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Ancestress Worship: Huxin Temple and the Literati Community in Late Ming Ningbo

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This article examines a lawsuit over a local temple called Huxin Temple as a way to discuss the conflicts caused by Buddhist devotion by women within family-centered rituals in seventeenth-century Ningbo. Since two sisters from the prominent Yuan family had donated their dowries to Huxin Temple during the Southern Song period, the Yuans had patronized the temple, until another prestigious family, the Zhangs, took it over. The article argues that the Yuans needed to shift their focus from the Yuan sisters to Yuan Yong, another ancestor of the Yuans, in order to win the lawsuit. The outcome of the lawsuit also demonstrates that the pious ancestresses vanished from the public discourse and were replaced by the Song loyalist Yuan Yong.

Affiliations: 1: Johns Hopkins University


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