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Daoism and Popular Religion in the Song

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Chapter Summary

Chinese religious systems which have continued to modern times gradually took shape during the Song. Local temples became the center of religious life for country and urban folk, and Daoist, Confucian, and local gods were organized into an empire-wide pantheon in this period. There are also new trends in annual rites celebrated by temples and their organizations. In this period Confucian rites became common, but as they paid no attention to the fate of the dead in the other world, standard funeral rites came to include not only Confucian but also Daoist and Buddhist rites. New forms of Daoist exorcism appeared. Commonly referred to as thunder rites or rites of the Heart of Heaven, these rites are closely related to the organization of the pantheon by the imperial court and the establishment of Heavenly Master hegemony in south China.



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