Fieldwork in Huizhou and Ming Dynasty Orthodoxy
Speaker: Prof. John Lagerwey (Centre for China Studies)
Date: 11 April 2014 (Fri)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Activities Room, 2/F, Art Museum East Wing, Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract: Everyone knows that Daoxue (neo-Confucianism) was enshrined as the orthodoxy of the Ming state by its founder, Zhu Yuanzhang. Few people are aware that he at the same time enshrined another orthodoxy: that of Zhengyi (Orthodox Unity) or Tianshi (Heavenly Master) Daoism, and even fewer are aware of the impact of this second Ming orthodoxy on Chinese cultural history. A recent thesis by Mark Meulenbeld details the history of this second orthodoxy for the first time. A recent book by Richard Wang shows how many Ming princes were initiated Daoists and invested heavily in the support of Daoist institutions. We can see the impact of Ming Daoism very clearly in a range of Daoist rites which seem to be unique to this area, among which the most startling is called gandiao, “chasing away the [ghost of a person] who has committed suicide by hanging himself.”


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