product description page
Daoism in Modern China - (Routledge Studies in Taoism) (Hardcover)
About this item
The modern history of Chinese temples and Daoism go hand in hand, and while both temples and Daoists serve Chinese society, the relationship between the two has yet to be thoroughly analysed. This book questions whether temples and Daoism are two independent aspects of modern Chinese religion, or if they are indissolubly linked.
Using an interdisciplinary approach combining historical research and fieldwork, the book focuses on urban centres in China, as this is where socio-political changes came earliest and affected religious life to the greatest extent, and also where the largest central Daoist temples were and are located. It examines 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. The book goes on to examine 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.
Comparing case studies from central, eastern and southern China with published evidence and research on other Chinese cities, the book presents a useful analysis as to how modern history has changed the structure and organisation of religious and social life in China, and the role that Daoism plays in this.