Based on field-work in Taiwan, this book examines the ancient, indigenous religious cult of Tudi Gong both as a religio-social phenomenon and as an appropriate medium for exploring and analysing the social changes that have been occurring in contemporary Taiwan, and the people's strategic adaptations to these changes. In this comprehensive ethnography of Tudi Gong, Dell'Orto engages in a theoretical discussion of the practices, processes and strategies of ethnography and ethnographic writing, and contributes to the construction of an anthropology of place by analysing a number of key concepts related to the notion of place and space. The study combines the use of personal ethnography with raconteurs' own accounts as a way of tracing senses of place and memories of the past. This is a pioneering foundation text for an anthropology of non domestic place and space and brings the most important recent work of social geographers into the field of anthropology.
Alessandro Dell'Orto teaches social anthropology and Chinese religions at the Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy. He is also the director of the Urbaniana University Centre for Chinese Studies.