Daoism in Modern China : Clerics and Temples in Urban Transformations,1860–Present book cover
1st Edition

Daoism in Modern China
Clerics and Temples in Urban Transformations,1860–Present

ISBN 9781138889415
Published May 31, 2021 by Routledge
278 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book questions whether temples and Daoism are two independent aspects of modern Chinese religion or if they are indissolubly linked. It presents a useful analysis as to how modern history has changed the structure and organization of religious and social life in China, and the role that Daoism plays in this.

Using an interdisciplinary approach combining historical research and fieldwork, this book focuses on urban centers in China, as this is where sociopolitical changes came earliest and affected religious life to the greatest extent and also where the largest central Daoist temples were and are located. It compares case studies from central, eastern, and southern China with published evidence and research on other Chinese cities. Contributors examine how Daoism interacted with traditional urban social, cultural, and commercial institutions and pays close attention to how it dealt with processes of state expansion, commercialization, migration, and urban development in modern times. This book also analyses the evolution of urban religious life in modern China, particularly the ways in which temple communities, lay urbanites, and professional Daoists interact with one another.

A solid ethnography that presents an abundance of new historical information, this book will be of interest to academics in the field of Asian studies, Daoist studies, Asian religions, and modern China.

Table of Contents


Part I Historical overview

1. Urban Daoists, from 1860 to the present.

V. Goossaert

2. The Martial Marquis Shrine: Politics of Temple Expropriation and Restitution, and Struggles of Daoist Revival in Contemporary Nanyang.

Xun Liu

Part II Spirit-writing temples and their networks

3. The Jin’gaishan Network: A lay Quanzhen Daoist Organization in Modern Jiangnan.

V. Goossaert

4. The Dao in the Southern Seas. The Diffusion of the Lüzu Cult from Meizhou to Bangkok.

Yau Chi-on

Part III Householder urban Daoists

5. The Modern Transformations of the Old Eastern Peak Temple in Hangzhou.

Fang Ling

6. Zhengyi Daoists and Daily Life in the Baoqing Pier Neighborhood in Modern Hankou.

Mei Li & Xun Liu

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Vincent Goossaert is Professor of Daoism and Chinese Religions at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, PSL, France.

Xun Liu is Professor of History at Rutgers University, USA.