Read e-book online Society and the Supernatural in Song China PDF

By Edward L. Davis

ISBN-10: 0585479720

ISBN-13: 9780585479729

ISBN-10: 0824823109

ISBN-13: 9780824823108

Society and the Supernatural in music China is instantly a meticulous exam of spirit ownership and exorcism within the 12th and 13th centuries and a social background of the total panoply of China's spiritual practices and practitioners for the time being while she used to be poised to dominate the area financial system. even if the music dynasty (960-1276) is frequently pointed out with the institution of Confucian orthodoxy, Edward Davis demonstrates the renewed energy of the dynasty's Taoist, Buddhist, and native non secular traditions. He charts the increase of countless numbers of recent temple-cults and the lineages of clerical exorcists and vernacular clergymen; the more and more aggressive interplay between all practitioners of healing ritual; and the extensive social variety in their buyers and consumers.

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47 I refer to the content of this collection repeatedly in the course of this book. For the moment, what needs to be said is that each of these lineages was associated with one or more martial deities generally referred to as “Generals” ( jiang jun), “Prime Marshals” (yuanshuai), or “Spiritual Officers” (lingguan). The Daoist practitioner—the Ritual Master ( fashi ) or Ritual Officer ( faguan)— controlled these deities by means of registers, talismans, spells, and seals in order to dispel demons from an individual, family, or community.

It was this function that would highly recommend Thunder Magic to Song magistrates. Second, thunder became bureaucratized and cosmologized. On the one hand, the various schools of Thunder Magic created complex systems of imperial courts, departments, and prisons, infinitely tesserated hierarchies of officials, spirit-generals and -soldiers, and mythic genealogies linking all these to the supreme divinities of the Daoist heavens. On the other hand, thunder was transformed from a manifestation of nature into the controlling power of the cosmos itself, the pivot of Heaven and Earth and the power of transformation behind the continuous alternation of yin and yang.

86 Demon Statutes, and the related “ Writings on Law” ( fawen), continued to be produced by the Orthodox Unity tradition. They were also produced, however, by some of the new therapeutic movements of the Song. 87 This code, in a slightly abridged form, was reproduced as chapter 6 of The Secret Essentials of Unified Perfection by Yuan Miaozong. 88 If the presence of such Demon Statutes among the new movements speaks to their continuity with the Orthodox Unity tradition, and in some cases provides further evidence for its direct influence, an analysis of the content of these Song codes reveals the extent to which we have entered an entirely different world.

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Society and the Supernatural in Song China by Edward L. Davis


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