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Negotiating a Tradition: The Interaction among Villagers in the Process of Reconstructing Popular Religion in Jieting Village
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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KontaktDr. Sigrun Abels
Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (CCST)
sec. KAI 1-4
Room KAI 1.114
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