New publication “The Temple and its Actors: Religious Institutions and Urban Communities in China from the Ming and Qing Dynasties to the Republican Era”

Lü Min (Marianne Bujard), Lu Kang (Luca Gabbiani) (eds.), Xianghuo xinyuan: Ming Qing zhi Minguo shiqi Zhongguo chengshi de simiao yu shimin 香火新緣:明清至民國時期中國城市的寺廟與市民 (The Temple and its Actors: Religious Institutions and Urban Communities in China from the Ming and Qing Dynasties to the Republican Era), Beijing, Zhongxin chuban jituan, 2018 ISBN: 9787508673257.

This book is the outcome of an international conference which took place in 2009 at Beijing Normal University (Beijing shifan daxue). 

It is dedicated to the memory of Li Shiyu (1922-2010), a great specialist of the study of religion in China, and begins with the In Memoriam written for him by his longstanding friend, Susan Naquin. The volume includes seventeen articles by Chinese, Taiwanese and French specialists, devoted to various aspects of religious life in urban environments from the Ming dynasty to the Republican era, including some insights on the contemporary period. Among the topics examined by the authors of the volume one can find, for example, the role and activities of members of the imperial bureaucracy in religious institutions, the legal status of temples and of their real estate properties, the nexus of power which prevailed in different places of worship, or the complex relation in urban settings between divine and human justice. The second part of the volume is composed by a series of case studies, which seek to shed light on the history of individual religious institutions and on the links they established with urban residents in general, and more specifically with the inhabitants of the neighbourhoods in which they were located. Mainly devoted to northern China and Beijing, this book provides a first longue durée overview of the role and position of temples in the history of China’s urban environment.

Detailed presentation in Chinese


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