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.

Chan, Margaret. Ritual is Theatre, Theatre is Ritual: Tang-ki Chinese Spirit Medium Worship. Singapore: Singapore: Wee Kim Wee Centre, Singapore Management University, SNP Reference, 2006.


Chau, Adam Yuet. "'Superstition Specialist Households'? The Household Idiom in Chinese Religious Practices." Minsu quyi 153 (2006): 157-202.


Chau, Adam Yuet. Miraculous Response: Doing Popular Religion in Contemporary China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.

Abstract: Based on a total of 18 months of fieldwork in Shaanbei (northern Shaanxi province), this is the first book-length ethnographic case study of the revival of a popular religious temple in contemporary rural China.

The book reveals that "doing popular religion" is much more complex than praying to gods and burning incense. It examines the organizational and cultural logics that inform the staging of popular religious activities such as temple festivals. It also shows the politics behind the religious revival: the village-level local activists who seize upon temples and temple associations as a valuable political, economic, and symbolic resource, and the different local state agents who interact with temple associations and temple bosses. The study sheds unique light on shifting state-society relationships in the reform era, and is of interest to scholars and students in Asian Studies, the social sciences, and religious and ritual studies. [Source: publisher's website]


Ching, Julia. "The Falun Gong: Religious and Political Implications." In: Tun-Jen Cheng & Deborah A. Brown [eds.], Religious Organizations and Democratization: Case Studies from Conremporary Asia. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2006. Pp. 41-54.


Chung, Jae Ho; Lai, Hongyi; Xia, Ming. "Mounting Challenges to Governance in China: Surveying Collective Protestors, Religious Sects and Criminal Organizations." China Journal 56 (2006): 1-31.


Clark, Hugh. “The Religious Culture of Southern Fujian, 750-1450.” Asia Major 19.1-2 (2006): 211-240.


Clarke, Peter. "East Asia (2) NRMs in China, Taiwan and Korea." In: Peter Clarke, New Religions in Global Perspective: a Study of Religious Change in the Modern World. London, New York: Routledge, 2006. Pp. 319-350.


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


Cook, Constance A. Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey. Leiden: Brill, 2006.

Abstract: This richly illustrated book provides a glimpse into the belief system and the material wealth of the social elite in pre-Imperial China through a close analysis of tomb contents and excavated bamboo texts.

The point of departure is the textual and material evidence found in one tomb of an elite man buried in 316 BCE near a once wealthy middle Yangzi River valley metropolis. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of cosmological symbolism and the nature of the spirit world. The author shows how illness and death were perceived as steps in a spiritual journey from one realm into another. Transmitted textual records are compared with excavated texts. The layout and contents of this multi-chambered tomb are analyzed as are the contents of two texts, a record of divination and sacrifices performed during the last three years of the occupant's life and a tomb inventory record of mortuary gifts. The texts are fully translated and annotated in the appendices.

A first-time close-up view of a set of local beliefs which not only reflect the larger ancient Chinese religious system but also underlay the rich intellectual and artistic life of pre-Imperial China. With first full translations of texts previously unknown to all except a small handful of sinologists. [Source: Publisher's website.]


DeBernardi, Jean. The Way that Lives in the Heart: Chinese Popular Religion and Spirit Mediums in Penang, Malaysia. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.

Abstract: The Way That Lives in the Heart is a richly detailed ethnographic analysis of the practice of Chinese religion in the modern, multicultural Southeast Asian city of Penang, Malaysia. The book conveys both an understanding of shared religious practices and orientations and a sense of how individual men and women imagine, represent, and transform popular religious practices within the time and space of their own lives.

This work is original in three ways. First, the author investigates Penang Chinese religious practice as a total field of religious practice, suggesting ways in which the religious culture, including spirit-mediumship, has been transformed in the conjuncture with modernity. Second, the book emphasizes the way in which socially marginal spirit mediums use a religious anti-language and unique religious rituals to set themselves apart from mainstream society. Third, the study investigates Penang Chinese religion as the product of a specific history, rather than presenting an overgeneralized overview that claims to represent a single "Chinese religion." [Source: publisher's website]


DuBois, Thomas David. “Local Religion and the Cultural Imaginary: the Development of Japanese Ethnography in Occupied Manchuria.” American Historical Review 111.1 (2006): 52-74.


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.


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

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

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


Goossaert, Vincent, "1898: The Beginning of the End for Chinese Religion?" Journal of Asian Studies 65(2006)2: 307-336.


Goossaert, Vincent. "Resident Specialists and Temple Managers in Late Imperial China." Minsu quyi 153 (2006): 25-68.


Goossaert, Vincent; Nathalie Kouamé. "Un vandalisme d’État en Extrême-Orient ? Les destructions de lieux de culte dans l’histoire de la Chine et du Japon." Numen 53.2 (2006): 177-220.


Haar, Barend J. ter. Telling Stories: Witchcraft and Scapegoating in Chinese History. Leiden: Brill, 2006.

Abstract: This book analyzes the role of oral stories in Chinese witch-hunts. Successive chapters deal with the implications of Chinese versions of the Little Red Riding Hood story; the use of parts of the adult human body, children and foetuses, to draw out their life-force; attacks by mysterious creatures, causing open wounds, suffocation, the loss of hair and the like; the presence of a Drought Demon in the corpses of recently deceased women; and finally the emperor forcibly recruiting unmarried women for his harem. Of interest to historians and anthropologists working on oral traditions, folklore and witch-hunts (also from a comparative perspective), but also to those working on anti-Christian movements and the intersection of popular fears and political history in China. [Source: publisher's website]


Haas, Robert, "Chinas Zivilisation des Todes (XVI). Ahnenkult und mehr: Die Essenz einer Kultur." China heute 25(2006)1-2: 54-57.


Haas, Robert, "Chinas Zivilisation des Todes (XVII). Ahnenkult und mehr: Die Essenz einer Kultur." China heute 25(2006)4-5: 169-173.


Hargett, James M. Stairway to Heaven: A Journey to the Summit of Mount Emei. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

Abstract: A consideration of China's Mount Emei, long important in Chinese culture and history and of particular significance to Buddhists.

Located in a remote area of modern Sichuan province, Mount Emei is one of China's most famous mountains and has long been important to Buddhists. Stairway to Heaven looks at Emei's significance in Chinese history and literature while also addressing the issue of "sense of place" in Chinese culture.

Mount Emei's exquisite scenery and unique geographical features have inspired countless poets, writers, and artists. Since the early years of the Song dynasty (960&endash;1279), Emei has been best known as a site of Buddhist pilgrimage and worship. Today, several Buddhist temples still function on Emei, but the mountain also has become a scenic tourist destination, attracting more than a million visitors annually.

Author James M. Hargett takes readers on a journey to the mountain through the travel writings of the twelfth-century writer and official Fan Chengda (1126&endash;1193). Fan's diary and verse accounts of his climb to the summit of Mount Emei in 1177 are still among the most informative accounts of the mountain ever written. Through Fan's eyes, words, and footsteps&emdash;and with background information and commentary from Hargett&emdash;the reader will experience some of the ways Emei has been "constructed" by diverse human experience over the centuries. [Source: publisher's website]


Inglis, Alister D. Hong Mai’s Record of the Listener and Its Song Dynasty Context. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

Abstract: Song dynasty historian Hong Mai (1123–1202) spent a lifetime on a collection of supernatural accounts, contemporary incidents, poems, and riddles, among other genres, which he entitled Record of the Listener (Yijian zhi). His informants included a wide range of his contemporaries, from scholar-officials to concubines, Buddhist monks, and soldiers, who helped Hong Mai leave one of the most vivid portraits of life and the different classes in China during this period. Originally comprising a massive 420 chapters, only a fraction survived the Mongol ravaging of China in the thirteenth century.
    The present volume is the first book-length consideration of this important text, which has been an ongoing source of literary and social history. Alister D. Inglis explores fundamental questions surrounding the work and its making, such as theme, genre, authorial intent, the veracity of the accounts, and their circulation in both oral and written form. In addition to a brief outline of Hong Mai’s life that incorporates Hong’s autobiographical anecdotes, the book includes many intriguing stories translated into English for the first time, including Hong’s legendary thirty-one prefaces. Record of the Listener fills the gaps left by official Chinese historians who, unlike Hong Mai, did not comment on women’s affairs, ghosts and the paranormal, local crime, human sacrifice, little-known locales, and unofficial biographies.
[Source: publisher's website]


Kang, Xiaofei. The Cult of the Fox: Power, Gender, and Popular Religion in Late Imperial and Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Abstract: For more than five centuries the shamanistic fox cult has attracted large portions of the Chinese population and appealed to a wide range of social classes. Deemed illicit by imperial rulers and clerics and officially banned by republican and communist leaders, the fox cult has managed to survive and flourish in individual homes and community shrines throughout northern China. In this new work, the first to examine the fox cult as a vibrant popular religion, Xiaofei Kang explores the manifold meanings of the fox spirit in Chinese society. Kang describes various cult practices, activities of worship, and the exorcising of fox spirits to reveal how the Chinese people constructed their cultural and social values outside the gaze of official power and morality.

Kang's book uncovers and reinterprets a wealth of anecdotal historical texts and works of popular literature and draws on her own ethnographic research. She considers how the fox cult operated on the margins of Chinese society as well as the fox's place in the popular imagination. As a symbol, fox spirits have long been marginal and variable creatures with the ability to freely change their gender and age, appearing as both evil and benign. The Chinese people, as Kang demonstrates, have drawn on and manipulated the various meanings of the fox spirit to cope with and give order to the changes in their personal lives and in society.

Kang also pays close attention to the ways in which gender was used to construct religious power in Chinese society. Gendered interpretations of the fox were used to define the official and unofficial, private and public, and moral and immoral in religious practices. Kang's analysis of the history of the fox cult addresses central questions in the study of Chinese religion and society, including the dynamic between cultural unity and variation and the relationships of various social groups to popular religion. [Source: publisher's website.]


Kern, Martin, ed. Text and Ritual in Early China. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2006.

Abstract: In Text and Ritual in Early China, leading scholars of ancient Chinese history, literature, religion, and archaeology consider the presence and use of texts in religious and political ritual. Through balanced attention to both the received literary tradition and the wide range of recently excavated artifacts, manuscripts, and inscriptions, their combined efforts reveal the rich and multilayered interplay of textual composition and ritual performance. Drawn across disciplinary boundaries, the resulting picture illuminates two of the defining features of early Chinese culture and advances new insights into their sumptuous complexity.

Beginning with a substantial introduction to the conceptual and thematic issues explored in succeeding chapters, Text and Ritual in Early China is anchored by essays on early Chinese cultural history and ritual display (Michael Nylan) and the nature of its textuality (William G. Boltz). This twofold approach sets the stage for studies of the E Jun Qi metal tallies (Lothar von Falkenhausen), the Gongyang commentary to The Spring and Autumn Annals (Joachim Gentz), the early history of The Book of Odes (Martin Kern), moral remonstration in historiography (David Schaberg), the "Liming" manuscript text unearthed at Mawangdui (Mark Csikszentmihalyi), and Eastern Han commemorative stele inscriptions (K. E. Brashier). [Source: publisher's website.]


Kuah-Pearce Khun Eng. "The Worship of Qingshui Zushi and Religious Revivalism in South China." In: Tan Chee-Beng [ed.], Southern Fujian: Reproduction of Traditions in Post-Mao China. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2006. Pp.121-144.


Le Mentec, Katiana. "Barrage des Trois Gorges: les cultes et le patrimoine au coeur des enjeux: étude sur les vestiges culturels et la religion populaire locale dans le xian de Yunyang (municipalité de Chongqing)." Perspectives chinoises 94 (2006): 2-12.


Le Mentec, Katiana; Brown, Peter, tr. "The Three Gorges Dam Project: Religious Practices and Heritage Conservation: a Study of Cultural Remains and Local Popular Religion in the xian of Yunyang (Municipality of Chongqing)." China Perspectives 65 (2006): 2-13. [Note: A German translation of this article appeared in China heute 25(2006)4-5: 154-163.]


Lee, Jonathan H.X., "Contemporary Chinese American Religious Life." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.235-256.


Lewis, Mark Edward. The Flood Myths of Early China. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

Abstract: Early Chinese ideas about the construction of an ordered human space received narrative form in a set of stories dealing with the rescue of the world and its inhabitants from a universal flood. This book demonstrates how early Chinese stories of the re-creation of the world from a watery chaos provided principles underlying such fundamental units as the state, lineage, the married couple, and even the human body. These myths also supplied a charter for the major political and social institutions of Warring States (481&endash;221 BC) and early imperial (220 BC&endash;AD 220) China.

In some versions of the tales, the flood was triggered by rebellion, while other versions linked the taming of the flood with the creation of the institution of a lineage, and still others linked the taming to the process in which the divided principles of the masculine and the feminine were joined in the married couple to produce an ordered household. While availing themselves of earlier stories and of central religious rituals of the period, these myths transformed earlier divinities or animal spirits into rulers or ministers and provided both etiologies and legitimation for the emerging political and social institutions that culminated in the creation of a unitary empire. [Source: publisher's website]


Lu, Yunfeng & Lang, Graeme. “Impact of the State on the Evolution of a Sect.” Sociology of Religion 67.3 (2006): 249-270.

Abstract: Theories about the sect-to-church transition focus on changes in the social characteristics of members, or changes in the size and prosperity of the organization, to account for the transition. However, the state may also affect the likelihood of a sect-to-church transition. Under conditions of state repression, sects are likely to be more schismatic. State repression can also strengthen sectarianism by preventing the orderly succession of leaders and the emergence of professionalized and educated priesthood. We illustrate with the case of Yiguan Dao in China. This sect exhibited sectarian features under state repression, until the late 1980s when the sect was legalized in Taiwan. Thereafter, the various branches of the sect have introduced a series of changes designed to reduce schisms, formalize the succession of leadership, professionalize sectarian leaders and elaborate doctrines. These developments cannot be comprehended theoretically without some revisions to theories of sect-to-church changes. [Source: journal]


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


Nickerson, Peter. "'Let Living and Dead Take Separate Paths': Bureaucratisation and Textualisation in Early Chinese Mortuary Ritual." In; Benjamin Penny [ed.], Daoism in History: Essays in Honour of Liu Ts'un-yan. London, New York: Routledge, 2006. Pp.10-40.


Nyitray, Vivian-Lee. “Questions of Gender in Tianhou/Mazu Scholarship.” 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.127-167.


Overmyer, Daniel L. "Ritual Leaders in North China Local Communities in the Twentieth Century: A Report on Research in Progress." Minsi quyi 153 (2006): 203-263.


Palmer, David A., "Body Cultivation in Contemporary China." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.147-173.


Pan Hongli. "The Old Folks' Associations and Lineage Revival in Contemporary Villages of Southern Fujian Province." In: Tan Chee-Beng [ed.], Southern Fujian: Reproduction of Traditions in Post-Mao China. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2006. Pp.69-96.


Pye, Michael. "Die 'Drei Lehren' und das Tauziehen der Religionen in chinesischen Tempeln Südostasiens." In: Edith Franke & Michael Pye [eds.], Religionen Nebeneinander: Modelle religiöser Vielfalt in Ost- und Südostasien. Berlin: LIT-Verlag, 2006. Pp. 41-60.


Shibata, Yoshiko. “Searching for a Niche, Creolizing Religious Tradition: Negotiation and Reconstruction of Ethnicity among Chinese in Jamaica.” In: P. Pratap Kumar [ed.], Religious Pluralism in the Diaspora. Leiden: Brill, 2006. Pp.51-72.


Smith, Steve A. “Local Cadres Confront the Supernatural: The Politics of Holy Water (Shenshui) in the PRC, 1949–1966.” The China Quarterly 188 (2006): 999-1022.

Abstract: This article examines incidents in which the miracle-working properties of a source of water or other substance are discovered, thereby sparking unauthorized visits by hundreds or thousands of people to gain access to it. The article examines: the meanings of holy water and the motivations of those who set off in search for it; the sociological dimension of these quests; the extent to which such episodes were a deliberate attempt by enemies of the regime, principally redemptive religious sects (huidaomen), to sow disorder; the reaction of the authorities to outbreaks of holy water fever and the measures they took to deal with it; and what such outbreaks reveal about the nature of the local state and about popular attitudes to it in the first decade-and-a-half of the People's Republic of China.


Smith, Steve A. "Talking Toads and Chinless Ghosts: The Politics of 'Superstitious' Rumors in the People's Republic of China, 1961-1965." American Historical Review 111.2 (2006): 405-427.


Sterckx, Roel. “’Of a Tawny Bull We Make Offering’: Animals in Early Chinese Religion.” In: Paul Waldau & Kimberley Patton [eds.], A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. Pp. 259-272.


Tam Wai Lun, "Local Religion in Contemporary China." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.57-83.


Tan Chee-Beng. "Chinese Religious Expressions in Post-Mao Yongchun, Fujian." In: Tan Chee-Beng [ed.], Southern Fujian: Reproduction of Traditions in Post-Mao China. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2006. Pp.97-120.


Wang, Xiaoxuan. “Erlang shen: a Chinese God’s Origin and Its Transformations.” MA thesis, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006.

Abstract: During the early 10th century CE, this god appeared as Guankou Shen, an incarnation of the famous Li Bing of Qin prefecture (modern-day Sichuan) who was celebrated as a hero for quelling the Minjiang River and building the famous Dujiangyan---waterworks of the third century BCE. He then was identified with the second son of Li Bing. He was recognized by the Song emperors. This cult thus spread nationwide and was also absorbed into Daoism in the early 12th century CE. Another identity of this god Zhao Yu replaced Li Erlang in some places during the 14th century. Zhao was tied to Jiazhou and was adopted by the Daoist. On the other hand, Yuan drama and Ming vernacular fiction reconstructed the god's image and created new tales, which contributed to the popularity of another identity of Erlang Shen---Yang Jian, who monopolizes the image of Erlang Shen in popular literature.


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.


Weyrauch, Thomas. Yiguan Dao: Chinas Volksreligion im Untergrund. Heuchelheim: Longtai Verlag, 2006.


Woo, Tak-Ling Terry, "Women in Contemporary Chinese Religions." In: James Miller [ed.], Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Pp.207-234.


Xie, Zhibin. Religious Diversity and Public Religion in China. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.

Abstract: This book addresses the issue of public religion and its implications in Chinese society. Zhibin Xie explores various normative considerations concerning the appropriate role of religion in public political life in a democratic culture. Besides drawing on the theoretical discourse on religion in the public sphere from Western academics, it holds that the issue of religion in Chinese politics should be addressed by paying attention to characteristics of religious diversity and its political context in China. This leads to a position of "liberal-constrained public religion" in China, which encourages religious contribution to the public sphere as a substantial component of religious liberty in China on the one hand and proposes some constraints both upon government and religions for regulating religious political discourse on the other. [Source: Publisher's website.]


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