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4 Sectarian Religions and Globalization in Nineteenth-Century China: The Wanbao baojuan 萬寳寶卷 (1858) and Other Examples

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question of sectarian responses to the Christian influx and, by extension, to globalization by looking at one particular sectarian scripture and a limited number of other texts from the popular religious milieu. It argues that the production, distribution, and consumption of religious texts can be used as an indicator of globalization, and therefore, merits careful investigation. In the nineteenth century, Chinese readers had access to Christian primers, Biblical stories and narratives, Bible dictionaries, selections of scripture sentences, liturgical texts, as well as outlines of scripture and reading guides. In the author's view, scriptures such as the Wanbao baojuan suggest that sectarian groups actively competed in a religious market in which, fuelled by the vast amount of available Christian tracts, the production and circulation of scriptures was of key importance.

Keywords: Bible dictionaries; Chinese sectarian groups; globalization; religious scriptures; Wanbao baojuan



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