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Folk Religion and Communities Relationship

Author: YaoWenZuo
Tutor: HuangShunLi
School: Xiamen University
Course: Modern Chinese History
Keywords: The Original Mazu Temple in Meizhou Mazu Cult Cross Taiwan Strait Exchange
CLC: K29
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 912
Quote: 1
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Abstract


This dissertation studies Mazu cult on Meizhou Island, based on the original Mazu temple in Meizhou, drawing on its dissemination and accumulation, and deciphering interrogations towards Mazu’s life stories. Meizhou, hometown of Mazu, stands for an irreplaceable status in Mazu cult. This research elaborates the impacts of folk religion on linking community relationship among areas, through the interaction of Mazu temples on Meizhou Island and the exchange with Taiwan.First of all, this study conducts literature review to investigate the genuinity of Mazu’s biography, and further to confirm the founder’s status of the original temple in Meizhou, to scrutinize Meizhou’s historical position and influences in Mazu cult. It also explores the historical facts of Mazu cult’s distribution and evolved versions of fortune lots adopted by the original Mazu temple. The interrelationship between intensity of Mazu cult dissemination and lot verses adopted verifies profound influences of the original temple in Meizhou. In addition, by means of field study, this research analyzes the relationship between the original temple and other Mazu temples on Meizhou Island, through the distribution of their locations, classification of Mazu temples and specification of labors and tasks in organizing regular events. An example applied here is NaoYuanXiao ceremony in January of lunar calendar, which explains the development and evolution of community interactions on Meizhou Island.Following the above arguments, the study discusses the mutual ties between Meizhou Island and Taiwan’s immigration society from a perspective of common folk religion. Their link fosters recent progress in indigenous economy and tourism, as well as cross Taiwan Strait cultural exchange. Furthermore, the community relationship and believers’ cognition within certain geographical space reflected in NaoYuanXiao ceremony is expected to act as a paradigm for future visits and exchange among Mazu temples in Taiwan and Fujian provinces.

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CLC: > History, geography > History of China > Local Chronicles
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