Rumblings From the Past: How Old Chinese New Religions Echo Down to the Present


Religious movements are not new in Chinese history. Chinese history is full of organized religious groups of all varieties, from Daoist quasi-states to intellectual currents that took root in popular culture. Although they are often overshadowed by the Big Three traditions, the constant presence of these movements n Chinese history are a constant reminder of the power of religious fervor. This paper considers three movements that had important impact on Chinese society. The first, the Way of the Celestial Masters, was one of the first organized Daoist religious groups—according to some, it was the progenitor of religious Daoism. The second, the Teachings of Patriarch Luo, is a strain of religious thought that left a powerful mark on later popular religions in the Ming and Qing. And the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom was a militant uprising based on Christianity that nearly toppled the imperial regime in the mid-1800s. After describing each of the three the paper focuses on how they have been interpreted by subsequent writers. Most importantly, we summarize what kind of influence these examples may continue to exert over state religious policy.

Author Information
Edward Irons, The Hong Kong Institute for Culture, Commerce and Religion, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2019
Stream: Religion - Comparative Religion

This paper is part of the ACERP2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon