Unity in Diversity: the Deliverance of Soul Ritual in south China
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AbstractIt was James Watson’s contention that the unity of Chinese culture was to be found in funeral rites. Funeral rites are usually conducted by the master of ceremony and ritual specialists. Watson had a detailed description on the part performed by the master of ceremony but gave only a six-page treatment on the part performed by the ritual specialists. This paper deals basically with the part of funeral rites performed by the ritual specialists. To avoid confusion, we will call the part performed by ritual specialist as Duwang (deliverance of the souls of the deceased). We will submit that, despite the diversity of Duwang ritual found in Chinese local societies and despite the fact that both Buddhism and Taoism has their own Duwang ritual, Duwang in China, in the same manner as funeral rites discussed by Watson, has a union structure across the southern part of the nation. We will use two cases to illustrate our hypothesis, namely the case of Jianchuan in Yunnan where a Vajrayana Buddhist tradition called Ācārya Buddhism is flourished and the case of Wanzai in Jiangxi where there is a mixture of Buddho-Daoist tradition.
All Author(s) ListTAM Wai Lun
Journal nameStudies in Chinese Religions
Detailed descriptionsponsored by the Institute for World Religions at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Volume Number4
Issue Number1
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages112 - 137
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsDuwang (deliverance of soul ritual), Ācārya Buddhism, Pu’an, funeral rites, Jianchuan, Yuanan, Wanzai, Jiangxi

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 01:42