Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain


in Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199844906
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949564 | DOI:
Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain

Show Summary Details


This chapter explores the rainmaking practices of ritual exposure and self-immolation. It discusses the practices of different performers, including emperors, local officials, Buddhist monks, Daoist clerics, and female shamans. Their practices provide different models of understanding rainmaking rituals, each replete with its own set of ritual technologies and logic. It also discusses the various exorcistic powers of the human body in relation to rainmaking. The chapter argues that despite the diversity and the different types of performers, what underlies the different rainmaking practices is a performance-centered understanding of the universe that is thaumaturgical.

Keywords: rainmaking; rain; thaumaturgy; ritual exposure; self-immolation; body; exorcistic; efficacy; sincerity; stimulus response; biocosmological power

Chapter.  11066 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.