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Religions of China in Practice

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Overview

This third volume of Princeton Readings in Religions demonstrates that the "three religions" of China--Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism (with a fourth, folk religion, sometimes added)--are not mutually exclusive: they overlap and interact with each other in a rich variety of ways. The volume also illustrates some of the many interactions between Han culture and the cultures designated by the current government as "minorities." Selections from minority cultures here, for instance, are the folktale of Ny Dan the Manchu Shamaness and a funeral chant of the Yi nationality collected by local researchers in the early 1980s. Each of the forty unusual selections, from ancient oracle bones to stirring accounts of mystic visions, is preceded by a substantial introduction. As with the other volumes, most of the selections here have never been translated before.

Stephen Teiser provides a general introduction in which the major themes and categories of the religions of China are analyzed. The book represents an attempt to move from one conception of the "Chinese spirit" to a picture of many spirits, including a Laozi who acquires magical powers and eventually ascends to heaven in broad daylight; the white-robed Guanyin, one of the most beloved Buddhist deities in China; and the burning-mouth hungry ghost. The book concludes with a section on "earthly conduct."

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Religious Studies
Excellent and should be an important help to students of Chinese religions and a new model for the study of religion in general that needs to be aware of the variety of manifestations a particular tradition develops within each culture, through all levels of society and across the centuries.
The Journal of Asian Studies
Due to the quality and quantity of the contributions, this anthology gives readers—in one volume—a wealth of new material on Chinese religions. Perhaps more importantly, it also offers a reconceptualization of the field.
From the Publisher

"Due to the quality and quantity of the contributions, this anthology gives readers--in one volume--a wealth of new material on Chinese religions. Perhaps more importantly, it also offers a reconceptualization of the field."--The Journal of Asian Studies

"Excellent and should be an important help to students of Chinese religions and a new model for the study of religion in general that needs to be aware of the variety of manifestations a particular tradition develops within each culture, through all levels of society and across the centuries."--Journal of Religious Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691021430
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/1996
  • Series: Princeton Readings in Religions Series
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

Princeton Readings in Religions
Note on Transliteration
Contents by Tradition
Contents by Chronology
Contributors
Introduction 3
1 Deities and Ancestors in Early Oracle Inscriptions 41
2 Laozi: Ancient Philosopher, Master of Immortality, and God 52
3 The Lives and Teachings of the Divine Lord of Zitong 64
4 City Gods and Their Magistrates 72
5 The Earliest Tales of the Bodhisattva Guanshiyin 82
6 A Sutra Promoting the White-robed Guanyin as Giver of Sons 97
7 Zhu Xi on Spirit Beings 106
8 The Inner Cultivation Tradition of Early Daoism 123
9 Body Gods and Inner Vision: The Scripture of the Yellow Court 149
10 An Early Poem of Mystical Excursion 156
11 Declarations of the Perfected 166
12 Seduction Songs of One of the Perfected 180
13 Answering a Summons 188
14 Visions of Manjusri on Mount Wutai 203
15 Ny Dan the Manchu Shamaness 223
16 Teachings of a Spirit Medium 229
17 Spellbinding 241
18 Record of the Feng and Shan Sacrifices 251
19 The Scripture on the Production of Buddha Images 261
20 The Purification Ritual of the Luminous Perfected 268
21 Saving the Burning-Mouth Hungry Ghost 278
22 The Law of the Spirits 284
23 Shrines to Local Former Worthies 293
24 Daoist Ritual in Contemporary Southeast China 306
25 Calling on Souls and Dealing with Spirits: Three Lahu Ritual Texts 327
26 A Funeral Chant of the Yi Nationality 337
27 Abridged Codes of Master Lu for the Daoist Community 347
28 The Scripture in Forty-two Sections 360
29 The Scripture on Perfect Wisdom for Humane Kings Who Wish to Protect Their States 372
30 The Buddhism of the Cultured Elite 381
31 Buddhist Ritual and the State 390
32 Biography of a Buddhist Layman 397
33 The Book of Good Deeds: A Scripture of the Ne People 405
34 Supernatural Retribution and Human Destiny 423
35 Stories from an Illustrated Explanation of the Tract of the Most Exalted on Action and Response 437
36 Record of Occultists 446
37 Imperial Guest Ritual 471
Index 489
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Introduction

The Spirits of Chinese Religion

<%ENDISBN%> 0691025657

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  • Posted December 23, 2012

    The real goods on local religion

    The authors present texts of local, popular, or heterodox sects from all over China. We have prayers for the welfare of animals, rites for the burning mouth hungry ghost, commemorations of departed worthies, gnostic-sounding instructions on inner alchemy, spirit-calling formulas, and tales of how Laozi (Lao Tzu) grew from man to god. The book avoids abstractions or generalities, and deals with the actual practices of local people. And however quirky these texts or traditions sound, they seem to vibrate with earnest passion.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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