The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China  book cover
1st Edition

The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China

Edited By

Jiang Wu

ISBN 9781032103358
Published April 22, 2022 by Routledge
266 Pages 42 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The rise of Spatial Humanities has spurred a digital revolution in the field of Chinese studies, especially in the study of religion. Based on years of data compilation and analysis of religious sites, this book explores the formation of Regional Religious Systems (RRS) in Greater China in unprecedented scope and depth. It addresses quantitatively the enduring historical and contemporary issues of China’s deep-rooted regionalism and spatially variegated cultural and religious landscape.

A range of topics are explored: theoretical discussions of the concept of RRS; case studies of regional and local religious institutions; the formation of local cults and pilgrimage network; and the spread of religious networks to overseas Chinese communities and the Bon religion in Tibet. The book also considers long-standing challenges of researching with spatial data for humanities and social science research, such as data collection, integration, spatial analysis, and map creation.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars in Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, Chinese Studies, Digital Humanities, Human Geography and Sociology.

Table of Contents



Preface by Lewis Lancaster

List of Major Chinese Administrative Regions

Chronology of Chinese history

Introduction: Exploring Regional Religious Systems (RRS): Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

Jiang Wu


Part One: RRS and the Spread of Religious Sites in Medieval China

  1. Making and Marking Buddhist Sacred Space: Wuyue Buddhism and Its Influence in the Song Dynasty (9601279)
  2. Albert Welter

  3. On the Spatio-temporal Analysis of Religious Institutions: A Study of the Jinhua Prefectural Gazetteer of 1480
  4. Peter K. Bol

    Part Two: RRS and the Buddhist Pilgrimage Network in Late Imperial China

  5. Traversing the "Pilgrimage Square" of Northern China in the 19th Century
  6. Marcus Bingenheimer

  7. The Ways of Traveling: A Historical GIS Examination of the Pilgrimage Routes Centered on Mt. Jiuhua in Late Imperial China
  8. Nan Ouyang

  9. Regional Systems of Guanyin Pilgrimages in the Lower Yangtze Delta during the Ming-Qing Period (13681912)
  10. Weiran Zhang and translated by Nan Ouyang

    Part Three: Regional Analysis of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Religions

  11. Mapping the Growth of Early Yiguandao Buddha-halls
  12. J. E. E. Pettit and Joey Marshall

  13. Churches at the Margin: Mapping the Establishment of Protestant and Catholic Churches in China, ca. 1949–2004
  14. Fenggang Yang, Joey Marshall, and J. E. E. Pettit

  15. Spatio-temporal Analyses of Changing Religious Landscapes in China
  16. Shuming Bao and Yexi Zhong

    Part Four: Regional Formation in Periphery

  17. Historical GIS and the Study of Southeast China and the Southeast Asian Chinese Diaspora
  18. Kenneth Dean

  19. Using Geospatial Technologies to Study Regional Folk Religions: The Taiwan Religion Database and Two Case Studies
  20. I-chun Fan, Ying-fa Hung, Hsiung-ming Liao, Jr-jie Jang, Chien-chou Chen

  21. A Regional Systems Approach to the Origin and Spread of the Bon Religion of Tibet

Karl E. Ryavec

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Jiang Wu director, Center for Buddhist Studies and professor, Department of East Asian Studies, College of Humanities, The University of Arizona, USA.