4 religion in china

Families also have a domestic altar in the house's main room, which contains statues or tablets of ancestors as well as some protective deities. Late imperial law forbade women to visit temples (Confucian orthodoxy aspired to confining them at home), which they nonetheless did in great numbers; large-scale women-only pilgrimage associations also were formed. 131–182. Lopez, Donald S., ed. “Globalization has allowed many religions to become available that were not in the past,” said Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University. On the other hand, the imperial state did not approve of such congregations. “Some of my findings are not surprising to people who know about China,” he said. Atlas of Religion in China: Social and Geographical Contexts, An equal access/equal opportunity university, Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications. “Since China’s economic reforms in the 1980s, there has been very rapid growth of Christianity that’s new to that part of the world, so there’s a lot of adjustment taking place,” he said. In The City in Late Imperial China, edited by William G. Skinner, pp. All cults and specialists, however, share a common cosmology. An excellent historiographic discussion on the use of narrative literature for the study of popular religion. In some counties, Catholic churches outnumber sites of other religions.

This cosmology, formed during late antiquity and the Han period, dictates that the material and spiritual realms are not separate. When praying, the devotee promises (xuyuan ) to do something (give a donation, build a new temple, engage in charity, make a pilgrimage, or become a vegetarian); if the prayer is answered, she or he returns to the temple to make good on the promise (huanyuan ). This became the official stance of the Republic of China (1912–) and the People's Republic (1949–) that gave relative recognition to five religions (Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, with the first two defined in a narrow, monastic sense) but actively suppressed all local cults, temples, and festivals. Religious observance in China is on the rise. A superb fieldwork and comprehensive description of how Daoists provide a "liturgical framework" for local cults. A synthetic introduction to Chinese temples. The fundamentally ambiguous word "popular" sometimes refers to any widespread or commonly held idea or practice, and is sometimes used more narrowly in contrast to "elite" religion. Schipper, Kristofer. Late Imperial China 21, no. (Yang, Qingkun). Another topic of Chinese religion with questions of unity or diversity is the liturgical calendar. Both guilds and common-origin associations established halls in which members could meet and unite in ritual celebration. The most affluent groups built their own place, with a temple and facilities (such as a hotel, meeting rooms, and an opera stage). Dean, Kenneth.

The modern religious organization of Chinese society, still existing despite twentieth-century upheavals, gradually took shape between the tenth and the thirteenth centuries. In practice, however, most congregations were left to themselves and operated openly, since it proved impossible for the authorities to clearly separate the two kinds of groups. However, the date of retrieval is often important. This essay considers the elements of popular religion in the context of Chinese religion, and it attempts to delineate what "popular" implies by looking at the roles of clerical institutionalized religions, local lay communities, and individual specialists and devotees. Nearly all gods, ghosts, and ancestors are dead humans, with a history, birthdays and death days to be celebrated, and traces left on earth (places where they committed such and such acts of prowess; however, there is little cult worship of relics outside of the Buddhist context). Most faith communities build their own temple, or a chapel or hall within an existing temple.

Trouble with this page? The most common ones include emperor Guan (Guandi, full name Guan Yu, a martial and upright hero, known as the god of war), Zhenwu (a Daoist saint, also a martial deity), Mazu (a fisherwoman patron saint of boatmen), Eastern Peak (Mount Taishan, head of the netherworld courts), Lü Dongbin (an alchemist saint, healer, and instructor through spirit-writing), Wenchang (a Daoist patron saint of scholars and spirit-writing morality books). Another surprising finding: Protestantism has become the predominant religion in many counties north of the Yangtze River in the eastern part of China. The ostentatious and competitive aspect of festivals is apparent; different families or congregations compete to see who can provide the largest and most spectacular offerings. The communal liturgy of Chinese local cults is the temple festival, miaohui or saihui, usually held to commemorate the birthday of the main god. Because of destructions and financial ruin, local cults gradually declined, which opened the way for many sectarian movements to flourish.

All of these features of the common religion of late antiquity still comprise the basic elements of Chinese religion in the twenty-first century.

The forms … For the most part, local cults do not develop an ideology of opposition and resistance; the vast majority of communities align themselves with law and order, but because religious groups were the only natural and tolerated form of social organization in imperial China, and as the individual temple communities incarnated local identity and autonomy, it is only natural that resistance movements came to be religiously organized. “Now you have different understandings, different rituals that create even more conversation about religious change in east Asia.”. Katz, Paul. Historically, China and its people have been characterized by three religiophilosophical traditions. All sorts of them can be found throughout the Chinese world, but their relative importance varies by region (for instance, clans are much more prevalent in South China), and even from village to village. During the modern period, territorial communities exist at different levels: while streets, or small neighborhoods maintain modest shrines to an anonymous generic tudi gong, many larger villages and urban neighborhoods have one communal temple for the cult of a saint embodying local identity and history. Until the twentieth century, anti-superstition campaigns, Chinese religion, and local cults in particular had never been completely banned: territorial, clan, and corporation cults were mostly recognized as orthodox, and their liturgy, notably sacrifices, was Confucian, that is, the same as that practiced by the state cults.

All practitioners agree that actions carry retribution (conceived either as automatic karma accounting, or, more often, as a post-mortem judicial process administered in courts of hell), and this concept determines the fate of each human (and animal) being after death. The Qigong movement of self-healing, first supported by the Communist authorities, also occupied the vacant space. The bureaucratic metaphor accommodates both integration with larger, pan-Chinese political and symbolical systems and of the need for autonomy and self-defense from the intrusions of such systems.

A history of territorial cults and their evolution through the early modern period.

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