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Ritual alliances of the Putian plain by Kenneth Dean 5 editions published in in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide This book documents the revival of local popular religion in Putian, Fujian. Family lineage organization and social change in Ming and Qing Fujian by Zhenman Zheng 17 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "This work is the result of more than a decade of research on the Chinese household and lineage in the southeastern province of Fujian during the Ming and Qing period It offers new interpretations of the Chinese domestic cycle, the relationship between household and larger kinship groups, and the development of lineage society in south China.

Using hundreds of previously unknown lineage genealogies, stone inscriptions, and land deeds, Zheng Zhenman provides a candid view of how individuals and families confronted the crucial issues of daily life: how to minimize taxes or military conscription; how to balance the ideological imperative of ancestor worship with practical concerns; how to deal with the problems of dividing the household estate. His research leads to an exploration of issues such as the relation of state to society and the compatibility of Chinese culture and capitalism.

Zheng's book draws on important materials largely unknown to Western scholars, comes to novel conclusions about society in late imperial China and illustrates the importance of the non-Western perspective in studying the history of the world outside the West. Historical introduction to the return of the gods by Kenneth Dean 6 editions published in in English and held by 84 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

Min jian xin yang yu she hui kong jian Book 3 editions published in in Chinese and held by 37 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Ben shu li tu ba min jian xin yang zuo wei li jie xiang cun she hui jie gou, Di yu zhi pei guan xi he pu tong bai xing sheng huo de yi zhong tu jing, Te bie shi tong guo zhei zhong yan jiu jia shen dui min jian xin yang suo biao da de"she hui kong jian"zhi suo yi cun zai de li shi guo cheng de le jie, Jie shi zai zhei xie guo cheng zhong suo yun han he ji dian de she hui wen hua nei han.

Fujian zong jiao bei ming hui bian by Zhenman Zheng Book 3 editions published in in Chinese and held by 28 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Peitian by Zhenman Zheng Book 3 editions published in in Chinese and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Ben shu jiang shu le pei tian du te de shan guang shui se, Wen wu li shi yu min su feng qing.

Pei tian shi fu jian sheng xi bu shan qu de yi ge ke jia gu cun luo, Shi bu tong ling yu de xue zhe yan jiu ke jia li shi wen hua de yi ge biao ben. Xiang zu yu guo jia : duo yuan shi ye zhong de Min Tai chuan tong she hui by Zhenman Zheng Book 3 editions published in in Chinese and held by 24 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Ben shu shou lu liao zuo zhe tan tao min tai chuan tong she hui de 16 pian lun wen, da zhi ke yi fen wei xiang zu zu zhi yu gong you jing ji, jia ting jie gou yu zong zu zu zhi, min jian xin yang yu yi shi chuan tong, di fang xing zheng yu she hui zhuan xing si ge zhuan ti.

Fujian zong jiao bei ming hui bian by Zhenman Zheng Book 3 editions published in in Chinese and held by 24 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Ben shu bian lu quan zhou li shi shang yu zong jiao huo dong you guan de bei ji ji ming wen, nei rong she ji ru jiao, dao jiao, fo jiao, san yi jiao, long hua jiao, mo ni jiao, ji du jiao, tian zhu jiao, yi si lan jiao ji zhu shen chong bai, zu xian chong bai deng.

Zhei xie lun wen de gong tong te dian,Jiu shi cong ju ti de bei ming zi liao chu fa,Jie he qi ta li shi wen xian he tian ye diao cha zi liao,Fa jue bei ming suo yun han de li shi xin xi,Jie shi bei ming suo fan ying de li shi dong xiang.

Cultural Diversity in China

Ritual alliances of the Putian plain by Kenneth Dean Book 5 editions published between and in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Ritual alliances of the Putian plain by Kenneth Dean Book 3 editions published in in English and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Fujian zongjiao beiming huibian : Qianzhou fu fence Book 1 edition published in in Chinese and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

Xiang zu yu guo jia Book 1 edition published in in Chinese and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Villages range in population from several hundred to several thousand people. With the spread of roads, factories, and urban space, many villages have built three storey buildings with shopfronts along the roads that pass nearby them. Sometimes the buildings can be several rows deep, lining the main road. Most are concrete structures covered with white tiles or whitewashed. The landscape of Putian has been transformed by these roadside constructions, so that there is a serious hardening of the transportation arteries underway, giving the impression of a spreading spiderweb of modern matchbox apartment blocks, interspersed with larger factories.

Leaving the roadways through doorways marked with the names of villages, one quickly re-enters rural space, although the villages are now a mix of modern concrete and brick structures, three, four or even six stories high, and older, large two story farmhouses built of pounded earthen walls, stone foundations, and wooden beams. The remaining older homes often have balconies and painted tiled decorative motifs on their facades. These are collections of one to several villages, usually with a total population of around — people, that are administered by management committees made up of local officials, some elected, who make decisions about the uses of village lands, collect fees, and serve as representatives of state policy at the village level.

In the survey we indicate the adminstrative village to which each natural village belongs. Putian county was divided in the early Ming into some thirty-three li sub-cantons. The Putian plains were divided into twenty two li units. These differed considerably in size, and were in part originally based on population, with the city of Putian divided into three li, and the nearby surrounding villages gathered into several more li administrative regions.

Some li were designed to follow the main lines of the evolving irrigation systems, as most villages were settled along the sides of the main irrigation channels. This led to some li becoming elongated in shape, as more land was reclaimed from the sea over time, and irrigation canals were extended into these reclaimed areas.


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Other li units covered quite large areas of sparsely populated hills and mountains, where villages relied on mountain streams for water, and raised fruit trees such as lychees, loquats, and pipa to supplement their incomes. In many parts of China, this term is used either for wards of a city or for offices of the imperial postal service, but in the Putian plain the term was extended to mean collections of villages with common policing and self-defense duties.

These territorial administrative units were preserved to some degree through the Qing dynasty, although major changes were instituted in local taxation and household registration. Although the li subcantons have now long been abandoned, they are still present in the minds of many villagers, as the different names of the li sub-cantons are still used in ritual documents.

Changes continued over the past three decades, as cities like Putian were given broader jurisdiction over surrounding regions, and some towns in the Putian plains such as Hanjiang, were promoted to the level of an urban region. Such changes reflect the fundamental transformation of the economy of Putian plain, which went from being well over two-thirds agricultural in the late s to over two-thirds light industrial by the year Putian city has tripled in size over the past three decades, leveling most of its lovely wooden buildings from the late Qing and Republican era, and swallowing up several nearby villages.

The Hanjiang urban region has doubled in size, adding a large industrial zone filled with factories. A large percentage of these factories produce shoes, including running shoes, for export and for a growing internal market. Many of these factories work on rotating shifts throughout the day, and employ armies of mostly young women from the villages of Putian.

Virtually every village on the Putian plain has undergone extensive reconstruction, as wealthy villagers build five and six story homes out of concrete in place of traditional, spacious two story farmhouses, built of wood with walls made of packed earth. The demand for new housing has greatly expanded the size of many villages, leading to a sharp decline in farmland. Many villages along the coast have been bisected by new high speed highways, or the tracks of new high speed trains.

As all land ultimately belongs to the government, and is only leased long-term to the villagers, land can be reclaimed by the government at any time. Compensation is always an issue. Charges of government corruption are common under these circumstances. For displaced villagers in areas absorbed by urban growth or regional infrastructure projects, an entire way of life has come to an end. Interestingly, village temples are often the last building left standing in a village that has been flattened, as protracted negotiations go on as to the costs of compensation and reconstruction, and the site for the rebuilding of the temple.

Even 26 chapter one the Communist Party and the local government can not easily ignore these centers of village power, and their connection to the powers of the cosmos. On the eastern side of Putian city in the new suburbs, older village temples have been rebuilt all in a row, surrounded by apartment blocks. To the north of the city, where several villages have been bulldozed to make way for gated communities of expensive apartment buildings, the temples have been relocated to the side of a nearby mountain.

However, on the south side of Putian, near the former southern gate, temples still claim a space close to their original locations, and can be found in between new apartment projects. As will be seen below, the ritual alliances in this survey describe themselves using many different terms. This term can also be used to designate natural villages or lineage sub-divisions as ritual associations. These villages or ritual units celebrate common rituals and processions at a collectively owned and managed main temple. The term qijing is synonymous in the Putian plains with ritual alliance, but as will be seen, true seven-village qijing are a minority of the ritual alliances found by the survey.

Some of the qijing we surveyed now include more than seven villages, but usually the additional villages branched off from other villages in the alliance and joined into the alliance without yet achieving independent ritual status. In a few cases, there are less than seven villages in a qijing, due to the rapid changes brought on by urbanization, or due to internal disputes within an alliance.

The term jing can also designate ritual regions within a single introduction: the survey and its main findings 27 village, or be used to designate alliances with four, ten, or thirteen independent ritual units in these cases, natural villages. Seventy-four ritual alliances are multiple-unit alliances with more or less than seven component units, as shown in Table 1 below.

Thus there is one multi-village alliance made up of two jia, three alliances consisting of three jia, and twelve alliances made up of three cun, and so on. These villages have developed internal alliances between different neighborhood or lineage or ritual units within the village see Table 2 below. Many of the multi-village alliances on the Putian plains are referred to locally as qijing sevenfold alliance , even when there are fewer villages or ritual units within the alliance.

Such a constellation of seven temples may have formed a matrix for conceptions of the defensive powers of the ritual alliances. Upon closer examination, the reader will find that many of the ritual associations underlying these terms have to do with surname groups, lineages, and branches of lineages. A particular lineage or branch of a lineage may live together in a specific neighborhood jia and use this territorial association as a basis for participation in ritual alliances within a village.

In many cases, lineages have over time dispersed across a village, or into several nearby villages, and no longer associate on the basis of proximity and residence in a particular village neighborhood. Often particular deities in a multi-deity large village temple are associated with specific lineages or surname groups including multiple surname groups.

Thus in the survey below the reader will often find that particular lineages take specific gods or the same god on different days on a procession around their neighborhoods or to neighborhood shrines or ancestral halls, even if 16 The first usage of the term qijing is found in the Chongkan Xinghua fuzhi, originally printed in juan 9 p.

There it is used to characterize one group of seven villages around Huangshi town, and a second group in the Qingjiang region to the north of Huangshi. In some cases, these activities become the focus of a lineage reunion and rites of ancestral worship, under the watchful eyes of a local god compare the practices described in the Fuzhou region by Szonyi Even though the surname groups of the Xinghua region were amongst the first in China to experiment with the lineage form and to create new forms of ancestral worship already in the Song, village temples currently far outnumber lineage halls in the villages surveyed.

On the contrary, our historical survey below reveals how crucial lineages were to the reclaiming of land from the sea in the Putian area in the Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming periods. Song sources such as the Puyang bishi reveal that many lineages at the time were based within the walls of Putian city, although they usually also had extensive rural land holdings as well. This pattern would continue, with the simultaneous centripetal pull of the district capital and the centrifugal dispersal of each lineage as it expanded into newly reclaimed lands and villages, or divided into separate branches and dispersed across the Putian plain.

The growing commercialization of the economy, already highly pronounced in Song Putian, led in the late Ming and Qing dynasty to new structural transformations of the lineage into something closer to a joint stock company, where membership could be purchased. These tendencies furthered the dispersal of lineages and favored the development of multi-surname villages. At the same time, however, many lineage leaders and their families built homes and ancestral halls inside Putian city. Thus when considering the continuing importance of lineage within ritual alliances one should bear in mind that the nature and functions of the lineage changed over time in this area.

Main findings of the survey The irrigated Putian plain now covers an area of sq. This plain covers just over ten percent of the Xinghua area as a whole The Xinghua region is ringed by mountains and faces the sea. From this point it irrigates the southern and the northern Putian plain. Aside from Putian city, with over , people, the major commercial and population centers are Hanjiang city population over 70, , Huangshi town over 50, , and Jiangkou town 30, On average, we found the population of the villages of the Putian to be over people , with the population of some villages rising as high as Of course, there is no such thing as an average village, and what is far more important locally are the relationships historical, economic, political, and cultural between larger villages and surrounding smaller ones.

The overall population of the villages surveyed was , The survey found over different surname groups in these villages; while the average village had between three and four surnames, some villages had as many as fourteen surnames, and under a third were single surname villages. The survey also found that most villages had three or more temples 3.

These thousands of temples housed many thousands of god statues representing over different deities. Village temples thus averaged four gods or more, but some temples house as many as thirty-five gods. The presence of these gods, many of whom were worshipped on their birthdays in communal rituals, meant that there was a considerable amount of ritual activity in the villages throughout the year, in addition to major annual festivals. We were told that villagers in the Jiangkou area could attend rituals and watch operas days out of the year by taking only a short walk to neighboring villages.

We have identified and mapped ritual alliances on the irrigated Putian plain. Mapping these boundaries raises difficult questions about representation, knowledge, and power. There are no physical markers of the boundaries of the ritual alliances. They are instead generated by repeated physical movements of the participants in ritual events—the boundaries are created and continually re-created by the routes taken by processions of the gods as they trace out first the physical limits of their own village, and then move around the boundaries of the ritual alliance to which they belong.

Hopefully readers will see the lines drawn on the maps below as lines in motion, vectors of power continually being re-inscribed and always susceptible to change. Through engaging in this survey, we have drawn ourselves into these maps, moving from village to village and re-confirming and representing the alliances and their relations to other features of physical space including the irrigation system and the newer roadways that generate new connections and new vectors for the expansion of village space.

These ritual alliances were drawn from the ground up, rather than being imposed by the state in the form of an administrative spatial hierarchy. Mapping the ritual alliances enables a comparison of these different kinds of space. On the other hand, the town centers of the eight townships into which the plain has been divided administratively since are fairly evenly distributed, and would have provided daily markets for villagers who could easily reach them or the city of Putian within a relatively short time.

The current expansion of the transportation system has reduced the layers of the market hierarchy, making daily markets in Putian, Hanjiang, or Huangshi markets readily available on a daily basis. However, market hierarchies do not explain the distribution of the ritual alliances. As these channels, or the lands watered by their secondary or tertiary canals, were extended further into newly reclaimed land from the sea, the sub-cantons stretched out as well to incorporate newly established villages, paddy fields, and their tax revenues.

As will be argued further below, the ritual alliances developed for the most part within the boundaries of the sub-cantons, which were also ritual spaces imposed by the early Ming court. The ritual alliances also developed in close connection to physical segments of the irrigation system, whose maintenance required collective collaboration between neighboring villages which can be seen to have formed their own irrigation communities.

Arrangement of entries in the survey The survey in Volume Two is arranged by ritual alliance and by the villages within each alliance in relation to their location along the major irrigation systems of the Putian plain, rather than in terms of the current Chinese administrative spatial hierarchy.

Chinese official administrative space is divided into province, county, city, township, and 19 See Skinner for a classic statement of the principals of central place theory and market hierarchies within China. A brief historical introduction to each ritual alliance will allow the reader to consider the long historical processes of the reclaiming of land from the Xinghua Bay, the establishment of new villages for growing populations, and the environmental aspects of the crucial supply of fresh water within the irrigation system to villages, rice-paddies, vegetable plots and orchards.

Most of these ancient weirs are still intact, although they have been repeatedly repaired, and continue to serve as low bridges over rivers. The segments of the irrigation system were divided up by the boundaries of the li sub-cantons of the Song, Ming and Qing period, which are no longer part of contemporary administrative space, but which retain importance in terms of the ritual spaces of the irrigated plains.

Generally speaking, the li sub-canton boundaries closely follow the path of the main canals and secondary channels of the irrigation systems. Moreover, the ritual alliances also take shape along subsections of the irrigation system, as can be seen by careful examination of the maps of each ritual alliance in the Survey. The ritual alliances presented in turn in the survey are composed of natural villages. Each ritual alliance is first located in relation to the main canal s or secondary channel s of the irrigation system that provides its water.

The boundaries of these pu units tend to be smaller than, and occasionally cross over, the ritual alliance boundaries. These units have also left their trace on the ritual organization of 20 According to Yu Zhan, Vice Director of the Chinese Association for Promoting Township and Village Development, there are , Administrative Villages in China with some million farmers living in them. Peoples Daily, May 30, The general date of the settlement of the villages of the alliance is then recounted, whether Song, Ming, mid-Qing, or late Qing-Republican, based on lists of villages from successive local district and irrigation system gazetteers.

Some villages will have disappeared or changed name over time, but the general trend is for older villages to reach a maximum size after which nearby settlements are established and new villages divide off. As additional land was reclaimed from the Xinghua bay nearby, this provided more possibilities for the establishment of new settlements, often within view of the founding settlements.

Generally speaking, it is possible, when standing in any village in the Putian plain, to see three or four villages distributed around that village. The villages are on average less than half a kilometer apart.

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By consulting the maps of the ritual alliances accompanying the village data, the reader will be able to visualize the historical evolution of each ritual alliance. Information on prominent lineages within the ritual alliances is next provided. Memorial archways erected in honor of particular lineages are detailed. This information will enable readers to sense the depth and distribution of elite scholar-literati across the irrigated plain.

The main temples and deities of each ritual alliance are then detailed. Any historical inscriptions dating from before and relating to these temples are listed. This information, although inevitably only fragmentary, should enable readers to begin to visualize the various elements that combined to make a particular village unique in terms of its powerful families or absence of such , major temples, and its interactions with neighboring villages and more broadly with the entire irrigation system and local culture over time. A subsequent publication will provide the texts of post stone inscriptions, which have been continuously carved and mounted in temples across the Putian plain over the past thirty years.

At this point, each natural village in the alliance is given a separate entry. A natural village is defined by its physical boundaries fields surrounding a continuous settlement. The entries begin with a description of each village settlement which first identifies the Administrative Village bureaucratic unit to which each natural village belongs note that several natural villages are often jointly managed by one Administrative Village but some very large natural villages have been divided into several Administrative Villages.

The average population size managed by a single Administrative Village committee is around people. The population of the village is then given, along with notes on the local temple ritual system and its main principles of organization by neighborhood or by surname group. A second section lists the principal surname groups of the village, with some information on lineage branches and ancestral halls, and on local points of origin of different lineages. The third section lists the temples of the village along with their main gods and their secondary gods placed on side altars or inside halls of the temple.

The fourth section outlines villages rituals. A fifth section is included on ritual groups for villages where this information was available. The survey process The survey on which these findings are based was begun in the summer of with the assistance of a team of high school teachers from the No. These findings were typed up and cross checked through repeated visits by the authors between and As we traveled through the irrigated plain, we found that the irrigation system often stretched past township boundaries.

As we refined our survey and revisited sites, we were able to break down administrative village clusters into natural villages. Our ultimate objective was to identify independent ritual units. This was complicated by the fact that most villages divide up the organization of ritual activities by neighborhoods. Maps of the Putian area were gathered from several sources. Village locations were first identified on the basis of the PLA maps, which served as our underlying base maps for the project. All these maps were digitized, and combined, and then linked to satellite images of the region.

Village locations were confirmed on the basis of comparing the maps, the satellite images, and our field observations. Over several summers, Prof. Zheng and I revisited each village twice, and in some cases three or four times, to verify and add to the data. During these visits, we built up a large collection of over 20, digital images of temple, god statues, murals, and posted temple accounts. We have published the pre stone inscriptions separately, and include references to their locations in the survey Dean and Zheng, The data from the surveys, including the images, has been entered into a series of databases and linked to a digital map of the region using a GIS geographical information system.

Several of the Xianyou townships are situated along the upper reaches of the Lai River also known as the Mulan river. These materials will require extensive cross-checking before they can be verified and used to compare with data from the Putian plains. They served as the base maps for our digital maps. We then superimposed satellite images over this digital map. This system can display in map form any of the features listed in the database for each and all villages. We have also developed historical GIS maps to chart the historical evolution of the irrigated plain, the evolution of the irrigation system over time, the distribution of the lineages surname groups , the cults of the local gods, the ritual alliances that the villages have formed from the Ming onwards, and the historical distribution of scholar literati over the Song and Ming, amongst other features see below.

Methodological implications This survey innovates by attempting to avoid the limitations of the single village study by examining all the villages in a given geographically defined region. Of course, this study lacks the depth of the single village study, but hopefully makes up for this deficiency to some degree by unearthing a wider range of forms of village organization as seen through their annual rituals.

Examining the entire range of villages enables us to explore the full set of discernible interrelationships between territorial and lineage based social and ritual units. Surveying all of the village temples in the area enables us to determine the composition and parameters of the local pantheon, and to begin to analyze the historic layers of this pantheon. Indeed, the survey volume could be seen as a tool for such kinds of analysis. Subsequently, In order to include large quantities of images which do not work well within ACCESS databases , and to put the data onto a website and eventually make it available without copyright protected software to interested users, we developed a MYSQL database linked with Mapserver software.

Another example of the uses of GIS mapping concerns our discovery of quite discrete local sub-cultures within the irrigated plain. For example, many villages in the northeastern Jiuliyang plain, especially in Jiangkou but also beyond the Jiuliyang plain in parts of Wutang, Xitianwei and Hanjiang carry on a local tradition of the collective training of spirit mediums. When we viewed the distribution of the more extravagant forms of spirit possession sites in relation to the distribution of sites of villages which had produced scholar literati who had passed higher levels of the imperial examinations, becoming jinshi and juren in the Song and the Ming, we noticed that the latter were primarily clustered in the southern irrigated plain, and in scattered locations in the western edge and older parts of the northern plain, whereas the tanban altar associations and caihua medium networks were mostly clustered in the areas lacking literati.

Thus one can hypothesize that the higher concentration of scholar-literati in the southern plain worked against the elaboration of distinctive local traditions of spirit medium performance found in the northeast corner of the plain. Using GIS mapping, one can unearth many suggestive correlations in distributions of different cultural features across the plain. This suggests that the unruly natures of these gods introduction: the survey and its main findings 39 appealed to poorer communities rather than to villages with established scholar-literati lineages Shahar and Weller Another example of the power and possibility of the GIS approach is the way it allows us to examine the impact of the early Qing coastal evacuations on the villages within ten kilometers of the sea see Map The Qing Coastal Evacuation, below.

The ban was designed to contain pirate activity and prevent any local collaboration. Most of these villages were abandoned and then re-claimed and re-populated after the ban was lifted some twenty years later. The jiewai village tend to have multiple village temples and even several Three in One temples and multiple varieties of lay Buddhist temples within a single village, indicating that these temples provided networking opportunities for communities whose established lineages had been disrupted.

It must be said, however, that the amount of data provided by a GIS linked survey of this nature does not make it easy to draw generalizations. Nonetheless, by comparing different distributions of features gods, surnames, dates of celebrations, population density, proximity to towns and cities and historical layers changing ecological features, administrative regions, and local alliances , one can examine unexpected correlations and generate endless new questions about the region one is studying.

A cultural geographic approach to a region, especially a coastal region like the irrigated Putian plain, also requires one to be open to broader trans-national flows of ideas, peoples, products, images, and technologies from Southeast Asia and the West. Thus we are attentive to the impact of Overseas Chinese and Christian communities on the ritual networks of Putian. A local perspective also enables one to examine the history of imperial institutional reforms from the point of view of local appropriations, transformations and mutations of these institutions into emerging networks of local society.

Visiting the temples of these villages and meeting many excited, courteous, proud, knowledgeable, sincere and dedicated worshippers led us to consider the history of local ritual from the perspective of the villagers, rather than the elites. Examining the intricate and beautiful temples they have built, one is deeply impressed by the degree of refinement within village culture and its many modes of expression learned and eloquent poetic couplets, captivating murals, intricate carvings, elusive divinatory poetry, imposing architecture, carefully cultivated plants and flowers, cultured temple keepers, devout patrons.

Participating in many boisterous, complex, occasionally solemn but usually highly ludic ritual events of these village temples leads one to reflect on these events as the expression of a highly literate, deeply cultured society that is extraordinarily self-aware, good-humored, and creative. After , Soviet style models of ethnographic minority studies were imposed and carried out under the auspices of the National Minorities Institute and its linked system of training colleges for minority cadres.

This mode of analysis was not however applied to Han Chinese society, which was judged to have been largely secularized by the Chinese revolution and by the revolutionary processes of modernization underway since before the beginning of the 20th century. This incredible archive has yet to be fully accessed, but it promises to eventually provide extensive insights into many aspects of Chinese society and culture in the 20th century.

For several decades after , anthropologists conducted research on Chinese culture in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. This re-defined phrase was soon taken up, along with a host of newly coined modern neologisms, or redefined expressions, by late imperial and Republican period Chinese writers. DeGroot and Granet have pointed the way to an understanding of how in modern times the vast hierarchised society of China might be seen to display a single underlying religion taking many guises.

Freedman, The concept of a system of Chinese religion developed by these anthropologists was a structural-functionalist one. This mode of post-colonial critique, along with objective changes in the conditions of anthropological research, led to a critical reflexive crisis of representation within anthropology as a whole Clifford and Markus The influence of these critical movements within anthropology took a rather long time to impact China anthropology. Feuchtwang had long argued for the double official vs. This perspective still had difficulty disentangling itself from a model of an internally contested but still unified cultural system Bell His later work on alternate civilities Weller rejects the imposition of Western models of modernization or civil society and imagines a different trajectory for local communal ritual traditions and emergent modernist religious movements in new forms of construction of the social and the national unique to Chinese societies.

In general, his work can be read to move beyond a notion of the systemic unity of Chinese religion or culture, and implies a fragmented, multidimensional China, or the coexistence of multiple Chinese cultures. Still, the bulk of the work in China had an understandable focus on the applied anthropology of development. There is a striking absence of cultural anthropological research on local communal ritual traditions of the Han Chinese.

Duara introduced the concept of a cultural nexus of power of traditional Chinese society in the Shandong area. Duara noted many of the elements of the cultural nexus of power in the area he studied lineages, temples, irrigation maintenance groups, crop-watching associations , but he did not trace the historical evolution of these elements. Instead, he implied that this cultural nexus was doomed to unravel under the pressure of the modern nation state.

This kind of local or regional history has had to defend itself against claims of irrelevance or of its inability to speak to larger themes of national history. Clearly, powerful nationalistic and institutional forces continue to demand the unification of historical narratives, but these new schools of local history, with their methodological links between history and anthropology, have worked productively with a new focus on the lives of common people based on local historical documents gathered during fieldwork in local communities.

The Huanan school of local history is engaged in several internal debates, with Faure and Liu Ke and Liu ; Faure recently proposing models of cultural integration and identification with the state, while the authors Zheng Zhenman ; and Kenneth Dean emphasize instead processes of local cultural mediation, experimentation, and hybridization, the spread of elite ritual techniques into different local communities, and the local appropriations of those techniques and symbols for very different, local purposes. Perhaps because definitions of religion in china 45 of these debates, a significant challenge to nationalist historiography has emerged in these studies.

This model explodes the earlier A—Z continuum of lineage forms proposed as modifications of the Freedman model of the Chinese lineage Freedman If anthropology has had a fairly hard time establishing itself as an academic discipline in China, the same is also true of religious studies Yang Within the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, religious studies ranks very high, just below Marxist Leninist thought. But this was originally because of the importance of analyzing ideological formations that were by definition alienated and potentially reactionary. In order to merge theory with practice, the implementation of policy emerging from this critical analysis of religion was the purview of the Bureau of Religious Affairs.

There are still relatively few programs in religious studies in China. The earliest ones Sichuan, Renda and Nanjing were established in the s. In the past fifteen years there has been an exponential growth of this academic field, involving the translation of many overviews and monographs of Western religious studies, but there are still very few empirical studies of contemporary Chinese ritual traditions. This critical movement questions the universalization of the notion of religiosity, which they traced back to Western theology. Some of these critics suggest instead a more selfconscious sociology of religion, based on paradigmatic changes to the field introduced by Stark and others who talk in terms of a pragmatics of religion as a set of rational choices within differing ritual marketplaces Stark and Finke, An extended sociology of comparative religion may not however completely escape the critique of the founding notions of the field as a whole.

In his subsequent work he has also urged the exploration of the impact of modernization theory, notions of secularization, and the institutionalization of Western definitions of religion on non Western societies Asad Western studies of Chinese religion have also foundered over questions of defining the field of study.

While Buddhist studies has a place in many departments of religion in North America and Europe, Daoist studies positions are extremely rare. Most religious studies programs are prepared to introduce religious dimensions of Confucianism, but many universities delegate Confucian studies to philosophy or East Asian Studies. But all the more evident for its entire absence within departments of religion is the realm of Chinese popular religion, or if one prefers the term, local communal religion.

Following Asad, we may wish to call these practices local ritual traditions—the ensemble of which in any particular region would be an object of study. If Chinese religion is a unity, as claimed by Freedman, it has yet to become an object of systematic research. If it is instead a vast array of different ritual traditions, some of considerable longevity and complexity, all intertwining in different ways in different places, it is perhaps understandable why few universities have dared to approach the study of such a complex range of phenomena.

Neglecting to do so unfortunately means that a vast realm of human experience goes unstudied. Within China, the institutionalization of a particular definition of religion drawn from Marxism over the past fifty years has led to many unintended consequences. This definition insists that each religion must have a distinct religious organization, a religious leadership, religious doctrines and beliefs, and religious practices reflecting these doctrines.

As was the case with these earlier laws, Document 19 limited the freedom to believe to five major religions, Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Any unregistered group would by definition be illegal. New regulations were included on the internal organization of these groups covering issues such as personnel and financial accounting.

In , new regulations were issued by State Council on procedures for registration. In the State reasserted its power to distinguish orthodox from heterodox beliefs, and to classify heterodox religious groups such as the Falungong as illegal cults. Instead, some evil things that had long been extinct after liberation have come to life again. Some time ago, due to laxities in ideological and political work, feudal superstitions and patriarchal activities gained ground in some localities in our province, particularly in some rural areas, seriously poisoning the minds of the masses, particularly the younger generation, and affecting the building of socialist spiritual civilization.

Some Party members and cadres also joined in the activities. Effective measures should be taken in line with Party rectification in order to resolutely curb and rectify this unhealthy trend. These include prostrating oneself before the image of the Buddha, reciting scriptures, burning joss sticks, going to church, saying prayers, expounding Buddhist sutras, giving sermons, hearing Mass, receiving baptisms, being initiated into monkhood or nunhood, fasting, celebrating religious festivals, performing last rites, and conducting funeral services.

Indiscriminate construction of temples without the approval of the Department concerned and feudal superstitious activities exceeding the limits prescribed by the religious policy must be stopped. Building clan temples, drawing genealogical charts, 48 chapter two joining persons of different ancestors to make them bear the same family name, and performing rites in honor of the ancestors are feudal, patriarchal activities, impermissible under our Socialist System. Invoking immortals to exorcise evil spirits, praying for rain, divining by the eight trigrams, telling fortunes by analyzing the component parts of Chinese characters, and practicing physiognomy and geomancy are feudal superstitious activities which should be resolutely banned.

All activities which seriously infringe on the interests of the State and jeopardize the lives and property of the people must be resolutely suppressed March 1, , Guangming ribao. Fortunately, official attitudes towards local religion in southeast China have become more open, and there have been interesting recent efforts to reach new understandings of local religious movements there. However, in many parts of central China, local religion is still poorly understood even by officials in charge of its supervision. These kinds of definitions of religion, as they have been adapted in official policy in China, do not closely correspond with the range of ritual practices found in local communities across China.

Instead, they cleave contemporary practice into pieces, with some aspects considered acceptable and others not for example, spirit possession and ancestor worship. This is especially clear when state officials attempt to apply such a definition and its associated policies and institutions to the field of popular local ritual traditions. The importance of lineage, whether within the context of ancestral worship or as a key element underlying multiple modes of local organization of popular god worship, indicates the continuity of the fundamental ritual role of the jia family in everyday life.

Here too there is a long legacy of nationalist plans for the improvement of culture, the quality of the people, and in the extreme, but still common version, the transmission of modernist culture to people who are said to have no culture. Clearly, the terms of the prevailing discourse are undergoing intense strain. One aspect of these definitional or conceptual problems must be discussed here, as it sets the stage for the survey below. Scholars such as Overmyer ; , Seiwert , and ter Haar have labored to document the limitations of this scholarly perspective by demonstrating: 1 that the vast majority of popular religious movements across Chinese history have been peaceable and not involved in rebellion, and 2 that those that did rebel more often than not were driven to do so by the actions of the state.

Ter Haar has been particularly clear in documenting the impact of pejorative labels and unexamined presuppositions in this historical process. Of course, many Chinese scholars have attempted in response to develop a more comprehensive and inclusive, not to say harmonious, approach to religious studies. In some ways, these trends are a continuation of the dismissive attitudes of earlier Chinese elites towards local ritual traditions. In this, the Confucian elite was to some extent aided by higher level Buddhist monks and Daoist masters who sought court patronage or the support of landed gentry and local officials.

At court, these groups often maintained a distance from local ritual traditions. This was especially the case with Daoist ritual masters.

Love in the Kingdom of Gods

Most likely, it was the close connection between Celestial Master Daoism and local communities across China especially in the south that led the Qing court to become suspicious and to decrease and eventually deny court patronage to this branch of Daoism. But local communities continued to sponsor Daoist rites, providing the economic support necessary for the preservation and expansion of the many local ritual forms of Daoism, which evolved independently in relation to local communal ritual traditions.

Under PRC models of the state and the citizenry, the new theory and practice of religion led to far more invasive and systematic forms of control than the sporadic attacks of the late imperial state. These were different kinds of state paranoia. Thus the seeming continuities in approach to popular ritual practices of the imperial state and that of the Nationalist and PRC governments belies a serious and significant change in definitions and tactics related to the rise of a modern nation-state with new bio-political powers.

In early 20th century Western scholarship, Daoism was treated as the degeneration of an ancient and noble philosophic movement, or at best as a form of personal magic with little connection to communal life Weber, As research into different Daoist ritual traditions across China has slowly proceeded over the past twenty-five years, a somewhat clearer picture of the multiplicity of liturgical frameworks within distinct mixes of localized Daoist ritual traditions interacting with evolving local ritual traditions with different local pantheons has emerged.

These local tra- definitions of religion in china 51 ditions, and their appropriations of the elite ritual traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, defy easy generalization into a unified system of Chinese religion. They demonstrate an exuberant multiplicity. Underlying this multiplicity are manifold forms of complex local organization. In terms of sheer numbers, this is a massive phenomenon, and it always has been one, even if ignored by both traditional and modern scholarship.

The hyper-development of Chinese economy is visible in every city and town and many villages across the country. Nonetheless, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow at an alarming pace. The experiential gap between urban and rural everyday life expands equally quickly, despite the spread of modern telecommunications. In many rural areas the revival of ritual practices appears to be taking hold, especially in those areas close enough to expanding urban centers but far enough away or sophisticated enough due to historical reasons to preserve some local cultural autonomy.

Due to the nature of the issue, there will never be an objective count of the people involved in these local practices, although the number is sure to be in the hundreds of millions. Inside Chinese academic and religious policy circles, there has been a clear recognition of the advance of secularization of the urban population along with a greater openness towards the activities of the official religions. Some interesting local flexibility in the 4 Note that in Singapore and Indonesia, Daoism was not recognized as an official religion, which led the majority of the Chinese populations of those states to define themselves as Buddhists.

This breakthrough is a mutual accomplishment as the Three in One movement has petitioned for this kind of official recognition for decades. One way to explore these issues is to start from the ground up, by examining contemporary ritual life and organization. We suggest an alternative approach to local ritual traditions as the intensification of everyday life, rather than the establishment of a separate, sacred space or a private domain of individualized worship.

Arguing that ritual is an intensification of the everyday is not simply to emphasize the highly ritual foundations of everyday social interaction, but also to point to the space of play, pleasure, and friendship Lefebvre within the everyday that are intensified in ritual events. Of course, Lefebvre has been concerned to document the overcoding of these spaces by capitalist relations.

What is especially intriguing about the contemporary ritual events in Fujian is their ability to fold in the forces of capitalism and the forces of nationalism, to speed up and reflect back on these forces, and to still preserve the power to generate new worlds of experience for their local communities. But before looking further afield it would be worthwhile to look into the past, in order to seek to understand the accumulation of the many layers of ritual form that have contributed to the village rituals of contemporary China. Map 2: Li sub-cantons and Regional Ritual Alliances provides an overview of the local ritual system.

Maps 3 and 4 color plates provide three dimensional images of the Putian plain as seen from different points on the plain, the first gazing northwards past the volcanic cone of Mt Hu, the second looking eastwards from the Dongzhen reservoir in the hills above Putian see along the Mulan river towards the Xinghua Bay. These maps give a sense of the topography of the Putian plain.

Maps 5, 6, 7, and 8 color plates show the evolving shorelines of the Putian plains from ancient times to the Tang, then in the Song, and finally in the mid-Ming, when the reclaiming of the Putian plain was completed. The Putian plain formed along the coast of the Xinghua Bay over thousands of years as a thin band of alluvial soil deposited by three major rivers and many streams flowing out of a semi-circle of mountains, and pushed upwards by the action of the sea.

In ancient times, the Putian plain was originally under 30 meters of sea water, as can be seen in Map 5: Ancient Shoreline of the Putian Plain. Extensive land reclamation and the establishment of the first major irrigation canals resulted in the marked expansion of the Putian plain, as seen in Map 7: Song shoreline of the Putian Plain. Map 8: Ming-Qing shoreline of the Putian Plain shows that land continued to be reclaimed, further expanding the Putian plain, up to the beginning of the Qing dynasty, putting increasing pressure on the various irrigation systems.

On comtemporary Chinese irrigation management, including in the Putian area, see Vermeer, Surviving groups of both these early settlers can still be found in Fujian. There they proceeded to refine elixirs of immortality. According to an eighth century inscription, they succeeded at this task, became immortals, and transformed into nine carp spirits hence the name of the lake. They were worshipped as protector deities of the region. A manual of dream interpretation has been written to help explicate their dream visions.

Han Chinese military colonies and settlers began to slowly move into the mountain valleys and coastal regions of Fujian, where they set up a military colony near the Wuyi Mountains in northern Fujian. Complete colonization of Fujian, including the Putian area, would take several hundred years Bielenstein Efforts to establish an administrative center in Putian were made in and in , but these were abandoned.

Finally, in the early Tang Wude 6 , in , Putian city was made into a district capital. In the Tang, the site would have been very close to the ancient shoreline of the Xinghua Bay. Map 6: Tang Shoreline of the Putian Plain shows the locations of several reservoirs which provided irrigation to the early settlements along the thin stretches of the Putian plain.

A few other historical overview 55 villages on the Putian plain can be traced back to the Tang, including Hengtang. The early encounter between Han Chinese military colonists and the indigenous inhabitants has not left much of historical record, but later mythological accounts provide some insights.

Most scholars agree this tale is in fact based on the exploits of Chen Yuanguang d. Chen Zheng was sent with an army of troops to the southern part of Fujian in to subdue indigenous peoples resisting Han settlement of the area. His son brought the campaign to a successful close in According to the myth, once killed by the Chinese general, the leaders of the first cavern-fortress reverted back into a black snake and a golden carp respectively, while the leader of the Mt. Hogong Cavern turned into an earthworm. In the novella, the Han General magically defeats these shape-shifting monsters, and the local inhabitants gratefully accept his protection.

After her victory, the soldiers of the Divine Mother of the Heavenly River bow down before the Goddess Chen Jinggu and join her entourage. In this way, she absorbs the powers of her defeated enemies, and turns their demonic energy into her own supernatural power. In this myth, Chen Jinggu becomes the goddess most closely associated with the fertility of Fujian, even as she battles an evil White Snake to the death.

As young women, Chen Jinggu had refused to marry, preferring instead to join a sisterhood learning magical arts from a ritual master on Mount Lu. She is then called upon to perform an arduous rain-making ceremony. The spell is broken by her enemy, the White Snake, who tricks her mother into revealing the whereabouts of the fetus. The Snake then devours the fetus.

At this point, Chen Jinggu begins to hemorrhage, but is saved by her ritual master. She recovers, and pursues the White Snake, which she ultimately defeats in a battle to the death. The snake is contained in a crevice beneath her throne in her temple in Gutian, north of Fuzhou.

After her death, she continues to protect women in childbirth and children suffering from smallpox and measles. This stratum of the local popular pantheon is most likely very ancient. Wu and the demon were both dead. The local people then erected a temple to make sacrifices to him. Many related records of magical battles over snake cults and indigenous traditions of shamanism survive in Fujian. This should be recalled by readers throughout these two volumes. On the jiao, see Schafer — Clark points out in a recent paper the link between the jiao and the crocodile in Minnan sources.

This goddess is but one of many such supernatural females who seem to have dominated the magical universe of the early inhabitants of the Putian plains, and perhaps of the indigenous inhabitants of the region as well. Many other gods and goddesses found in the region appear to have been involved in similar struggle against local indigenous powers, often represented in serpentine or demonic form. The character for Min Fujian features a worm, or a serpent, inside a doorway. He too is said to have plunged into a pool to kill a dragon.

Over an over again, these motifs are played out in the story of the early spiritual conquest of Fujian by Han Chinese Buddhist and Daoist thaumaturges. The Han colonization of Fujian appears to have advanced on two fronts. On the one hand Buddhist and Daoist ritual specialists competed with, and perhaps absorbed elements of, local ritual traditions, in a magical conquest of the region.

The 6 Described by Clark —3, citing the Bamin tongzhi and the Qianlong Xianyou tongzhi a, 9b.

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Dan communities can still be found in the Fuzhou Nantai area see Szonyi This would imply that Mazu may have been an illiterate Danmin shamaness herself Zheng Zhenman Only later, after she had received official canonization from the court, would Lin lineage genealogies claim a place for her as one of their own glorious ancestors.

Perhaps their insistence on establishing such strict boundaries against heterodoxy should be seen as evidence of the persistence of hybrid cultural forms, combining Han Chinese traditions of spirit possession with more unfamiliar acts of possession by indigenous spirits and cosmic forces. The great lineages of Putian competed to donate funds and property and built over Buddhist monasteries. It is estimated that Buddhist monastic estates controlled over one third of the land in Putian in the early Song Chikusa These estates played a crucial role in building up local infrastructure, including irrigation systems, roads, and bridges.

Government Confucian schools were first built in A protective wall of just over two li was built around the administrative offices of Putian in A larger city wall of seven li with five gates was only built in The walls were expanded to over ten li in