Modern Theocracy? When an Incumbent Village Head Becomes New Boss of the Village Land Deity temple: Observation from Residents


Land Deity (aka. ‘Tudigong’ in Mandarin Chinese), according to Chinese folklore belief, is a spiritual chief of executive at the grass-roots level that protects every people in his locality, and almost enshrined every community or village in the island of Taiwan. On the other hand, a village head holds responsibility to accept complaints and suggestions, initiate and hold meetings, handout certificates of various sorts, encourage bill payments and assist filling out of government documents if required. This research proposes a common but difficult local administration paradox phenomenon: if the present village head has elected as a director of the village Land Deity Temple, the village residents, and village head election competitors’ attitude towards whether it harmed their faith purity and connotation of administration fairness under the circumstances of the concurrent village head seeks for a second term. For better understanding and ascertaining the respondents’ perceptions on such phenomena, we draw the implications through focus group discussion, descriptive statistics, and actual election results, Finally, this study finds a solution to balance the relationship between local administration and belief center.

Author Information
Kuo-Yan Wang, East China Jiao Tong University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Humanities - Political Science, Politics

This paper is part of the ACAH2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon