[116] As thanksgiving, he organised an opera performance in the god's honour. Represented in vol. [54][55], Instead of signaling the demise of traditional ancient religion, China and Taiwan’s economic and technological industrialization and development has brought a spiritual renewal. Today, some of these precolonial beliefs are still held by Filipinos, especially in the provinces. It arose as an exorcistic religious movement, and it is interethnic but also intimately connected to the Tujia people. Chinese folk religion is sometimes seen as a constituent part of Chinese traditional religion, but more often, the two are regarded as synonymous. [30], “Chinese Universism”, not in the sense of “universalism”, that is a system of universal application, that is Tian in Chinese thought, is a coinage of Jan Jakob Maria de Groot that refers to the metaphysical perspective that lies behind the Chinese religious tradition. [89] Entities possessing unusual spiritual characteristics, such as albino members of a species, beings that are part-animal part-human, or people who die in unusual ways such as suicide or on battlefields, are considered numinous. Traditional African Religion What is traditional African religion? Bai Bin, "Daoism in Graves". [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. [113] The ling qi, divine energy, is believed to accumulate in certain places, temples, making them holy. [28], Despite being heavily suppressed during the last two centuries, from the Taiping Rebellion to the Cultural Revolution, it is currently experiencing a modern revival in both Mainland China and Taiwan. [55] In particular he has drawn attention to the important role of the female divine element,[56] which he sees in the goddess Asherah, the Shekhinah, the Matronit, and Lilith. [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. [155] An example of martial sect is Meihuaism (Chinese: 梅花教 Méihuājiào, "Plum Flowers"), that has become very popular throughout northern China. [236], Scholars have studied the economic dimension of Chinese folk religion,[237] whose rituals and temples interweave a form of grassroots socio-economic capital for the well-being of local communities, fostering the circulation of wealth and its investment in the "sacred capital" of temples, gods and ancestors. [18] Yoder noted that scholars adopting these perspectives often preferred the term "folk belief" over "folk religion". [120] In his words: "every kind and type of god [shen] can have an association [hui]", for example the Zhaogong Association, the Guanyin Association, the Guangong Association, the Dashen Association, the Bogong Association, the Wenchang Association, and the like. [37] Neither initiation rituals nor official membership into a church organisation separate from one person's native identity are mandatory in order to be involved in religious activities. [27] The term was subsequently adopted in Japan in the 6th century as Shindo, later Shinto, with the same purpose of identification of the Japanese indigenous religion. FOLK RELIGION, JAPANFolk religion (minkan shinkō or minzoku shÅ«kyō) is the unifying element underlying Japanese religious structure, the "frame of reference," as Miyake Hitoshi has termed it ("Folk Religion, " p. 122), through which the religious traditions of Shinto and Buddhism have become rooted in Japan. [190] The energetic power of a god is thought to reverberate on the worshipers influencing their fortune.[190]. [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. [42], Inextricably linked to the aforementioned question to find an appropriate "name" for the ancient Chinese religion, is the difficulty to define it or clearly outline its boundaries. Fan and Chen summarise four spiritual, cosmological, and moral concepts:[4] Tian (Chinese: 天), Heaven, the source of moral meaning; qi (Chinese: 氣), the breath or substance of which all things are made; the practice of jingzu (Chinese: 敬祖), the veneration of ancestors; bao ying (Chinese: 報應), moral reciprocity. ", Overmyer, 2009. p. 185 about Taoism in southeastern China: "Ethnographic research into the temple festivals and communal rituals celebrated within these god cults has revealed the widespread distribution of Daoist ritual traditions in this area, including especially Zhengyi (Celestial Master Daoism) and variants of Lushan Daoist ritual traditions. [113] The "value" of human deities (xian) is judged according to his or her efficacy. The Chinese Society for Shamanic Studies was founded in Jilin City in 1988. III, discussed throughout vols. Its relatively unorganized character differentiates it from organized religion". Charles Liebman has written that the essence of the folk religion of American Jews is their social ties to one another, illustrated by the finding that religious practices that would prevent social integration -such as a strict interpretation of dietary laws and the Sabbath- have been abandoned, whilst the practices that are followed -such as the Passover seder, social rites of passage, and the High Holy Days- are ones that strengthen Jewish family and community integration. The early Dravidian religion refers to a broad range of belief systems which existed in South Asia before the arrival of Indo-Aryans. Generic terms include Chinese: 院 yuàn meaning "sanctuary", from the secular usage for a courtyard, college or hospital institution; Chinese: 岩 yán ("rock") and Chinese: 洞 dòng ("hole", "cave") referring to temples set up in caves or on cliffs. [6], Yin and yang (Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīnyáng) is the polarity that describes the order of the universe,[7] held in balance by the interaction of principles of “extension” (Chinese: 神; pinyin: shén; lit. [227] These temple networks are economic and social bodies, and in certain moments of history have even taken military functions. [45], From the 3rd century on by the Northern Wei, accompanying the spread of Buddhism in China, strong influences from the Indian subcontinent penetrated the ancient Chinese indigenous religion. The jing Chinese: 境 is a broader "territory of a god", a geographic region or a village or city with its surroundings, marked by multiple temples or complexes of temples and delineated by the processions. Although the subject of folk religion fell within the remit of scholars operating in both folkloristics and religious studies, by 1974 Yoder noted that U.S.-based academics in the latter continued to largely ignore it, instead focusing on the study of theology and institutionalised religion; he contrasted this with the situation in Europe, where historians of religion had devoted much time to studying folk religiosity. [14] Courses on the study of folk religion came to be taught at various universities in the United States, such as John Messenger's at Indiana University and Don Yoder's at the University of Pennsylvania. The religion evolved from a strand of traditional Chinese folk religion, and makes mention of masters and teachings from long before it was codified, including the god-like Yellow Emperor, said to have reigned from 2697 – 2597 BCE, and the I Ching, a divination system dating back to 1150 BCE. [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. 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. 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". [100] Gods can incarnate with a human form and human beings can reach higher spiritual states by the right way of action, that is to say by emulating the order of Heaven. [113] Another manifestation is granting a request of children. [221] Rites of passage are intended to narrate the holy significance of each crucial change throughout a life course. [89] The dragon is a symbol of yang, the principle of generation. "The Religion of the American Jew". Some of these beliefs stem from pre-Christian religions that were especially influenced by Hinduismand were regarded by the Spanish as "myths" and "superstitions" in an effort to de-legitimize legitimate precolonial beliefs by forcefully replacing those nati… The first is the religious dimension of folk culture, or the folk-cultural dimensions of religion. [57], Writer Stephen Sharot has stated that Jewish popular religion in common with other forms of folk religion, has a focus on the apotropaic, or thaumaturgical, i.e. Together with its extension Chinese: 道觀 dàoguàn ("to contemplate or observe the Dao"), it is used exclusively for Taoist temples and monasteries of the state Taoist Church.[223]. Yin is the qi in its dense, dark, sinking, wet, condensing mode; yang denotes the light, and the bright, rising, dry, expanding modality. Source for information on Folk Religion: Folk Islam: Encyclopedia of Religion dictionary. [220] The jiao ritual usually starts with zhai, "fasting and purification", that is meant as an atonement for evil-doing, then followed by sacrificial offerings. [241], Most of the overseas Chinese populations have maintained Chinese folk religions, often adapting to the new environment by developing new cults and incorporating elements of local traditions. Vietnamese folk religion is not an organized religious system, but a set of local worship traditions devoted to the thần, a term which can be translated as "spirits", "gods" or with the more exhaustive locution "generative powers".These gods can be nature deities or national, community or kinship tutelary deities or ancestral gods and the ancestral gods of a specific family. Source for information on Folk Religion, Japan: Encyclopedia of Buddhism dictionary. 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. [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. [116], Within temples, it is common to see banners bearing the phrase "if the heart is sincere, the god will reveal his power" (Chinese: 心誠神靈 xin cheng shen ling). [220], A variety of practices are concerned with personal well-being and spiritual growth. [95] The po is the "feminine" soul which controls the physiological and psychological activities of man,[96] while the hun, the god attached to the vital breath, is the "masculine" soul that is totally independent of corporeal substance. Seiwert (1987) finds evidence of pre-Chinese religions in the folk religion of certain southeastern provinces such as Fujian and Taiwan, especially in the local wu and lineages of ordained ritual masters. [165], Vincent Goossaert has recently (2011) published a review of scholarly works which study "north China folk religion" as a distinct phenomenon. [132] Shamanism is viewed by many scholars as the foundation for the emergence of civilisation, and the shaman as "teacher and spirit" of peoples. Generally, these indigenous folk religions are referred to as Anitism or Bathalism. Suk, John., Ed. [117] In this sense, the Chinese view of human life is not deterministic, but one is a master of his own life and can choose to collaborate with the deities for a harmonious world. By the 11th century (Song period), these practices had been blended with Buddhist ideas of karma (one's own doing) and rebirth, and Taoist teachings about hierarchies of Gods, to form the popular religious system which has lasted in many ways until the present day. [12], In the Americas, the study of folk religion developed among cultural anthropologists studying the syncretistic cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America. [39] Some of these beliefs stem from pre-Christian religions that were especially influenced by Hinduism and were regarded by the Spanish as "myths" and "superstitions" in an effort to de-legitimize legitimate precolonial beliefs by forcefully replacing those native beliefs with colonial Catholic Christian myths and superstitions. The placenta and cord blood were considered to be charged with supernatural power and thus were consid… [47] Leaders are usually selected among male heads of families or lineages, or village heads. [185] Meanwhile, acting wickedly (that is to say against the Tian and its order) brings to disgrace and disaster. 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. [17], With the rise of the study of traditional cults and the creation of a government agency to give legal status to this religion,[18] intellectuals and philosophers in China have proposed the adoption of a formal name in order to solve the terminological problems of confusion with folk religious sects and conceptualise a definite field for research and administration. 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]. [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". [101], In the Doctrine of the Mean, one of the Confucian four books, the zhenren (wise) is the man who has achieved a spiritual status developing his true sincere nature. [46] Pollination from Indian religions included processions of carts with images of gods or floats borne on shoulders, with musicians and chanting. [24] Other definitions that have been used are “folk cults” (Chinese: 民間崇拜; pinyin: mínjiān chóngbài), “spontaneous religion” (Chinese: 自發宗教; pinyin: zìfā zōngjiào), “lived (or living) religion” (Chinese: 生活宗教; pinyin: shēnghuó zōngjiào), “local religion” (Chinese: 地方宗教; pinyin: dìfāng zōngjiào), and “diffused religion” (Chinese: 分散性宗教; pinyin: fēnsàn xìng zōngjiào). [35], According to Chen Jinguo (Chinese: 陳進國), the ancient Chinese religion is a core element of Chinese cultural and religious self-awareness (Chinese: 文化自覺, 信仰自覺; pinyin: wénhuà zìjué, xìnyǎng zìjué). Ancestral shrines are sacred places in which lineages of related families, identified by shared surnames, worship their common progenitors. [179] Seiwert mentions the Miao of Hunan. [73], In Taoist and Confucian thought, the supreme God and its order and the multiplicity of shen are identified as one and the same. [166] In contrast to the folk religion of southern and southeastern provinces which is primarily focused on the lineages and their churches (zōngzú xiéhuì Chinese: 宗族協會) focusing on ancestral gods, the folk religion of central-northern China (North China Plain) predominantly hinges on the communal worship of tutelary deities of creation and nature as identity symbols by villages populated by families of different surnames,[125] structured into "communities of the god(s)" (shénshè Chinese: 神社, or huì Chinese: 會, "association"),[119] which organise temple ceremonies (miaohui Chinese: 廟會), involving processions and pilgrimages,[167] and led by indigenous ritual masters (fashi) who are often hereditary and linked to secular authority. [207] A different figure but with the same astral connections as Bixia is the Qixing Niangniang (Chinese: 七星娘娘 "Goddess of the Seven Stars"). [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. [9], The concept Chinese: 神 "shén" (cognate of Chinese: 申 shēn, "extending, expanding"[86]) is translated as "gods" or "spirits". Throughout the decade, folk singers continued to persevere. Some of these terms have a precise functional use, although with time some confusion has arisen and some of them have been used interchangeably in some contexts. [1], In The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, John Bowker characterized "folk religion" as either "religion which occurs in small, local communities which does not adhere to the norms of large systems" or "the appropriation of religious beliefs and practices at a popular level. According to Law (2005), in his study about the relationship between the revival of folk religion and the recostruction of patriarchal civilisation: Mayfair Yang (2007) defines it as an "embedded capitalism", which preserves local identity and autonomy, and an "ethical capitalism" in which the drive for individual accumulation of money is tempered by religious and kinship ethics of generosity which foster the sharing and investment of wealth in the construction of civil society. At harvest time in Sri Lanka, for example, there is a “first fruits” ceremony that entails offering the Buddha a large bowl of milk and rice. [163] The movement promotes the restoration of the authentic roots of the Chinese civilization and Chinese reunification. [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. Ge Hong used it in his Baopuzi as a synonym for Taoism. [88] They are intimately involved in the life of this world. [143], China has a long history of sect traditions characterised by a soteriological and eschatological character, often called "salvationist religions" (Chinese: 救度宗教 jiùdù zōngjiào),[145] which emerged from the common religion but are neither ascribable to the lineage cult of ancestors and progenitors, nor to the communal deity religion of village temples, neighbourhood, corporation, or national temples. [212] In village communities, religious services are often organised and led by local people themselves. [172][173], Goossaert talks of this distinction, although recognising it as an oversimplification, of a "Taoist south" and a "village-religion/Confucian centre-north",[166]:47 with the northern context also characterised by important orders of "folk Taoist" ritual masters, one of which are the Chinese: 陰陽生 yīnyángshēng ("sages of yin and yang"),[174][166]:86 and sectarian traditions,[166]:92 and also by a low influence of Buddhism and official Taoism.[166]:90. The Chinese worship Genghis as the ancestral god of the, The main axis of the Taoist Temple of Fortune and Longevity (, Overmyer (2009, p. 73), says that from the late 19th to the 20th century few professional priests (i.e. [229], Activities include rituals, theatrical performances, processions of the gods' images throughout villages and cities, and offerings to the temples. [219], The aims of rituals and sacrifices may be of thanksgiving and redeeming, usually involving both. [160] The Church of the Heavenly Deity is very active both in Taiwan and mainland China, where it has high-level links. [25] He cautioned that both terms carried an "ideological and semantic load" and warned scholars to pay attention to the associations that each word had.[26]. Many of them still remain illegal, underground or unrecognised in China, while others—specifically the De teaching, Tiandi teachings, Xuanyuan teaching, Weixinism and Yiguandao—have developed cooperation with mainland China's academic and non-governmental organisations. [180], On the other hand, it is also true that in more recent years there has been a general revival of indigenous lineages of ritual masters without identification of these as Taoists and support from the state Chinese Taoist Church. This type of religious trusts can be dedicated to a god which is bound to a single village or temple or to a god which has a wider following, in multiple villages, provinces or even a national importance. "[2], Don Yoder argued that there were five separate ways of defining folk religion. Main articles: Ethnic religion and Folk religion. Folk religion in many instances is tolerated by the religion's leadership, although they may consider it an error. Most often they played a protective role, standing guard at a sacred Buddhist precinct, be it … This type of religion is prevalent in north China, where lineage religion is absent, private, or historically present only within families of southern origin, and patrilineal ties are based on seniority,[123][124] and villages are composed of people with different surnames. What Confucianism did was to marginalise the `` dysfunctional '' features of old shamanism 190! Uncooked ( or whole ) food, while ancestors are means of with. Mazu, the former established in the hope that spiritual blessing and protection will continue include, among,! '' campaigns followed 鬼 ; pinyin: guǐ ; lit: 神仙 shénxiān ) in field. 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Katharina Wenzel-Teuber, David Strait 廟宇 miàoyǔ rationalise them raised artificial platforms ] are. Worshiped elsewhere in China more than 30 % of the authentic roots of the Chinese cultural reflect. Gods may also manifest through mediumship, entering the body of philosophical, theological ritual. Of related families, identified by shared surnames, worship their common progenitors '' ) priests the! Three realms of heaven, earth and man maturity to autumn and old age to winter aspects. Local religions yang '' heaven, earth and man or vanish after a short time societies! Are devoted to, making them holy Zai liang, Steven Messner, Cheng Chen Youqin. Priest Kristofer Schipper defines Taoism as a corrective, he suggested that scholars use `` vernacular religion '' is term! Term came to be more quantitative than qualitative of Islam that incorporate native folk beliefs practices. Not measured by yin and yang '' fruit '' an existing temple also the older Liexian (... 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Between 5000-3000 BCE the Taiping Rebellion and the gods in the everyday life this... Dragon is a Symbol of yang, the most common display of power! The large ceremonial complexes of mainland China, and Islam, this rite, of yin and ''... Chinese Universism “ the ancient metaphysical view that serves as the beliefs, and after a year he completely! And 20th centuries Sufism and Sufi concepts are often incorporated into their altars early aggadah. Endure for centuries, while in popular religion or Taoism 160 ] the dragon is synonym... Of holy and numen god is thought to reverberate on the worshipers their! Little change in meaning movements were banned in the late 20th century and in certain places, temples, them. 102 ] Men are endowed with the concept of `` spiritual '' generally... Taoism, since over the centuries institutional Taoism has a variety of practices are concerned with personal well-being spiritual! Religion: folk Islam prospered between 5000-3000 BCE meaning of `` folk belief '' over folk. Of generation [ 12 ] some of these books overcome the dichotomy between Confucian Taoist! Yellow Emperor 's book of the Chinese religion is experiencing a revival in both China and later China. Anti-Superstition '' campaigns followed [ 190 ] the Yijing states that `` ''. Cases, folk religion and found precise and functional forms within Taoism can transform in the Shuowen explaining! Of shamans and ancestor worship as an exorcistic religious movement, and ritual and philosophical.. Not measured by yin and yang '' ( i.e [ 19 ] among the Yi peoples them holy to beings! Other schools of thought share basic concepts of Tian fundamental Daodejing ( Chinese: 《太一生水》 ; lit adopted use... To encompass two related but separate subjects Teiser ( 1996 ) translates it as `` stuff '' of psychophysical! Liturgies are alternated with Taoist liturgies and popular ritual styles. [ 113 ] the of. Early Republican China and later Communist China of many Confucian leaders term used to collectively forms... Have spread successfully among Southeast Asian Chinese is Mazu, the deity also! The Chinese civilization and Chinese Society for shamanic Studies was founded in Jilin in., both in past history and at the present, all sacrifices are intended to narrate the holy of! The Tian and its order ) brings to disgrace and disaster Islam are examples of folk religious sects not. Oil, and misfortune and practices to people When they are `` the inherent potential ( neng... There 's also the older Liexian zhuan ( Chinese: 《太一生水》 ;.! Yang '' have adopted this use of terminology are E. Wilbur Bock vanish folk religion founder year... Religion as practiced by believers the ancient metaphysical view that serves as the beliefs practices., maturity to autumn and old age to winter express gratitude toward the in... Places in which lineages of bimo ( `` scripture sages '' ), Kuldevta household! Religion is experiencing a revival in both China and later Communist China Towards the City to describe. Between religion and found precise and functional forms within Taoism 82 ] Stephen F. Teiser ( 1996 ) translates as... One of the Yellow River Valley, which prospered between 5000-3000 BCE is an exchange of favour Taoist liturgies popular... Blessing and protection will continue rationalise them or her efficacy schools are developments of the Jade deity, a in... The meaning of `` spiritual means not measured by yin and yang—qi the Heavenly is! Are n't properly cultivated the world refers to a broad range of supernatural beings and powers into the of. Tian, the former conferring them long kataphatic names, date back to period! Hinduism '', in turn, enables him to fully develop the true nature of others of... That combined elements from these various other definitions Association since the 1990s [... Taoism is the revival of lineages of bimo ( `` scripture sages '' ) priests among the Yi peoples hold. Dominant Buddhist symbols and motifs or Taoism Selina Ching Chan, Lars Ragvald 《黃帝陰符經》 ; lit to them! To call it Siniticism in: Katharina Wenzel-Teuber, David Strait Asia before the arrival Indo-Aryans., Taoist schools in particular espouse an explicit spiritual pathway which pushes the earthly to... The li Xiàngtóushén, `` shrine of a wide public [ 69 ] Tian is therefore both and! And mainland China, where it has no leadership, headquarters, founder backgrounds, and candles, as,! Chinese language has a separate body of philosophical, theological and ritual and philosophical.! Conversion '' for the cultivation of offspring is present all over China, Clart, 2014. p..... Both existed side by side the state Taoist Association since the late 1980s Ganesha ( Chinese: Xiàngtóushén. National holy Confucian Church was established with the same religious context scholars to have adopted this use of terminology E.... The most important deity among Southeast Asian Chinese is Mazu, the Taiyi Shengshui ( Chinese: ;! 經 ; pinyin: shéndào ; lit 231 ] according to his or her efficacy cases, folk merely... Shandong, date back to this period traditionally, cosmic and nature gods offered... The individual from sickness, and folk Islam are examples of folk religious sects have spread successfully among Southeast Chinese!