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Fenggang Yang

The speed and the scale with which traditional religions in China have been revived and new spiritual movements have emerged in recent decades make it difficult for scholars to stay up-to-date on the religious transformations within Chinese society.

This unique atlas presents a bird’s-eye view of the religious landscape in China today. In more than 150 full-color maps and six different case studies, it maps the officially registered venues of China’s major religions - Buddhism, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), Daoism, and Islam - at the national, provincial, and county levels. The atlas also outlines the contours of Confucianism, folk religion, and the Mao cult. Further, it describes the main organizations, beliefs, and rituals of China’s main religions, as well as the social and demographic characteristics of their respective believers. Putting multiple religions side by side in their contexts, this atlas deploys the latest qualitative, quantitative and spatial data acquired from censuses, surveys, and fieldwork to offer a definitive overview of religion in contemporary China.

An essential resource for all scholars and students of religion and society in China.

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Edited by Michael Dillon, Yijiu JIN and Wai Yip Ho

This important collection of articles by leading Chinese scholars of Islamic studies reflects current thinking about the past and present condition of Islam in China. It has a strong focus on China’s north-west, the most important region for the study of Islam in China. Most contributions relate to the Hui (Chinese-speaking) Muslims of Gansu and Qinghai provinces and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region but there are also chapters on the Uyghurs of Xinjiang. An important feature of this book is the attention paid to the Sufi orders: the role of these networks, which embody an inner-directed and mystical aspect of Islam, is crucial to the understanding of Muslim communities in both historical and contemporary China.

Personal Religion and Magic in Mamasa, West Sulawesi

The Search for Powers of Blessing from the Other World of the Gods

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C.W. Buijs

In Personal Religion and Magic in Mamasa, West Sulawesi, Kees Buijs describes the traditional culture of the Toraja’s, which is rapidly vanishing. The focus is on personal religion as it has its centre in the kitchen of each house. In the kitchen and also by the use of magical words and stones the gods are sought for their powers of blessing.

This book adds important information to Buijs’ earlier Powers of Blessing from the Wilderness and from Heaven (Brill, 2006).

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters

Situating Scriptural Practices

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Edited by Richard Fox and Annette Hornbacher

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters examines traditional uses of writing on the Indonesian island of Bali, focusing on the power attributed to Balinese script.The approach is interdisciplinary and comparative, bringing together insights from anthropological and philological perspectives. Scholars have long recognized a gap between the practices of philological interpretation and those of the Javano-Balinese textual tradition. The question is what impact this gap should have on our conception of ‘the text’. Of what relevance, for example, are the uses to which Balinese script has been put in the context of ceremonial rites? What ideas of materiality, power and agency are at work in the production and preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts, inscribed amulets and other script-bearing instruments?
Contributors include: Andrea Acri, Helen Creese, Richard Fox, H.I.R. Hinzler, Annette Hornbacher, Thomas M. Hunter and Margaret Wiener.

The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel

Aspects of the Relationship between the Buddhist Saṃgha and the State in Chinese History

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Edited by Thomas Jülch

The matter of saṃgha-state relations is of central importance to both the political and the religious history of China. The volume The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel brings together, for the first time, articles relating to this field covering a time span from the early Tang until the Qing dynasty. In order to portray also the remarkable thematic diversity of the field, each of the articles not only refers to a different time but also discusses a different aspect of the subject.
Contributors include: Chris Atwood, Chen Jinhua, Max Deeg, Barend ter Haar, Thomas Jülch, Albert Welter and Zhang Dewei.

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Edited by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee

Argument and Design features fifteen essays by leading scholars of the Sanskrit epics, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa, discussing the Mahābhārata’s upākhyānas, subtales that branch off from the central storyline and provide vantage points for reflecting on it.
Contributors include: Vishwa Adluri, Joydeep Bagchee, Greg Bailey, Adam Bowles, Simon Brodbeck, Nicolas Dejenne, Sally J. Sutherland Goldman, Robert P. Goldman, Alf Hiltebeitel, Thennilapuram Mahadevan, Adheesh Sathaye, Bruce M. Sullivan, and Fernando Wulff Alonso.

Problems of Han Administration

Ancestral Rites, Weights and Measures, and the Means of Protest

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Michael Loewe

Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.

Religion, Place and Modernity

Spatial Articulations in Southeast Asia and East Asia

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Edited by Michael Dickhardt and Andrea Lauser

Using the potential of place as an approach and of places as ethnographic contexts, the authors in this volume investigate the multiple entanglements of ‘religion’ and ‘modernity’ in contemporary settings. The guiding questions of such an approach are: How are modernity and religion spatially articulated in and through places? How do these articulations help us to understand the ways in which religion becomes socially and culturally significant in modern contexts? And how do they reveal the ways in which modernity unfolds within religion? Thus, places are not only understood as neutral locations or extensions, but as spatial modes to mediate properties, contents and processes of religion and modernity. Based on ethnographic and historical research in Southeast and East Asia and featuring reflections on the concepts of religion and modernity respectively, the authors offer a deeper understanding of the articulation of a religious modernity in these regions and beyond. Contributors are: Nikolas BROY¸ CHAN Yuk Wah, Michael DICKHARDT, Volker GOTTOWIK, Patrice LADWIG, Andrea LAUSER, Jovan MAUD, YEOH Seng-Guan, Clemens SIX, Paul SORRENTINO, Alexander SOUCY, Sing SUWANNAKIJ.

Lightning from the East

Heterodoxy and Christianity in Contemporary China

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Emily Dunn

The Church of Almighty God, also known as Eastern Lightning, teaches that Jesus Christ has returned to earth as a Chinese woman to judge humankind. The Chinese government has banned it and similar groups, and targeted them in its campaign against “cults” such as Falun Gong.

Based on the Church’s own texts and exogenous reports, Emily Dunn offers the first comprehensive account of what the Church of Almighty God teaches, how Chinese Christians and the government have responded to new religious movements related to Protestantism, and how it all fits with global Christianity and the history of Chinese religion.

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Timothy M. Davis

In Entombed Epigraphy and Commemorative Culture Timothy M. Davis presents a history of early muzhiming—the most versatile and persistent commemorative form employed in the elite burials of pre-modern China. While previous scholars have largely overlooked the contemporary religious, social, and cultural functions of these epigraphic objects, this study directly addresses these areas of concern, answering such basic questions as: Why were muzhiming buried in tombs? What distinguishes commemorative biography from dynastic history biography? And why did muzhiming develop into an essential commemorative genre esteemed by the upper classes? Furthermore, this study reveals how aspiring families used muzhiming to satisfy their obligations to deceased ancestors, establish a multi-generational sense of corporate identity, and strengthen their claims to elite status.