The Mystery of the Investiture of the Great Emperor who Protects Life (Baosheng dadi 保生大帝)
Emeritus Professor, National Chengchi University
Members of the public and scholars disagree on whether Wu Tao 吳夲 was bestowed the honorary title of Baosheng dadi. The Ministry of Rites in the early Ming dynasty tightly controlled the bestowal of titles, but for those deities that had already received an honorary title or been granted an imperial placard they were not stripped of these. However, not only are many shrines and temples dedicated to the Perfected Being Wu (Wu zhenren 吳真人) not listed in the sacrificial registers (sidian 祀典), Baosheng dadi also does not appear in official records; thus, scholars consider the honorary title to be falsified. Wu zhenren never ascended to a higher position, but Qingjiao 青礁 and Baijiao 白礁, two ancestral temples (zugong 祖宮) both located in Fujian province, were still able to cooperate with local Daoist priests to promote the deity. They did so by turning to the register system of the Celestial Master Bureau (Tianshifu 天師府) based on the Jade Models of the Celestial Altar (Tiantan yuge 天壇玉格); this was the so-called “System of Daoist Investiture” (Daofeng zhi 道封制). Any ritual documents from that time that may help us to understand the events of Baosheng dadi’s investiture were burned according to ritual precedent and both temples no longer exist, but we can still confirm the Daoist investiture from other extant sources, such as 1) an illustrated scroll of the investiture of gods preserved in Metroplitan Museum of Art and 2) register records and documents handed down within Daoist altars. With these materials, we can begin to decipher some of the full titles recorded in Ming and Qing dynasty hagiographies, as well as honorifics such as “Surging Resonance” (chongying 冲應), “Trusted Benevolence” (fuhui 孚惠), “Universal Blessing” 普祐, “Wondrous Dao (miao Dao 妙道), and various others, which accumulated during the Song dynasty. Baosheng dadi’s new honorary title, “Imperial Censor of the Golden Portes of the Vast Heavens” (Haotian jinque yushi 昊天金闕御史 can also be found within the lists of ranks and titles of the Tiantan yuge; the category of Imperial Lord (dijun 帝君), to which Baosheng dadi belongs, is also a high-rank of transcendents and sages within Daoism. We can see from the deity’s office and duties that, from the Song and Yuan into the Ming and Qing, Baosheng dadi was promoted from a functionary of divine medicine to become a medicine god, which linked him with Daoism’s “Medical Institute of the Heavens” (Tian yiyuan 天醫院). Thus, by examining the Daoist system of investiture for deities, we might discard the notion that the god’s investiture and honorary title were falsified.
Keywords: Perfected Being Wu (Wu zhenren 吳真人), Great Emperor who Protects Life (Baosheng dadi 保生大帝), Daoist investiture, Jade Protocols of the Celestial Altar (Tiantan yuge 天壇玉格)
對於華人基督徒而言，「呼求主名」已經成為地方召會的外顯記號之一，似乎與加爾文的改革宗神學毫無關係。事實上，加爾文在《加爾文聖經注釋》和《基督教要義》中至少404 次論及「呼求主名」，而李常受也在《生命讀經》和《新約總論》中論及「呼求主名」至少641 次。他們皆以三一神為「終極處境」，雖各有對舊約和新約的側重，仍不約而同地把「呼求主名」置於其敬拜與操練敬虔的關鍵地位。他們對「呼求主名」的教訓與操練，在三一神觀、基督觀、聖靈觀、救恩觀、教會觀和敬拜讚美等領域皆是高度相似，卻也體現出人觀的差異。地方召會將「呼求主名」作為核心操練，這做法其實更呼應改革宗傳統中對「終極處境」中國化的重視，要求將信仰核心元素完整且準確地轉移至中國的處境中，避免「宗教混合主義」的發生。
The Teaching and Practice of “Calling on the Name of the Lord” by John Calvin and Witness Lee: The “Ultimate Context” of Christianity and Sinicization
Research Fellow, Christian Belief Research Institute
Honorary Professor, National Central University
For Chinese Christians, “Calling on the Name of the Lord” has become one of the explicit markers of the Local Church, and it seems to have absolutely no relationship with Calvin’s Reformed Theology. In fact, John Calvin, in his Bible Commentaries and Institutes of the Christian Religion mentions “Calling on the Name of the Lord” at least 404 times, while Witness Lee, in his Life-Study of the Bible and Overview of the New Testament, does so at least 641 times. They both conceive of the Triune God as the “Ultimate Context,” and, although each places different emphasis on the Old and New Testaments, coincidentally place “Calling on the Name of the Lord” in a crucial place within Christian worship and practices of piety. Their teachings and practices regarding the concept are quite similar in terms of their views of the doctrine of God, Christology, pneumatology, soteriology, and ecclesiology, but also reflecting the variation in anthropology. The Local Church considers “Calling on the Name of the Lord” of the core practice. This actually further corresponds with the emphasis placed on the Sinicization of “Ultimate Context” within Reformed Theology traditions. It requires that the core elements of belief be fully and accurately transferred into the Chinese context, thus avoiding the occurrence of religious syncretism.
Keywords: John Calvin, Witness Lee, Calling on the Name of the Lord, Ultimate Context, Sinicization
Are “Ancestral Spirits” the Spirits of the Ancestors?: A Comparative Investigation Focusing on Han Chinese Ancestor Worship and the Atayal’s Rutux Beliefs with Reference to the Commemoration of Zhang Guangzhi
Professor, NCCU Graduate Institute of Religious Studies
When discussing the religious beliefs of Taiwanese indigenous peoples, scholars in Taiwan often draw parallels between their spirit cults and Han Chinese ancestor worship. On the surface, these two kinds of worship both deal with memorializing and venerating the deceased. However, behind these two systems of religious ceremony are ideas involving the nature of humanity and the relationship between humanity and nature (or the supernatural) that are extremely different. It is only when we carefully examine such practices that we can then elucidate their fundamental differences. On the whole, discussions regarding ancestors and ancestral spirits must be placed within a comparative framework that considers the relationship between both clan and family and spirit and spiritual power. At the same time, scholars should investigate the different religious thinking that each system involves; only then, can we see the different styles and features that emerge from the two systems of religious belief. This paper is a preliminary investigation focusing on the complex facets of this issue.
Keywords: ancestor worship, patriarchal clan, heaven, spirit, shaman
Spatial Perspectives and Local Knowledge: A Review of Spatiotemporal Analysis for Religion in Taiwan and its Prospects
Hung Ying Fa
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for GIS, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica
Chief Executive Officer, Center for GIS, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica
Project Manager, Center for GIS, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica
Assistant Research Technician, Center for GIS, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica
Interpreting religion in local society from spatial perspectives has led to fruitful results in the disciplines of geography and history. Moreover, after the rise of information and geographic information technologies (GIS), scholars in the humanities and social sciences have gradually applied related methods and technologies in their research fields, including within religious studies. Scholars at Academia Sinica began applying geographic information science and technology in Taiwan thirty years ago. This has gradually influenced the implementation of spatial analysis in different disciplines, including research on Taiwan’s local religions, though the applications and results have been somewhat different from those of more traditional geography studies. Following the development of GIS technology and related research methods, studies on Taiwan’s popular religions and their spatial analysis have progressed in a different direction. In this paper, through the examples of Academia Sinica’s relevant research and shift in methodologies, we introduce the evolution of spatial analysis in research on religion in Taiwan. In addition to exploring the course of these changes and pertinent cases, we also reflect on how we, following the advancement of new research methodologies and technologies, can understand popular religion in Taiwan through multiple perspectives, as well as the differences between this work and more traditional studies on religion that arise in the research process. We also consider and discuss the various limitations of spatiotemporal analysis, before examining future trends based on the developmental direction of current technologies and research methodologies.
Keywords: religious space, spatiotemporal analysis, cultural resources geographical information system, scope of beliefs, digital humanities
A Digital Humanities (DH) Approach to the Study of Chinese Religions: The DocuSky Collaboration Platform
Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Center for Digital Humanities, National Taiwan University
In contemporary fields of humanities scholarship, utilizing digital research methods has become more the norm. In this article, we will introduce how the DocuSky Collaboration Platform, developed by the Research Center for Digital Humanities of Taiwan University, can aid scholars of Chinese religions. Using their own personal research data and converting it through the platform’s conversion software, scholars can construct a personalized cloud database. DocuSky can also assist researchers with lexical analysis of texts, comparative textual analysis, organizing fieldwork and interview materials, visualizing geo-temporal information, and other research approaches. Through an exposition of the foundational concepts of this digital humanities research platform, as well as an exploration of a case study of actual research, we discuss the feasibility of applying digital humanities methods to the study of Chinese religions and potential future developments of such approaches.
Keywords: digital humanities research platform, studies of Chinese religions, digital
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