Chapter

Contacts with Clerics and Fashion of Daoist Names

Richard G. Wang

in The Ming Prince and Daoism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199767687
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199767687.003.0007
Contacts with Clerics and Fashion of Daoist Names

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Chapter 7 examines the Ming princes’ accommodation to two popular fashions of Daoist patronage: clerical contacts and the adoption of Daoist names by Ming literati. By participating in the patronage fashion shared with literati, the Ming princes associated themselves with Heavenly Masters and faguan, the elite representatives of the Daoist bureaucracy, as their cultural peers. They were also engaged in the abbatial appointment process of certain Daoist ecumenical monasteries (shifang conglin) and private temples to guarantee their influence in local society and the Daoist clerical community. From the regular ties between the princes and priests, especially their personal friendships, we can see the princes’ various religious and secular interests. Often, Ming princely ties with Daoist priests were multifaceted: housing them as a form of charity, recruiting adepts for more practical purposes such as their healing power, and making friends with clerics as authentic companions in their lives. Finally, the distinct mode of the princely adoption of Daoist names confirms their deep attachment to Daoist culture, which provided them with a transcendental identity and autonomous freedom not enjoyed in the social role assigned them by the fanjin system.

Keywords: Clerical contacts; Daoist names; literati; fashion; Heavenly Masters; faguan; elite Daoists; abbatial appointment process; faming; hao

Chapter.  6616 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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