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Temples And Literati Communities In Late Ming Ji'An

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Chapter Summary

In 1571, a group of elders and landowners gathered in a Zhenwu 真武 shrine. The shrine was located in a mountain range called Western Hua, sometimes referred to as the Huagai Mountains, bordering on the Qingyuan Mountains in Ji’an county. The elders were planning the restoration of a Daoist cultic centre known as Chongxian Abbey 崇先觀. The elders asked Wang Mingchen to provide a text. The text includes details about the temple’s more recent history and about the people involved in the restoration, and ends with some reflective observations about the wider significance of the worship in the late Tang dynasty. The text is quite different from the texts originating in the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties, as well as from earlier Ming texts. Southern Song and Yuan texts frequently cast their literati authors in the role of active participants in the religious communities they describe.

Keywords: late Ming Ji’an; literati communities; Southern Song; temples; Wang Mingchen; Yuan dynasties; Zhenwu 真武 shrine



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