Drawing on largely local sources, including local gazetteers and literati inscriptions for religious sites, this book offers a comprehensive examination of what it means to be 'local' during the Southern Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties in Ji'an prefecture (Jiangxi). It argues that 'belonging locally' was important to Ji'an literati throughout this period. How they achieved that, however, changed significantly. Southern Song and Yuan literati wrote about religious sites from within their local communities, but their early Ming counterparts wrote about local temples from their posts at the capital, seeking to transform local sites from a distance. By the late Ming, temples had been superseded by other sites of local activism, including community compacts, lineage prefaces, and community covenants.
Anne Gerritsen, Ph.D. (2001) in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, is Lecturer in the Department of History at Warwick University (England). She has published on local cults in Ji’an, and on women and gender in late-imperial China.
All those interested in the social and cultural history of middle and late-imperial China, in particular the Song-Yuan-Ming period, local studies, space and landscape, religious history, community studies, and literati identity.