From the fifth century BC to the present and dealing with the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) as well as popular religion, this nine-volume
Early and Modern Chinese Religion explores key ideas and events in four periods of paradigm shift in the intertwined histories of Chinese religion, politics, and culture. It shows how, in the Chinese church-state, elite processes of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are at work in every period of major change and how popular religion gradually emerges to a position of dominance by means of a long history of at once resisting, adapting to, and collaborating with elite-driven change. Topics covered include ritual, scripture, philosophy, state policy, medicine, sacred geography, gender, and the economy.
Early Chinese Religion is an extraordinary achievement. At once a summa of what we know about early Chinese religion, a critique of previous views, and an occasionally radical reimagining of early Chinese religion, it can function both as a reference work and as an introduction to the state of the art in the study of early Chinese religion. For the student of Chinese religion, of comparative religion, and of folk religion, it is a work of fundamental importance." – David Elton Gay,
Indiana University, in:
Journal of Folklore Research, posted April 20, 2011, in the online e-review service.
"The field of early Chinese religions has often been dealt with but never in such an abundance and by so many well-known experts as in the two huge volumes of the well-known
Handbook of of Oriental Studies." – Claudia von Collani, in:
Bibliographia Missionaria, LXXXIV, 2010
'All contributions present in-depth research that is thoroughly documented and very well displayed, combining any relevant types of religious and secular sources and, in some cases, with the support of lavish illustrations. The book presents many new aspects and scientific insights, certainly setting a very high standard for research in Chinese religions.(...) No doubt, “Early Chinese Religion. Part Two: The Period of Division (220–589 ad)” can be recommended best for every student of Chinese history, Chinese religions, and cultural history.'
Florian C. Reiter,
'This is an essential resource for scholars in the field of Chinese religion, and an excellent foundation for those entering it. Organized thematically, the articles are of exceptionally high quality and substance throughout.(...) Throughout, the authors are to be commended for skillfully addressing categorizations like Buddhism and Daoism while at the same time conveying the shifting boundaries and complex interconnections inherent in this material.(...) Conveying the richness and complexity of the era, many of the articles also include metaperspectives that will make this collection helpful to scholars in other disciplines.(...) This admirably interdisciplinary venture captures both the fluidity and the enduring concerns of a fascinating epoch.'
Wendi Adamek, University of Sydney,
Religious Studies Review 38, 1
All those interested in the religious and cultural history of early medieval and early modern China and the relationship between religion and the state in pre-modern and modern times.