The Emergence of a Temple-Centric Society (以廟宇為中心之社會的形成)
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AbstractWhile it is now agreed that lineage China, in which villages were organized around ancestor halls, did not really become a prominent part of the landscape, even in South China, before the mid-Ming, far less attention has been paid to the fact these same villages—as well as market towns and county seats—were from the Song on increasingly organized as territory around temples of the popular religion, as opposed to earth god altars or Buddhist and Daoist monasteries. Starting in the Northern Wei, when the state first decreed the creation of such monasteries in every county, monasteries had been the prime religious institutions receiving state funds. But with the takeoff of title granting to popular local gods from the eleventh century on, while monasteries continued to enjoy state support, they increasingly could not compete with the god temples of popular religion. One result was that religious festivals, both in villages and in market towns, came to be organized around the local temples, and involve parades of the gods throughout the territory they protected and policed. Pilgrimages to selected temples, or circulation of gods among networks of villages, also came to be widespread. Another result was the rise to prominence of local gods served by spirit-mediums and of local Buddhists and Daoists who came to be worshiped pretty much like any other local god (Dingguang, Chen Jinggu). Closely linked to these changes are the increasing prominence of popular forms of Buddhism (Pu’an, Yujia, Lingshan) and Daoism (the fashi) that incorporated local gods and even found ways to work directly with spirit-mediums.

All Author(s) ListLAGERWEY John
Journal nameJournal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore = 民俗曲藝
Issue Number205
PublisherShih Ho-cheng Folk Culture Foundation
Place of PublicationTaiwan
Pages29 - 102
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordstemple, popular religion, god titles, popular Daoism, local and regional gods

Last updated on 2020-22-05 at 12:50