The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China by Leonard Everett FisherOverview of seventeen deities of Chinese traditional religion, from the Jade Emperor to Sun Wukong to Menshen. Contains a short bibliography, which is always a treat.
That said, the Lands of Ancient China map on both the front and back inner covers is atrocious and anachronous. Hainan is squished! Luzons somehow shifted east! Tibet is presented as part of China, but the labeling makes it look like its Nepal. Xinjiang, despite not being conquered until the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century, is presented as part of China and doesnt even get its own label. Theres both a North and South Korea, incongruously, and Okinawa is its own country, but then why isnt Russia labeled? My inner cartophile died a little.
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Salvation churches and sects :. Confucian churches and sects:. Chinese traditional religion is polytheistic ; many deities are worshipped in a pantheistic view where divinity is inherent in the world. Many gods are ancestors or men who became deities for their heavenly achievements; most gods are also identified with stars and constellations. Gods are innumerable, as every phenomenon has or is one or more gods, and they are organised in a complex celestial hierarchy.
Ba A daughter of Heaven, in Chinese mythology. She signified drought. E-mail Us to report a broken link! All Rights Reserved. Bixia Yuanjin This Chinese Taoist Goddess is responsible for dawn and childbirth, as well as destiny. Dawn and childbirth are two concepts often, and quite understandably, linked in world mythology: the rising of the sun, the bringing of light to the earth, is equated with the child emerging from the darkness of the womb to the light of the world.
Particularly, Chinese gods and goddess are fascinating figures of the ancient China . Her name itself had the meaning of a person who listens to the cries of.
2012 by aileen bennett scott
There were over gods and goddesses worshipped throughout ancient China , but if one were to count every deity or spirit, the number would be over 1, Each town, village, city , field, farm, and sometimes even separate plot in a graveyard, had its own Tudi Gong , an elemental earth spirit, who was recognized and honored. There were also spirits known as Kuei-Shen , nature spirits, who might inhabit a tree or live by a stream or preside over a garden. These were eternal spirits who had never been mortal but others, known as guei or kuei, gui, kui , had once been human beings who had died and passed on to the afterlife. The guei could return to haunt the living for various reasons, and rituals, spells, and religious practices developed to appease them.
Chinese gods and goddesses have changed over the millennia-long period we recognize as the history of China today. Scholars recognize four different types of Chinese gods, but the categories have a considerable overlap:. Additionally, some of the best-known gods have changed over time, or are shared with other groups in China or in other countries. It's not clear that "god" has the same meaning in western minds as it does in China since the word English speakers translate as "god" is "shen" which means closer to "soul" or "spirit. Ba Xian or the "Eight Immortals" is a group of eight deities who were partly historical figures and partly legendary, and their names and attributes are figured in lucky charms. They are often depicted in vernacular novels and plays as lascivious drunkards, holy fools, and saints in disguise. In life, he was an itinerant religious specialist and now that he is immortal, he takes a wide variety of different shapes and forms.