1st Edition

The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China

Edited By Jiang Wu Copyright 2022
    266 Pages 42 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.



    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


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

    'Each (chapter) provides a helpful example of the many ways in which spatial humanities can be implemented.'

    - Daniel M. Murray, Centre for China Studies, Ashoka University, New Delhi, India, Review of Religion and Chinese Society