Demon Hordes and Burning Boats: The Cult of Marshal Wen in Late Imperial Chekiang

Front Cover
SUNY Press, 1995 - History - 261 pages
0 Reviews
One of the few full-length regional studies of popular religion in late imperial China, this book presents the history of the cult of Marshal Wen, a plague-fighting deity whose cult flourished through Chekiang and its neighboring provinces. The author provides a lively account of the rise of Wen's cult during the tumultuous years of the Southern Sung dynasty, as well as its spread during subsequent dynasties. In exploring the roles played by scholar-officials, merchants, and Taoist priests in the growth of Wen's cult, the author pays special attention to the various representations of this deity held by different social groups, and shows that these were constantly interacting in a process he calls "reverberation." His analysis of plague expulsion festivals featuring Marshal Wen reveals that they functioned as rites of affliction designed to both achieve communal purification and resolve social crises.
This book draws on a wide variety of sources, including Taoist scriptures and liturgical texts, stele inscriptions, literati writings (including poetry), manuscripts from local archives, as well as popular novels and folktales. The author also supplements his historical research with data gathered during fieldwork in Chekiang and Taiwan
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Chekiang
9
Epidemics and Responses to Them
39
The Hagiography of Marshal Wen
75
The Spread of Marshal Wens Cult
115
The Festival of Marshal Wen in Wenchow and Hangchow
141
Conclusion
173
The Festival in Wenchow
189
The Festival in Hangchow
207
BIBLIOGRAPHY
213
INDEX
249
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)

Paul R. Katz is a Assistant Professor in the Institute of History at National Central University in Taiwan.

Bibliographic information