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6 - Religious Transformations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 July 2023

Linda Walton
Affiliation:
Portland State University
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Summary

Religion between the tenth and thirteenth centuries is a rich fabric of Buddhist and Daoist institutional warp threads interwoven with the weft of manifold local deities and religious practices. This period witnessed dramatic sectarian developments in institutionalized Buddhism and Daoism as well as an explosion of popular beliefs and practices.Official scrutiny of such religious activities at times led to suppression of what the state labeled “profane cults.” But there were few, if any, impermeable barriers between so-called “elite” and “popular” religions: clerical religions intersected with localized beliefs, and both personal and professional relationships between clergy and the scholar-official elite were commonplace. The economic and social transformations of the Song created new needs and relationships between spirits and supplicants, leading to what one scholar has called the “vernacularization” of religious practice. Buddhism intersected with empire, especially among the Khitan Liao and Tangut Xi Xia, the rulers of which promoted and patronized Buddhism. As new sectarian developments in Buddhism drew masses to congregational, faith-based practices, Chan monastic institutions also flourished. Daoism acquired influence at the Song court through patronage by more than one emperor, and experienced a renaissance through ritual reform and the transmission and canonization of religious texts.

Type
Chapter
Information
Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
A New History
, pp. 143 - 166
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Religious Transformations
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.007
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  • Religious Transformations
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.007
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Religious Transformations
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.007
Available formats
×