dynamics by referring to the case of Zhenlangong, the temple organizing Taiwan's largest Mazu pilgrimage, and its longtime manager, a former Mafia boss who uses the temple to legitimate and expand his political activities.



Tsai, Wen-ting, "Han Yu, Hakka, and Examination Hopefuls Come Together at Changli Temple." Sinorama 27(12): 80-88.


Tsai, Yen-zen. “How Syncretic is Taiwanese Religion?” Huaren zongjiao yanjiu/Studies in Chinese Religions 2(2013): 37-65.


Tsai, Yi-Jia. “The Reformative Visions of Mediumship in Contemporary Taiwan.” Ph.D. dissertation, Rice University, 2003.

Abstract: This thesis explores how mediums in contemporary Taiwan engage themselves in the complicated project of modernity. In 1989--around the period when the government lifted martial law--a group of mediums founded their own association. It represents a conscious self-recognition of a time-honored religious professional who strives to come to terms with modern frame of professionalization. It is also a spiritual endeavor that tries to respond to contemporary Taiwanese political and moral struggle by appealing to the traditional Chinese cultural resources and the modern educational design. This thesis investigates the theorizations of the Association and explores how its reformative vision combines the ancient Chinese mediumship with modern nationalist discourse and modern Chinese intellectuals' concern for "saving China." The intertwining of religious mission and nationalist concern is further explored by the discussion of the Association's religious practices and activities, including the Moral Maintenance Movement it promoted, the mediums' meeting for the visiting of spirits, the ritual of national protection and spiritual appeasement, and their pilgrimage to the Mainland. This thesis draws on the ideas of de Certeau about the 'writing back the outlawed voice' and argues that the Association writes itself into the official discourse kaleidoscopically, creating a new topography by rearranging available fragments. It neither reiterates the dominant discourse, nor invents a new version; its practice of historical writing constitutes an exercise of reflexive thinking within the structure of normative codes and power relations. The Association's concern for the further education and cultivation of mediums is investigated through their educational activities. Through the care of one's body and spirit, the mediums make efforts to constitute themselves into ethical beings who are able to change a degraded society. The cooperation of medium and spirit is regarded as a co-constituted ethical project. It is explored by Foucault's scheme of the four parameters of the ethical fields. The other reformative visions of mediumship are further investigated through a college student's accounts of mediumistic experiences and a medium writer's works. In sum, these reformative visions of mediumship have added a significant reflective power both to conventional mediumship and to the various trends of modernity.


Tsai, Yi-jia. "The Writing of History: The Religious Practices of the Mediums' Association in Taiwan." Taiwan Journal of Anthropology 2(2004)2: 43-80.


Tsai, Yi-Jia. "Healing and the Construction of the Ethical Self: the Mediums' Modulation of Spirit and Exercise of Body." In: Religious and Ritual Change: Cosmologies and Histories, ed. by Pamela J. Stewart & Andrew Strathern. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Pp. 245-273.


Tsai, Yi-Jia. „Moving the Body, Awakening the Spirit: Mediums’ Performance of Healing, Cultivation and Salvation in Taiwan.“ Fu Jen International Religious Studies 2, no.1 (2008): 99-118.


Tsai, Yi-jia. “Taiwanese People’s Cultural-Psychological Images of Gods and Divine Power.” Huaren zongjiao yanjiu/Studies in Chinese Religions 2(2013): 101-133.


Tsai, Yung-mei; Chang, Shr-syung; Wang, Ming-Tsan; Wang, Temu; Lee, Mei-ling; Cheng, Tsan-yang, "'Electronic Flower Cart': A Mosaic of Rural Life in Taiwan." The Eastern Anthropologist 49(1996)1:59-82.


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


Tsu, Timothy, "Geomancy and the Environment in Premodern Taiwan." Asian Folklore Studies 56 (1997): 65-77.


Tsu, Timothy Y., "Between Superstition and Morality: Japanese Views of Taiwanese Religion in the Colonial Period, 1895-1945." Zinbun 33(1998): 31-56.


Tsu, Timothy Y. , "Toothless Ancestors, Felicitous Descendants: The Rite of Secondary Burial in South Taiwan." Asian Folklore Studies 59(2000)1: 1-22.


Ueno Hiroko. "Daughters and the Natal Family in Taiwan: Affinal Relationships in Chinese Society." In: Suenari Michio, J.S. Eades & Christian Daniels [eds.], Perspectives on Chinese Society: Anthropological Views from Japan. Canterbury: Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent, 1995. Pp.48-66.


Vermander, Benoît, "Religions in Taiwan Today." China News Analysis, no.1538-1539 (1995):1-15.


Vermander, Benoît, "Le Paysage religieux de Taïwan et ses évolutions récentes." L'Ethnographie 91(1995)2:9-59.


Vermander, Benoît, "Religions in Taiwan: Between Mercantilism and Millenarianism." Inter-Religio 32 (1997): 63-75.


Vermander, Benoît, "Religions in Taiwan: Between Mercantilism and Millenarianism." Japanese Religions 23 (1998)1/2: 111-123.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wang Chien-ch'uan & Li Shih-wei. "The Introduction of the Mazu Faith and Its Dissemination during the Qing Dynasty." Translated by Jonathan H.X. Lee. Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 14 (2004): 129-140.


Wang Chien-ch'uan. "The White Dragon Hermitage and the Spread of the Eight Generals Procession Troupe in Taiwan." In: The People and the Dao: New Studies in Chinese Religions in Honour in Prof. Daniel L. Overmyer, edited by Philip Clart & Paul Crowe. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 283-302.


Wang Mingming, "Shiding Village: Popular Authority, Life History, and Social Power." Chinese Studies in History 34(2001)4: 12-83. (Note: A re-study of the site of Stephan Feuchtwang's field research in the 1960s. Translated from the Chinese by David Ownby.)


Weller, Robert P., "Bandits, Beggars, and Ghosts: The Failure of State Control over Religious Interpretation in Taiwan." In: Morton Klass & Maxine Weisgrau [eds.], Across the Boundaries of Belief: Contemporary Issues in the Anthropology of Religion. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999. Pp.271-290. (Reprinted from American Ethnologist, vol.12, no.1, 1985, pp.46-61)


Weller, Robert P., "Identity and Social Change in Taiwanese Religion." In: Murray A. Rubinstein [ed.], Taiwan: A New History. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999. Pp.339-365.


Weller, Robert P., "Living at the Edge: Religion, Capitalism, and the End of the Nation-State in Taiwan." Public Culture 12(2000)2: 477-498.


Weller, Robert P. “The Dynamics of Religious Philanthropy in Lukang, Chinese Taiwan.” Zongjiao renleixue / Anthropology of Religion 3 (2011): 246-264.


Weller, Robert. “Beyond Globalization and Secularization: Changing Religion and Philanthropy in Lukang, Taiwan.” 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, 136-155. Leiden: Brill, 2014.


Wilkerson, James, "Rural Village Temples in the P'eng-hu Islands." In: Proceedings of the Conference on Temples and Popular Culture. Taipei: Center for Chinese Studies, 1995.


Yang, Li-shou, Arland Thornton & Thomas Fricke, "Religion and Family Formation in Taiwan: The Decline of Ancestral Authority." In: Sharon K. Houseknecht & Jerry G. Pankhurst [eds.], Family, Religion, and Social Change in Diverse Societies. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp.121-146.


Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui, "Goddess Across the Taiwan Strait: Matrifocal Ritual Space, Nation-state, and Satellite Television Footprints." Public Culture 16(2004)2: 209-238.


Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui. “Goddess across the Taiwan Strait: Matrifocal Ritual Space, Nation-State, and Satellite Television Footprints.” In: Mayfair Mei-hui Yang [ed.], Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Moidernity and State Formation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. Pp. 323-347.


Yeh, Chuen-rong. "Ritual Exchanges between the Han and the Siraya Pingpu: Bottle Worship in Taiwan." In: Religious and Ritual Change: Cosmologies and Histories, ed. by Pamela J. Stewart & Andrew Strathern. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Pp. 275-308.


Yu, Minghua. "Folk Religion and Religious Experience in Taiwan." In Religious Experience in Contemporary Taiwan and China, ed. Yen-zen Tsai. Taipei: Chengchi University Press, 2013. Pp. 41-57.


Yuan, Chang-rue. "Big Tree Worship among Taiwan Folk Society." In: Lin, Tsong-yuan [ed.], Proceedings of the International Conference on Anthropology and the Museum = Renleixue yu bowuguan guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwen zhuanji. Taipei: Taiwan Museum, 1995. Pp. 119-142.


Zhuang, Yingzhang (Chuang Ying-chang), "God Cults and Their Credit Associations in Taiwan." In: Leo Douw & Peter Post [eds.], South China: State, Culture and Social Change during the 20th Century. (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Verhandelingen, Afd. Letterkunde, Nieuwe Reeks, deel 169) Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1996. Pp.69-76.