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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book presents an overview on modern Chinese religion I, during the period of Song-Liao-Jin-Yuan (960-1368 AD) dynasties. Under the influence of both esoteric Buddhism 密宗 and Daoist Neidan 內丹 (symbolic alchemy), Tiantai Buddhism and Zhengyi 正 一 (Orthodox Unity) Daoism produce vast ritual syntheses that not only transform the relationship between them and medium-based popular religion but continue to define their respective ritual traditions right down to the present. Changes in the religious realm, meanwhile, are also manifest in law, medicine, the economy, and politics, where the same forces of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are operative. The Yuan had a major impact on Buddhist and Confucian history. Buddhist and Daoist funeral and exorcistic rituals had become popular to the point of inevitability.

Keywords: Chinese religion; Confucian history; Daoism; esoteric Buddhism

10.1163/9789004271647_002
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