UNITIES AND DIVERSITIES IN CHINESE RELIGION

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1 UNITIES AND DIVERSITIES IN CHINESE RELIGION

2 Also by Robert P. Weller POWER AND PROTEST IN THE COUNTRYSIDE: Studies of Rural Unrest in Asia, Europe, and Latin America (edited with Scott Guggenheim)

3 Unities and Diversities in Chinese Religion Robert P. Weller Assistant Professor of Anthropology Duke University, Durham, North Carolina M MACMILLAN

4 Robert P. Weller 1987 Softcoverreprint ofthe bardeover 1st edition All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or Iransmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or Iransmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended). Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. First published 1987 Published by THE MACMILLAN PRESS L TD Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 2XS and London Companies and representatives throughout the world British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Weller, Robert P. Unilies and diversities in Chinese religion. 1. China-Religion 2. China Religious life and customs I. Title 306'.6'0951 BL1802 ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI /

5 Contents List of Maps, Tables, Figures and Plates Acknowledgements 1 Introduction Unity or Diversity Culture and Work Styles of Interpretation Sanxia Township Feeding the Ghosts 2 Ancestors and Gods, Family and Politics Ancestors, Kinsmen and Domestic Worship Gods, Bureaucrats and Community Temples 3 Pragmatic Ghosts Marginal Ancestors and Marginal Gods From Bandit to Beggar Popular Religion and Pragmatic Interpretation 4 Specialist Ghosts Taoism Buddhism 5 Elites, Ideologies and Ghosts Elite Styles of Interpretation State Cult, Ghosts and Political Control 6 Unities, Diversities and Reinterpretation Diverse Interpretations Making Ideologies Unities and Diversities Summary Appendix A: Geomancy Appendix B: Character List Notes References Index vii ix v

6 List of Maps, Tables, Figures and Plates Maps 2.1 Rotation for the Universal Salvation festival 2.2 Major temples of Sanxia Tables 2.1 Frequency of performance for selected rituals 2.2 Relation between age and frequency of worship 2.3 Frequency of worship for selected temples 3.1 Questions about the Universal Salvation festival 5.1 Attitudes toward religion 6.1 Styles of interpretation Figures 3.1 The Disintegrator Carriage Hell, ninth level of the underworld Correlations of the five phases Creation and Destruction of the five phases Antidelerium charm and purification charm Guanyin appears to Ananda as a hungry ghost Mandala of the Diamond World Embracing the site 149 A.1 Forms: the five phases 175 A.2 Main variants of the star Lu Cun 176 A.3 The six gods 178 A.4 Luo Shu magic square 179 A.5 Eight trigrams in former heaven order 180 A.6 The sixty-four hexagrams for San Yuan geomancy 182 vii

7 viii List of Maps, Tables, Figures and Plates Plates 1.1 Feeding the ghosts in Taoist and black-headed priest versions 1.2 Tai Su Ia protects a temple from ghosts 2.1 Sanxia's temple to Co Su Kong 3.1 Zhong Kui exorcizes demons 3.2 Domestic offerings to ghosts using isolated sticks of incense 3.3 Grandfathers Seven and Eight on a tour of inspection 3.4 Newly renovated Iu leng Kong altar with offerings for ghosts becoming gods 4.1 The Jade Emperor and Amidha Buddha, showing typical iconographic differences

8 Acknowledgements This book owes its existence to a great many people. I am particularly grateful to the people of Sanxia, whose hospitality and generosity made my research possible. It is impossible to mention everyone who helped by name, but I want to thank especially Zheng Youcai, Huang Yuanlong and Wang Hongzhi, who opened many doors for me; Liu Bingzhen and his entire family, who looked after me; and the staffs of the Changfu Yan and Cede Si, who always helped me with patience and care. Guo Shuhua served as my assistant, and her help made the scope of the research possible. The Institute of Ethnology at the Academia Sinica provided me with an institutional home, and its faculty was an important source of intellectual stimulation. Emily Martin advised the dissertation research on which much of the book is based. She, Stevan Harrell and Alice Ingerson generously read and commented on the entire manuscript. I am very grateful for their time and effort. I also want to thank Virginia Dominguez, Scott Guggenheim, Susan Naquin, Kathleen Ryan, Brackette Williams, and the members of the faculty seminar on Marxism and Society at Duke University for their comments on parts of the manuscript. My general intellectual debt to Maurice Freedman, Arthur Wolf, and C. K. Yang should be clear from the pages that follow. The research for this book took place in Sanxia over twenty months between 1976 and 1979, funded by a Wenner-Gren Foundation Grant-in-Aid, a Social Science Research Council International Doctoral Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Grant for Improvement of Doctoral Dissertation Research No. BNS The conclusions and other findings of this book, of course, are my own, and not necessarily those of the funding agencies. ROBERT P. WELLER

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