Building Temples in China
Memories, Tourism and Identities
Routledge – 2014 – 240 pages
Series: Anthropology of Asia
This book examines the revival of worship of the Chinese Deity Huang Daxian and the building of many new temples to the god in mainland China over the last 20 years. Following extensive fieldwork and visits to these temples, the authors analyse how development-oriented temple-building activities in Mainland China reveal the forces of transnational ties, capital, markets and identities, as temples were built with the hope of developing tourism, boosting the local economy, and enhancing Chinese identities for Hong Kong worshippers and Taiwanese in response to the reunification of Hong Kong to China.
Including chapters on local religious memory awakening, pilgrimage as a form of tourism, women temple managers, entrepreneurialism and the religious economy, Lang and Chan have produced a truly inter-disciplinary follow up to Rise of the Refugee God which will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese religion, Chinese culture, Asian anthropology, cultural heritage and Daoism alike.
1. Introduction 2. History of the Worship of Huangdaxian 3. Making Memories and Creating Places 4. Tourists and Pilgrims: Authenticity and Local Identification 5. Women Temple Managers and Popularization of Huangdaxian 6. Entrepreneurialism and the Religious Economy 7. Conclusions
Graeme Lang is Professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at City University of Hong Kong.
Selina Ching Chan is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Contemporary China Research Centre at Hong Kong Yue Shan University.