China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - Silence and Fracture: Eminent Monks, Inscriptions and Religious Landscape in Wuxiang South Mountain

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

It is always intriguing to look at the formation of mixed religious landscapes and their dynamics in China. In this case study of religious landscape in Wuxiang, southeast part of Shanxi from Medieval times to Qing dynasty, using historical literature, local inscriptions, and gazetteers, I try to examine the formation and mechanism of its mixed religious landscape in a long-term, looking to this historical process in a high spatial resolution. This study chronologically falls into three parts: Fotucheng, an eminent monk from medieval Kucha and his connections with this area; the commemoration of Fotucheng in the south mountain and its vanishment; The development and interactions of religious places in Wuxiang after medieval times. Certainly, the charisma of an eminent monk is evident in the establishment of a sacred landscape, what I am trying to argue is their impact and related historical memory is sometimes limited to hold up an enduring local religious center. After the “memory loss” of Fotucheng, a new set of religious landscapes were build up without referring to the former ones. Other than this facet, the general picture of the religious landscape in this region was derived from a stance of "coexistence in silence" which means the local religious places developed in their own tradition scatteredly, were only gathered together by local official records. While we are focusing on the negotiation and competition between the religions places in practices and literature, this development model of local religious landscapes without many interactions also worths our attention.

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Send Email for Silence and Fracture: Eminent Monks, Inscriptions and Religious Landscape in Wuxiang South Mountain