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TU Berlin

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AN Deming, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Negotiating a Tradition: The Interaction among Villagers in the Process of Reconstructing Popular Religion in Jieting Village

Abstract

中文摘要:本文主要探讨甘肃街亭村民间神灵信仰重建过程中村民之间动态的互动关系。重建的具体过程中,充满了村民的集体记忆、不同信仰取向和个人创造性等 各种因素之间的相互影响和较量。民间信仰的重建过程本身,因而变成了不同群体或个人乘机推广各自的信仰仪式观念、扩大他们的影响、提高自己地位的协商过 程。经过互有进退的协商,人们最终达成了一个为整个信仰系统内部成员共同接受的折中的新传统。

Centered upon the reconstruction of the gods worship since early 1980s in Jieting Village in Gansu Province, Northwest China, this paper probes into the dynamic interaction among villagers in the process of the revival and reconstruction of religious belief and ritual practice in the village. Rather than considering the villagers as a homogeneous entity who shares a single main purpose of rebuilding their traditional religion, I will scrutinize the difference and even conflict between them in practice. Various elements among villagers, such as collective memory, different religious orientations, and different individual creativities interplayed and conflicted throughout the whole process. The process of religious reconstruction per se is thus a course in which the community leaders, ordinary people, and religious specialists who maintain various religious beliefs like Daoism, Buddhism, and local beliefs took the opportunity to promote their ideas, expand their influence and enhance their positions in the local religion system, to attain more power and resources in the community, and finally to negotiate a commonly accepted new tradition of religious belief and ritual practice.

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