Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Nation-State, the Contract Responsibility System, and the Economy of Temple Incense: The Politics and Economics of a Temple Festival on a Landscaped Holy Mountain (民族国家、承包制与香火经济:景区化圣山庙会的政治-经济学)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Belief practices in mainland China have been subject to contracts as a result of a combination of factors: politics, economic growth, cultural development, and historic preservation. Thanks to the investigative reporting of the media, “contracting out belief” has lost all legitimacy on the level of politics, culture, religion, administration, and morality. The economy of temple incense has been relentlessly criticized for the same reason. In recent decades, Mount Cangyan, in Hebei, has changed from being a sacred site of pilgrimage to a landscaped tourist attraction. At the same time, the Mount Cangyan temple festival, which centers on the worship of the Third Princess, has gained legitimacy on a practical level. Conventional and newly emerged agents, such as beggars, charlatans, spirit mediums, do-gooders, and contractors of the temple, are actively involved in the thriving temple festival, competing, and sometimes cooperating, with each other. However, it is for the sake of maximizing profit that landscaped Mount Cangyan under the contract responsibility system has been re-sanctified around the worship of the Third Princess along with other, new gods and attractions. The iconic temple festival on this holy mountain has influenced other temple festivals in various nearby communities. The leading temple festival on Mount Cangyan entails a complicated social morphology and human geography. The economy of temple incense centering on belief in the Third Princess, i.e., the contracted out belief, has become a major part of local tourism and is intertwined with grand narratives such as pursuing national prosperity. The dialectics of the contracting and the contracted involve multidirectional interaction between individuals, local society, the state, and the temple and its deity. This article investigates the contracted and landscaped temple festival on the holy mountain of Cangyan in the context of everyday life and changing society. 在政治建构、经济发展、文化建设、文物保护的合力下,“被承包的信仰”早已成为普遍的社会事实。受从果到因的逻辑推理的规训,媒介写作中的“被承包的信仰”完全丧失了在政治、文化、宗教、行政管理以及道义等层面的合理性、正当性,香火经济也成为口诛笔伐的对象。近三十年来,圣山的景区化建设与管理使得原本作为信仰中心地的苍岩山旅游风景区的景观色彩日渐浓厚。与此同时,以三皇姑信仰为核心的苍岩山庙会也具有了事实上的合理性、合法性。乞丐、江湖术士、香头、行好的和庙主等新、老行动主体纷纷掺乎其中,竞争也妥协,庙会热闹而红火。为求利益最大化,承包制经营管理的模式使得景区化的圣山苍岩山更加倚重三皇姑信仰,从而使得景区化的圣山被再圣化,并滋生出新的神祇、景观。图像化的圣山庙会历时性地呈现出复杂的社会形态学和人文地理学特征,统括着圣山上下形态各异、或生或灭的大小社区型庙会。最终,围绕三皇姑信仰的香火经济——被承包的信仰——事实上成为地方旅游经济的龙头,并与兴国兴邦的民族国家发展的宏大叙事一道携手前行。呈现出承包与被承包多重辩证法的景区化圣山庙会也就有了在生活之流,尤其是社会之流中研究的应然与必然。 (This article is in English.)

Affiliations: 1: School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University, China,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Ashiwa Yoshiko , and David L. Wank [eds.] (2009) Making Religion, Making the State: The Politics of Religion in Modern China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
2. Baptandier, Brigitte (1996) “The Lady Linshui: how a woman became a goddess.” Pp. 105–49 in Shahar, Meir and Robert P. Weller (eds.), Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
3. Berling Judith A. (1997) A Pilgrim in Chinese Culture: Negotiating Religious Diversity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
4. Brook Timothy (2009) “"The politics of religion: late-imperial origins of the regulatory state".” Pp. 22–42 in Ashiwa and Wank, 2009.
5. CCRHLC [Compilation Committee of Documents on Chinese Religion and History] 中国宗教历史文献集成编纂委员会 (2005) 民间宝卷 第十册《大悲卷》 (Folk baojuan, the “Great Mercy Volume”). Hefei: 黄山书社.
6. Chan Selina Ching ,, and Lang Graeme (2011) “Temples as enterprises.” Pp. 133–53 in A. Yuet Chau (ed.), Religion in Contemporary China: Revitalization and Innovation. London: Routledge.
7. Chau A. Yuet (2006a) Miraculous Response: Doing Popular Religion in Contemporary China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
8. ——— (2006b) “‘Superstition specialist households’? The household idiom in Chinese religious practices.” 民俗曲艺 153: 157–202.
9. ——— (2012) “"Actants amassing (AA): beyond collective effervescence and the social".” Pp. 133–56 in Nicholas J. Long and Henrietta L. Moore (eds.), Sociality: New Directions. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
10. Chen Sanping (2012) Multicultural China in the Early Ages. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.
11. Chen Weihua 陈纬华 (2008) “灵力经济:一个分析民间信仰活动的新视角” (The economy of magical power: a new perspective for the analysis of folk religion). 台湾社会研究季刊 69: 57–106.
12. Dong M. Yue (2006) “Shanghai’s China traveler.” Pp. 195–226 in M. Ye Dong and Joshua Goldstein (eds.), Everyday Modernity in China. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press.
13. Dott, Brian R. (2004) Identity Reflections: Pilgrimages to Mount Tai in Late Imperial China. Harvard East Asia Monographs, 244. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Asia Center.
14. ——— (2010) “Spirit money: tourism and pilgrimage on the sacred slopes of Mount Tai.” Pp. 27–49 in Oakes and Sutton, 2010.
15. DuBois Thomas David (2005) The Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
16. Dudbridge Glen (1978) The Legend of Miao-shan. London: Ithaca.
17. Eliade, Mircea (2002) 神圣与世俗 (Das Heilige und das Profane). 王建光 trans. Beijing: 华夏出版社.
18. Elias, Norbert ([2000] 2007) 什么是社会学 (Was ist Soziologi). 郑义恺 trans. Taipei: 群学.
19. Feng Kuan 奉宽 (1929) 妙峰山琐记 (Miscellaneous records of Mount Miaofeng). Guangzhou: 国立中山大学语言历史学研究所.
20. Fu Rufeng 傅汝凤 et al. [eds.] ([1934] 1976) 井陉县志料 (Local records of Jingxing county). Taipei: 成文出版社有限剬司影印本.
21. Gu Jiegang 顾颉刚 [ed.] (1928) 妙峰山 (Mount Miaofeng). Guangzhou: 国立中山大学语言历史学研究所.
22. Gu Xijia 顾希佳 (1991) 东南蚕桑文化 (Sericulture in the southeast China). Beijing: 中国民间文艺出版社.
23. Han Bingfang 韩秉方 (2004) “观世音信仰与妙善的传说——兼及我国最早一部宝卷<香山宝卷>的诞生” (The belief in Avalokiteśvara and the legend of Miaoshan and the emergence of the first baojuan—the Xiangshan baojuan). 世界宗教研究 2: 54–61.
24. Hansen Valerie (1990) Changing Gods in Medieval China, 1127–1276. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
25. He Xi 贺喜 (2011) 亦神亦祖:粤西南信仰构建的社会史 (God is also an ancestor: the social history of the construction of belief in southwest Guangdong). Beijing: 生活·读书·新知三联书店.
26. Hu Guojun 胡国钧 (1991) “胡剬大帝信仰与方岩庙会” (The Hugong emperor belief and the Fangyan temple festival). 中国民间文化 4: 184–221.
27. Hua Zhiya 华智亚 (2013) 龙牌会:一个冀中南村落中的民间宗教 (The dragon tablet festival: folk religion in a village in southcentral Hebei). Shanghai: 上海人民出版社.
28. ——— (2016) “人生仪礼、家庭义务与朝山进香:冀中南地区苍岩山进香习俗研究” (Rites of passage, family duties, and pilgrimages: a study of the Mount Cangyan pilgrimage in south central Hebei). 民俗研究 1: 89–98.
29. Huang Jianbo , and Fenggang Yang (2005) “The cross faces the loudspeakers: a village church perseveres under state power.” Pp. 41–62 in Yang and Tamney, 2005.
30. Jin Chanyu 金禅雨 (1936) 妙峰山指南 (A guide to Mount Miaofeng). Beijing: 名胜导游社.
31. JXKM 井陉矿区民间文学集成办剬室 [Office of Folk Literature Collection of the Jingxing Mines] [ed.] (1989) 井陉矿区民间文学集成(第一卷) (The folk literature collection of the Jingxing mines, Vol vol. 1). Unpublished.
32. JXM 井陉民间文学集成办剬室 [Office of Folk Literature Collection of Jingxing] [ed.] (1986) 井陉民间文学集成 (The folk literature collection of Jingxing). Unpublished.
33. Kang, Xiaofei (2002) “In the name of Buddha: the cult of the fox at a sacred site in contemporary northern Shaanxi.” 民俗曲艺 138: 67–107.
34. ——— (2005) The Cult of the Fox: Power, Gender, and Popular Religion in Late Imperial and Modern China. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
35. Wei-tsu Li (1948) “"On the cult of the four sacred animals (szu ta men) in the neighborhood of Peking".” Folklore Studies Vol 7: 194.
36. Li Xiangping 李向平 (2010) 信仰但不认同:当代中国信仰的社会学诠释 (Faith but not identity: a sociological interpretation of contemporary Chinese religion). Beijing: 社会科学文献出版社.
37. Li Xiangzhen 李向振 (2011) “村民信仰与村落里有权威的‘边缘人’——以河北高村的香头为例” (Villagers’ beliefs and marginal people with authority in the village: a case of the spirit medium from Gao village, Hebei) 民俗研究 3: 181–95.
38. Lin Meirong 林美容 (1988) “由祭祀圈到信仰圈——台湾民间社会的地域构成与发展” (From sacrifice circle to belief circle: the regional composition and development of Taiwan folk society). Pp. 95–125 in 张炎宪 (ed.), 中国海洋发展史论文集 第三辑. Taipei: 中央研究院三民主义研究所.
39. ——— (1989) “彰化妈祖的信仰圈” (The belief circle of Ma Tsu of Zhanghua). 中央研究院民族学研究所集刊 68: 41–104.
40. Lin Xin 林鑫 (1999) “谈‘谈豫剧三皇姑出家’” (The debate on the Henan opera “The Third Princess as a Nun”). 佛教文化 5: 35–36.
41. Liu Tieliang 刘铁梁, and Zhao Bingxiang 赵丙祥 (1997) “联村组织社区仪式活动——河北井陉县之调查” (The community rites of multi-village organizations: An investigation of Jingxing, Hebei). Pp. 205–57 in Wang Mingming 王铭铭and Stephan Feuchtwang (eds.), 乡土社会的秩序、剬正与权威 (Social order, justice, and authority in rural China). Beijing: 中国政法大学出版社.
42. Liu Yongsi 刘泳斯 (2015) “南宋佛教与金融司法实践” (Buddhism in the Southern Song and financial and judicial practice). 世界宗教文化 3: 17–21.
43. Liu Ziqian 刘子倩 (2012) “承包‘泰山’利益链” (The chain of interests in contracting Mount Tai) “疯狂的寺庙” (Crazy temples), “寺庙承包:多头管理监管难” (Contracting temples: multiple management and the difficulty of supervision). 中国新闻周刊 2: 24–31.
44. Lu Peifa 陆培法 (2012) “国家宗教事务局等10部门联合出台新规 遏制任何形式借教敛财” (State Administration for Religious Affairs of PRC and nine other national agencies jointly issued a regulation on religious site management forbidding any money-making activities in the name of religion). 人民日报海外版 Nov. 7.
45. Luo, Rioux Yu (2010) “Pilgrim or tourist? The transformation of China’s revolutionary holy hand.” Pp. 79–102 in Oakes and Sutton, 2010.
46. Mantuoluoshi zhuren 曼陀罗室主人 (1997) 观音菩萨传奇 (The legend of Avalokiteśvara). Beijing: 大众文艺出版社.
47. Naquin Susan , and Chün-fang Yü [eds.] (1992) Pilgrimage and Sacred Sites in China. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
48. Nedostup Rebecca (2009) Superstitious Regimes: Religion and the Politics of Chinese Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Asia Center.
49. Oakes Tim , and Donald S. Sutton [eds.] (2010) Faiths on Display: Religion, Tourism, and the Chinese State. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
50. Ortner Sherry B. (1973) “"On key symbols".” American Anthropologist Vol 75: 133846.
51. Poon Shuk-wah (2011) Negotiating Religion in Modern China: State and Common People in Guangzhou, 1900–1937. Hong Kong: Chinese Univ. Press.
52. Ren Shuangxia 任双霞 (2007) 泰山王母池的神圣表达 (The divine expression of the Queen Mother of the West Pool on Mount Tai). Ji’nan: 山东大学硕士学位论文.
53. Sangren Steven P. (1983) “Female gender in Chinese religious symbols: Kuan Yin, Ma Tsu, and the ‘Eternal Mother.’” Signs, Vol 9: 425.
54. ——— (1987) History and Magical Power in a Chinese Community. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.
55. ——— (1996) “Myths, gods, and family relations.” Pp. 150–83 in Meir Shahar and Robert P. Weller (eds.), Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
56. Shi Junliang 石军良 (2012) 民间信仰仪礼文化空间中的图像文本研究 (Image and text studies of ceremony culture in folk beliefs). Shijiazhuang: 河北科技大学硕士学位论文.
57. SJZS 石家庄市民间艺术家协会 [Association of Folk Artists of Shijiazhuang] and 石家庄市三套集成办剬室 [Office of Folk Literature Collection of Shijiazhuang] [eds.] (1989) 苍岩山民间故事选1–3集 (The Mount Cangyan folktale collection, vols. 1–3). Shijiazhuang: 中国工程师杂志华北印刷厂.
58. Song Yanpeng 宋燕鹏 (2015) 南部太行山区祠神信仰研究: 618–1368 (On the belief in ancestral hall gods in the southern Taihang mountains, 618–1368). Beijing: 中国社会科学出版社.
59. Svensson, Marina (2010) “Tourist itineraries, spatial management, and hidden temples: the revival of religious sites in a water town.” Pp. 211–33 in Oakes and Sutton, 2010.
60. Tai Shuangqiu 邰爽秋 [ed.] (1929) 庙产兴学问题 (On using temple property to promote education). Shanghai: 中华书报流通社.
61. Turner Victor W. (1969) The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Chicago: Aldine.
62. Wang Jiahua 王加华 (2013) “被‘私有化’的信仰:庙宇承包及其对民间信仰的影响” (The belief in privatization: contracting temples and its influence on folk belief ). 文化遗产 6: 44–52.
63. Wang Shucun 王树村 (2008) 塑神秘谱 (The esoteric spectrum of sculpturing gods). Beijing: 北京工艺美术出版社.
64. Wang Yao 王尧 (2014) 地方性神灵的生长机制:以山西洪洞地区的二郎传说与信仰为对象 (The growth of local gods: the legend and belief of Erlang in Hongdong, Shanxi). Beijing: 北京大学博士学位论文.
65. Wang Yaofeng 王耀凤, and Yue Yongyi 岳永逸 (2016) “"Belief or leisure: the evolution of Miaofeng mountain temple festival in the last century”". Cambridge J. of China Studies Vol 11, 1: 2747.
66. Watanabe Yoshio 渡边欣雄 (1998) 汉族的民俗宗教:社会人类学研究 (Chinese folk religion: social anthropological studies). 周星. trans. Tianjin: 天津人民出版社.
67. Weber, Max (2005) 新教伦理与资本主义精神 (The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism). 康乐, 简惠美 trans. Taipei: 远流.
68. Wei Zheng 魏征 et al. [eds.] (1973) 隋书 (The book of the Sui dynasty). Beijing: 中华书局.
69. Wu Zhen 吴真 (2006) “降蛇:佛道相争的叙事策略” (Face down the snake: the narrative strategy of conflict between Buddhism and Daoism). 民族艺术 1: 61–67.
70. ——— (2012) 为神性加注:唐宋叶法善崇拜的造成史 (Noting of the divine: the making of the history of the Ye Fashan cult in the Tang and Song dynasties). Beijing: 中国社会科学出版社.
71. Xiong Zuo 熊佐 (1997) “黄屋乾真君庙庙会” (The Xu Zhenjun temple festival of Huangwugan, Jiangxi). Pp. 72–93 in Luo Yong 罗勇 and John Lagerwey (eds.), 赣南地区的庙会与宗 (Temple festivals and religion in Gannan ). 国际客家学会、海外华人研究社、法国远东学院出版.
72. Yang Derui 杨德睿 (2009) “当代道教宫观型经济的转型” (The transformation of the contemporary Daoist temple economy). 中国农业大学学报(社会科学版) 1: 125–41.
73. Yang Fenggang (2012) Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
74. Yang Fenggang , and Joseph B. Tamney [eds.] (2005) State, Market, and Religions in Chinese Societies. Leiden: Brill.
75. Yang Nianqun 杨念群 (2006) 再造“病人”: 中西医冲突下的空间政治(1832–1985) (Remaking “patients”: the politics of space in the struggle between traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, 1832–1985). Beijing: 中国人民大学出版社.
76. Yao Huiyi 姚慧弈 (2010) 仪式、社会与地方舆论: 洪洞县“接姑姑迎娘娘”走亲习俗中的马子研究 (Rites, society, and local public opinion: research on the spirit medium of the temple festival in Yanghai and Lishan, Hongdong county ). Beijing: 北京大学硕士学位论文.
77. Ye Tao 叶涛 (2009) 泰山香社研究 (Research on the Mount Tai pilgrim society). Shanghai: 上海古籍出版社.
78. Chün-fang (2001) Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteśvara. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
79. Yu Zhejun 郁喆隽 (2014) 神明与市民:民国时期上海地区迎神赛会研究 (Gods and citizens: the idolatrous procession in Shanghai in the Republic). Shanghai: 上海三联书店.
80. Yue Yongyi 岳永逸 (2004) “对生活空间的规束与重整:常信水祠娘娘庙会” (The restriction and regeneration of living space: the Water Temple Goddess festival in Changxin village). 民俗曲艺 143: 213–69.
81. ——— (2007) 田野逐梦:走在华北乡村庙会现场 (Chasing dreams in the field: experiencing the scene of the temple festivals in rural north China). Nanning: 广西人民出版社.
82. ——— (2010) 灵验·磕头·传说:民众信仰的阴面与阳面 (Efficaciousness, kowtowing, and legends: the twin facets of popular religion). Beijing: 生活·读书·新知三联书店.
83. ——— (2014a) “"Holding temple festivals at home of doing-gooders: temple festivals and rural religion in contemporary China".” Cambridge J. of China Studies, Vol 9, 1: 3683.
84. ——— (2014b) 行好:乡土的逻辑与庙会 (Doing-good: rural religion and temple festivals). Hangzhou: 浙江大学出版社.
85. ——— [ed.] (2014c) 中国节日志·妙峰山庙会 (Chinese festivals: the Mount Miaofeng temple festival). Beijing: 光明日报出版社.
86. ——— (2014d) 忧郁的民俗学 (Folklore that breaks your heart). Hangzhou: 浙江大学出版社.
87. ——— (2015a) 都市中国的乡土音声:民俗、曲艺与心性 (The rural voice of urban China: folklore, quyi, and the mind). Beijing: 中国人民大学出版社.
88. ——— (2015b) “宗教、文化与功利主义:中国乡土庙会的学界图景” (Religion, culture, and utilitarianism: an academic review of rural temple festivals in China). 云南师范大学学报(哲学社会科学版) 47.2: 147–56.
89. ——— (2016a) “"The alienation of spiritual existence: temple festivals and temple fairs in old Beijing".” Cambridge J. of China Studies Vol 11, 1: 126.
90. ——— (2016b) “‘非遗’的雾霾” (The shadow of intangible cultural heritage). 读书 3: 31–38.
91. Yongyi Yue , and Wang Yahong 王雅宏 (2015) “掺乎、神圣与世俗:庙会中物的流转与辩证法” (Blending, the sacred and the secular: the material flow and dialectics in temple festivals). 世界宗教文化 3: 49–54.
92. Zhang Chengfu 张成福 (2005) “庙会重建中的文化生产——以妙峰山传说为分析个案” (The culture production of rebuilding temple festivals: a case of the Legends of Mount Miaofeng). 民俗研究 3: 124–41.
93. Zhang Lizhong 张立忠 (2009) 平民三皇姑 (The Third Princess, a common person). Changchun: 吉林人民出版社.
94. Zhang Lu 张璐 (2009) 泰山红门宫民间信仰的调查与研究 (An investigation of folk beliefs of the Hongmen Temple on Mount Tai). Ji’nan: 山东大学硕士学位论文.
95. Zhang Qingren 张青仁 (2013) 个体的香会——百年来北京城“井”字里外的社会、关系与信仰 (The individual pilgrim association: society, relationships, and beliefs in and out of the character “jing” in Beijing in the past century). Beijing: 北京师范大学博士学位论文.
96. Zhang Zhenrong 张阵容, and Zhao Hengwen 赵恒文 [eds.] (1991) 苍岩山揽胜 (The beautiful scenes of Mount Cangyan). Beijing: 地质出版社.
97. Zhang Zhidong 张之洞 (2014) 劝学篇 (Encouraging learning). 程方平 (ed.). Beijing: 北京师范大学出版社.
98. Zhao Qian 赵倩, and Yue Yongyi (2014) “华北三皇姑的传说体系与层累生成” (Legendary systems and stratified formations the legend of the Third Princess in north China). 民俗研究 6: 108–14.
99. Zhao Shiyu 赵世瑜 (2002) 狂欢与日常——明清以来的庙会与民间社会 (Carnivals in daily life: the temple festival and local society since Ming and Qing). Beijing: 生活·读书·新知三联书店.
100. Zhao Zongfu 赵宗福 (2002) “甘肃省泾川王母宫庙会及王母娘娘信仰调查报告” (An investigation of the belief and temple festival of Queen Mother of the West in Jingchuan, Gansu). 民俗曲艺137: 141–63.
101. Zhou Zhenghe 周振鹤 (1929) “王三奶奶” (Granny Wang). 民俗·妙峰山进香调查专号 69–70: 68–107.
102. Zhu Xiaotian 朱小田 (2002) 在神圣与凡俗之间:江南庙会论考 (Holiness and the secular: research on temple festivals in south of the Yangzi River). Beijing: 人民出版社.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Rural China — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation