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In: Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions


In this chapter, Matthias Schumann explores the role of Confucian texts and Confucianism more generally within redemptive societies by examining the case of the Jiushi xinjiao 救世新教 (New Religion to Save the World). He shows how members of the society, many of whom were trained under the traditional education system, strove to come to terms with the complicated Confucian legacy at a time when many reformers considered it obsolete. From the mid-1920s onward, a number of members, most prominently the politician Lu Zongyu 陸宗輿 (1876–1941), began to transmit commentaries on the Confucian classics through spirit-writing. Through the production of these texts, which included commentaries on the Daxue 大學 (Great learning) and the Zhongyong 中庸 (Doctrine of the mean), they integrated the Confucian classics into their own religious program of self-cultivation and moral reform, providing an innovative reading by stressing the role of the deities as the agents of retribution. Thereby, they claimed to have finally restored the true interpretation of these important texts and emphasized the classics’ continued cultural value for the Chinese nation.

In: Communicating with the Gods
Spirit-Writing in Chinese History and Society
Few religious innovations have shaped Chinese history like the emergence of spirit-writing during the Song dynasty.
From a divinatory technique it evolved into a complex ritual practice used to transmit messages and revelations from the Gods. This resulted in the production of countless religious scriptures that now form an essential corpus, widely venerated and recited to this day, that is still largely untapped by research.
Using historical and ethnographic approaches, this volume for the first time offers a comprehensive overview of the history of spirit-writing, examining its evolution over a millennium, the practices and technologies used, and the communities involved.
In: Communicating with the Gods


The stem nematode, Ditylenchus dipsaci, causes severe damage in sugar beet. To date, nematode inoculation through the leaf axil has been used as the standard method to investigate D. dipsaci interaction with sugar beet under in vivo conditions. To get as close as possible to field conditions, we established a new screening mechanism to perform soil inoculation. The most suitable inoculation time point, inoculum level and positioning on sugar beet, as well as rearing process on carrots, were determined. At a 15:8°C day:night temperature regime, penetration rates of D. dipsaci were at maximum following soil inoculation at plant emergence. Up to 115 nematodes penetrated sugar beet seedlings 22 days post-planting with an inoculum level of 1000 nematodes into the soil at plant emergence. Ditylenchus dipsaci penetration rate was higher in plants with soil inoculation than with inoculation on to the leaf axil. High soil moisture increased nematode migration into seedlings when D. dipsaci inoculation was carried out in four holes 1 cm from the plant base. Rearing the nematodes for 35 days at 20°C on carrot discs resulted in an infective inoculum containing up to 50% eggs. We recommend a soil inoculation of 1000 freshly extracted nematodes per pot at plant emergence. The nematode suspension has to be previously reared for 35 days on carrot discs to obtain active D. dipsaci inoculum. This system will allow for the selection of suitable sugar beet genotypes that suppress nematode penetration, in support of breeding for resistance against D. dipsaci.

In: Nematology