Epilogue: The Multifaceted Princely Patronage of a Daoist Temple

Richard G. Wang

in The Ming Prince and Daoism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199767687
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950607 | DOI:
Epilogue: The Multifaceted Princely Patronage of a Daoist Temple

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The Epilogue provides a case study to showcase the multifaceted patronage of a Daoist temple, the Abbey of Sublime Mystery (Xuanmiao), by the Su Principality in Lanzhou, a frontier city. Against the background of the Su princedom, the military population in Lanzhou, the local Daoist traditions, and the Su household’s involvement in Daoism as its family heritage, the study examines the Xuanmiao Abbey and its associations (hui). Then it discusses the patterns of patronage, focusing on the princes, military servicemen, and Daoist clerics. It also deals with the dynamic interaction of the patronage of this temple by the princes of the Su and other patrons. In conclusion, the present study of the Ming princes’ involvement in Daoism makes it clear that their activities should be seen in the context of the dynasty’s official religious policies, including policies regarding princes. Due to the close connection between Daoist establishments in local society and the princely institutions, this study shows the subtlety of relations between the Ming state, princes, and local religion. The support from the princes also served to mediate between the official religious policies and commoners’ spiritual needs.

Keywords: Su princedom; Mysterious Wonder/Xuanmiao Abbey; Lanzhou; military population; Zhengyi Daoism; prayer wheel; stele associations; Tieshi lineage; lineage verse; patron network

Chapter.  11328 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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