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Ritual Specialists

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces Daoist ritual masters, various kinds of spirit mediums, Three in One Scripture masters, Buddhist monks, Confucian masters of ceremony known in the Putian area as Yanshi, lay Buddhist ritualists of many initiatory movements, and a host of other ritual specialists involved in different aspects of ritual activity. Daoist ritual masters play the predominant role in conducting rituals in village temples during the Yuanxiao festival and for the birthdays of the gods. The Three in One religious movement has spread to over 1000 temples in the Putian and Xianyou area. Ritual specialists proliferate in the Putian plains, as elsewhere throughout Chinese society. Buddhist ritual specialists play an important role in some local village ritual events. Several lay Buddhist groups and so called secret religions can be found in the Putian plains. Participation in Christian communities requires the family or individual to refrain from involvement with village temple cults.

Keywords: Buddhist monks; Christian communities; Daoist ritual masters; lay Buddhist groups; Putian plains; ritual specialists; spirit mediums; Three in One Scripture masters



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