Asian Ritual Systems
Syncretisms and Ruptures
308 pp $40.00
This unique set of essays explores the multiple ways in which ritual practices have responded to, or have been a part of, historical and political changes. Particular chapters on China deal with the revival of festivals in Pucheng, Zhejiang Province (Paul Katz); the Emperor Huizong's musical insignia (Joseph Lam); music and rituals for Hong Kong's reunion with the Mainland (Yu Siu Wah); Christianity in nineteenth century South China (Joseph Tse-Hei Lee); and refusal by Buddhists and Christians to bow to the Emperor (Eric Reinders). Chapters on Taiwan discuss cultural revival movements (Stewart and Strathern); a Daoist master's performances (Marc Moskowitz); history in spirit-writing morality books (Philip Clart); and the cult of a female figure, Wang Yulan, on Jinmen Island (Michael Szonyi). Vesna Wallace's chapter is on transformations in Indian Tantric Buddhism. Throughout, the emphasis in this book is on complex connections between ritual, state politics, and changing senses of local and personal identity.
This book is part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series, edited by Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh.
"This [is a] rich, interdisciplinary collection of essays....Scholars working on Asian religion and ritual will obviously find this volume useful. But the book should also appeal to those who have a comparativist interest in the social embeddedness of rituals and how rituals and religious conceptions inform and are in turn informed by historical changes." — Anthropos, October 2008
"One of the strengths of this book is its consciousness of the larger sociopolitical contexts in which rituals are embedded." — Yew-Foong Hui, The Journal of Asian Studies