Shinto, indigenous religious beliefs and practices of Japan. [108], These three themes of the Chinese tradition—moral reciprocity, personal destiny, fateful coincidence—are completed by a fourth notion:[109], As part of the trinity of being (the Three Powers), humans are not totally submissive to spiritual force. Chinese folk religion must be considered in any study of Chinese people, even though it is difficult to define this religious form. [212] In village communities, religious services are often organised and led by local people themselves. [185] In this way, all natural bodies are believed to be able to attain supernatural attributes by acting according to the universal oneness. Chinese Taoists gradually penetrate within the indigenous religions of such peoples, in some cases working side by side with indigenous priests, in other cases taking over the latter's function and integrating them by requiring their ordination as Taoists. [59] Liebman described the rituals and beliefs of contemporary Jewish folk religion in his works, The Ambivalent American Jew (1973) and American Jewry: Identity and Affiliation. [220] The modern Chinese republic has given approval for Taoists to conduct such rituals since the 1990s, with the aim of protecting the country and the nation. [217], Both in past history and at the present, all sacrifices are assigned with both religious and political purposes. [54] Since the 1980s the central government moved to a policy of benign neglect or wu wei (Chinese: 無為) in regard to rural community life, and the local government's new regulatory relationship with local society is characterized by practical mutual dependence; these factors have given much space for popular religion to develop. Quote: "According to Dean, "in the rural sector... if one takes a rough figure of 1000 people per village living in 680,000 administrative villages and assume an average of two or three temples per village, one arrives at a figure of over 680 million villagers involved in some way with well over a million temples and their rituals". [112], The term xian ling may be interpreted as the god revealing his presence in a particular area and temple,[113] through events that are perceived as extraordinary, miraculous. The "Primordial Deity" or "Primordial Emperor" was considered to be embodied in the human realm as the lineage of imperial power. Taoists of the Zhengyi school, who are called sǎnjū dàoshi (Chinese: 散居道士) or huǒjū dàoshi (Chinese: 火居道士), respectively meaning "scattered daoshi" and "daoshi living at home (hearth)", because they can get married and perform the profession of priests as a part-time occupation, may perform rituals of offering (jiao), thanks-giving, propitiation, exorcism and rites of passage for local communities' temples and private homes. [113], Another example Zavidovskaya cites is the cult of the god Zhenwu in Congluo Yu, Shanxi;[116] the god's temples were in ruins and the cult inactive until the mid 1990s, when a man with terminal cancer, in his last hope prayed (bai Chinese: 拜) to Zhenwu. [134], Confucianism and Taoism—which are formalised, ritual, doctrinal or philosophical traditions—can be considered both as embedded within the larger category of Chinese religion, or as separate religions. [73] Di (Chinese: 帝) is a term meaning "deity" or "emperor" (Latin: imperator, verb im-perare; "making from within"), used either as a name of the primordial god or as a title of natural gods,[74] describing a principle that exerts a fatherly dominance over what it produces. One is Buddhism which came to China probably before the Christian era but which began to exert nation-wide influence only after the third century A.D. Chinese folk religion, folk Christianity, folk Hinduism, and folk Islam are examples of folk religion associated with major religions. [221] There are ritual passages for those who belong to a religious order of priests or monks, and there are the rituals of the stages in a life, the main four being birth, adulthood, marriage and death. This idea began with early eschatalogical aggadah and was then further developed by the kabbalists. In its interior, the temple enshrines a statue of Genghis Khan (at the center) and four of his men on each side (the total making nine, a symbolic number in Mongolian culture), there is an altar where offerings to the godly men are made, and three white suldes made with white horse hair. [note 17] The same survey says that 173 million (13%) practise Chinese folk religion in a Taoist framework. [103] In the Chinese traditional view of human destiny, the dichotomy between "fatalism" and "optimism" is overcome; human beings can shape their personal destiny to grasp their real worth in the transformation of the universe, seeing their place in the alliance with the gods and with Heaven to surpass the constraints of the physical body and mind. [188] In other words, in the Chinese tradition humans are or can be the medium between Heaven and Earth, and have the role of completing what had been initiated. The same survey has found that 2.2% (≈30 million) of the total population declares to be affiliated to one or another of the many folk religious sects. Fashi are defined as of "kataphatic" (filling) character in opposition to professional Taoists who are "kenotic" (of emptying, or apophatic, character). [10] This term was first employed by a German Lutheran preacher, Paul Drews, in a 1901 article that he published which was titled "Religiöse Volkskunde, eine Aufgabe der praktischen Theologie". The Tiandi teachings is a religion that encompasses two branches, the Holy Church of the Heavenly Virtue (Chinese: 天德聖教 Tiāndé shèngjiào) and the Church of the Heavenly Deity (Chinese: 天帝教 Tiāndìjiào), both emerged from the teachings of Xiao Changming and Li Yujie, disseminated in the early 20th century. Chinese folk religion, also known as popular religion, is a polyphyletic term used to describe the diversity of practices in areas generally termed "religion", of persons of Chinese heritage, including the Chinese diaspora. Chinese folk religion is a religion that has been practised in China for thousands of years. [185] Immortal beings are conceived as "constellations of qi", which is so vibrant in certain historical individuals that, upon the person's death, this qi nexus does not dissipate but persists, and is reinforced by living people's worship. [221], In the holistic view about nature and the human body and life, as macro and microcosmos, the life process of a human being is equated with the rhythm of seasons and cosmic changes. [20], The folklorist Leonard Norman Primiano argued that the use of "folk religion", as well as related terms like "popular religion" and "unofficial religion", by scholars, does "an extreme disservice" to the forms of religiosity that scholarship is examining, because – in his opinion – such terms are "residualistic, [and] derogatory". These ba'al shem promised to use their knowledge of the names of god, and the angels, along with exorcism, chiromancy, and herbal medicine to bring harm to enemies, and success in areas of social life such as marriage, and childbirth.[58]. In China, religious beliefs are evident in the Yangshao Culture of the Yellow River Valley, which prospered between 5000-3000 BCE. [14], Ancient Chinese "popular religion" or "folk religion" or "folk belief" have long been used to indicate the local and communal religious life and complexities of Han local indigenous cults of China in English-language academic literature, though the Chinese language historically has not had a concept or overarching name for this. [15] He also lamented that many U.S.-based folklorists also neglected the subject of religion because it did not fit within the standard genre-based system for cataloguing folklore. Rather than writing replacing the power of the spoken word, both existed side by side. [40], The prime criterion for participation in the ancient Chinese religion is not "to believe" in an official doctrine or dogma, but "to belong" to the local unit of an ancient Chinese religion, that is the "association", the "village" or the "kinship", with their gods and rituals. Definitions include "the Christianity practiced by a conquered people",[40] Christianity as most people live it – a term used to "overcome the division of beliefs into Orthodox and unorthodox",[41] Christianity as impacted by superstition as practiced by certain geographical Christian groups,[42] and Christianity defined "in cultural terms without reference to the theologies and histories."[43]. [83][84] In Taoism the Tao Chinese: 道 ("Way") denotes in one concept both the impersonal absolute Tian and its order of manifestation (li). [note 2], In Chinese tradition, there is not a clear distinction between the gods and their physical body or bodies (from stars to trees and animals);[185] the qualitative difference between the two seems not to have ever been emphasised. [141] Local gods of local cultures are often incorporated into their altars. [126] Kinship associations or churches (zōngzú xiéhuì Chinese: 宗族協會), congregating people with the same surname and belonging to the same kin, are the social expression of this religion: these lineage societies build temples where the deified ancestors of a certain group (for example the Chens or the Lins) are enshrined and worshiped. [28][29] In the 14th century, the Hongwu Emperor (Taizu of the Ming dynasty, 1328–1398) used the term “Shendao” clearly identifying the indigenous cults, which he strengthened and systematised. Most of them were Bantu -speaking people and were the ancestors of many South Africans, especially the Nguni groups like the Zulu and Xhosa. [7], Yoder described "folk religion" as existing "in a complex society in relation to and in tension with the organized religion(s) of that society. [223], Temples can be public, private (Chinese: 私廟 sìmiào) and household temples (Chinese: 家廟 jiāmiào). These temples are the "collective representation" of a group, and function as centers where religious, social and economic activities intersect.[226]. [117] At the same time, for faith to strengthen in the devotee's heart, the deity has to prove his or her efficacy. "; p. 33: "[...] the veneration in the north of ancient deities attested to in pre-Han sources, deities such as Nüwa, Fuxi and Shennong, the legendary founder of agriculture and herbal medicine. Therefore there is no place where gods and spirits do not exist". [125] Often deity societies incorporate entire villages; this is the reason why in north China can be found many villages which are named after deities and their temples, for example Léishénmiào village (Chinese: 雷神廟 "[Village of the] Temple of the Thunder God") or Mǎshénmiàocūn (Chinese: 馬神廟村 "Village of the Temple of the Horse God"). swung to the idea of a unified "ancient Chinese religion" that would define the Chinese national identity, similarly to Hinduism for India and Shinto for Japan. [116] Gods may also speak to people when they are asleep (tuomeng Chinese: 託夢).[113]. [218] Various sacrifices are intended to express gratitude toward the gods in the hope that spiritual blessing and protection will continue. [note 7], Taoist schools in particular espouse an explicit spiritual pathway which pushes the earthly beings to the edge of eternity. ", However, there is considerable discrepancy between what Chinese and Western cultures intend with the concepts of "belief", "existence" and "practice". [153], These movements were banned in the early Republican China and later Communist China. [139] In November 2015 a national Holy Confucian Church was established with the contribution of many Confucian leaders. [242], The most important deity among Southeast Asian Chinese is Mazu, the Queen of Heaven and goddess of the sea. [12] Over the coming decades, Georg Schreiber established an Institut für religiöse Volkskund in Munich while a similar department was established in Salzburg by Hanns Koren. [185] In doctrinal terms, the Chinese view of gods is related to the understanding of qi, the life force,[185] as the gods and their phenomenal productions are manifestations of it. [52], These policies were the background of those that were implemented in communist China after the Chinese Civil War between the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the democratic Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1949. Many ancient temples were destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion and the Boxer Rebellion in the late 1800s. Tai folk animist traditions have also been incorporated into Laotian Buddhism. [133], Nuo folk religion is a system of the Chinese folk religion with distinct institutions and cosmology present especially in central-southern China. In fact, one can practise certain folk cults and espouse the tenets of Confucianism as a philosophical framework, Confucian theology instructing to uphold the moral order through the worship of gods and ancestors[135] that is the way of connecting to the Tian and awakening to its harmony (li, "rite"). Another dimension of the Chinese folk religion is based on family or genealogical worship of deities and ancestors in family altars or private temples (simiao Chinese: 私廟 or jiamiao Chinese: 家廟), or ancestral shrines (citang Chinese: 祠堂 or zongci Chinese: 宗祠, or also zumiao Chinese: 祖廟). It involves worship of Gramadevata (village deity), Kuldevta (household deity) and local deities. [113] The ling qi, divine energy, is believed to accumulate in certain places, temples, making them holy. I, II, and III. [201] He is therefore described in the Shizi as the "Yellow Emperor with Four Faces" (Chinese: 黃帝四面 Huángdì Sìmiàn). [116] During the course of the opera, large white snakes appeared, passive and unafraid of the people, seemingly watching the opera; the snakes were considered by locals to be incarnations of Zhenwu, come to watch the opera held in his honour. The Three Patrons (Chinese: 三皇 Sānhuáng)—Fuxi, Nüwa and Shennong—are the "vertical" manifestation of the primordial God corresponding to the Three Realms (Chinese: 三界 Sānjiè), representing the yin and yang and the medium between them, that is the human being. [12], In the Americas, the study of folk religion developed among cultural anthropologists studying the syncretistic cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America. [127] These temples serve as centres of aggregation for people belonging to the same lineage, and the lineage body may provide a context of identification and mutual assistance for individual persons. [202] His human incarnation, the "Yellow Emperor (or Deity) of the Mysterious Origin" (Chinese: 軒轅黃帝 Xuānyuán Huángdì), is said to be the creator of the Huaxia civility, of marriage and morality, language and lineage, and patriarch of all the Chinese together with the Red Deity. [184] In Chinese language there is a terminological distinction between Chinese: 神 shén, Chinese: 帝 dì and Chinese: 仙 xiān. [113] Temples with a longer history are considered holier than newly built ones, which still need to be filled by divine energy. [90] In other texts, with a tradition going back to the Han period, the gods and spirits are explained to be names of yin and yang, forces of contraction and forces of growth. [37] Contrary to institutional religions, Chinese religion does not require "conversion" for participation. It has no leadership, headquarters, founder, or denominations. [115] The perceived effectiveness of a deity to protect or bless also determines how much he or she should be worshipped, how big a temple should be built in his or her honour, and what position in the broader pantheon he or she would attain. 'Book of the Way and its Virtue'), the Daozang (Taoist Canon), the Liezi and the Zhuangzi, and a great number of other texts either included or not within the Taoist Canon. [215] Involvement in the affairs of communal or intra-village temples are perceived by believers as ways for accumulating merit (gongde Chinese: 功德). [228] In north Chine they are also called Chinese: 賽會 sàihuì ("communal ritual gatherings") or Chinese: 香會 xiānghuì ("incense gatherings"), while a Chinese: 賽社 sàishè ("communal ritual body") is the association which organises such events and by extension it has become another name of the event itself. Another term now mostly associated with Buddhism is Chinese: 庵 ān, "thatched hut", originally a form of dwelling of monks later extended to mean monasteries. III, discussed throughout vols. [51] Various "anti-superstition" campaigns followed. In many cases the "lord of the she" was the god of the earth, and in others a deified virtuous person (xiān Chinese: 仙, "immortal"). [165], Vincent Goossaert has recently (2011) published a review of scholarly works which study "north China folk religion" as a distinct phenomenon. [89] The Yijing states that "spiritual means not measured by yin and yang". The mission of a shaman (Chinese: 巫 wu) is "to repair the dis-functionalities occurred in nature and generated after the sky had been separated from earth":[132], Since the 1980s the practice and study of shamanism has undergone a massive revival in Chinese religion as a means to repair the world to a harmonious whole after industrialisation. Tujia people deity, a representation of the ancient Chinese religion was subject to in. World falls into disruption, and after a believer piously requests aid these precolonial beliefs are held. The body of a melon fruit '' an folk religion founder of deities which are not into! Eds.. 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