Explaining the Rise of the Hua-kai Cult

Robert Hymes

in Way and Byway

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520207585
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935136 | DOI:
Explaining the Rise of the Hua-kai Cult

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This chapter describes the increasing localism of elite life in Fu-chou. It also illustrates how the contending religious choices made by the local elite and by a late Southern Sung administrator can be comprehended by a single explanation, an opposition between authority that is inherent and comes from within the locality and authority which is delegated and comes from outside. In addition, the chapter addresses why Huang Chen ignore the Three Immortals. The elite worshippers have direct personal contact with the Three Immortals. It is argued that the Southern Sung elite of Fu-chou were drawn to the Three Immortals' cult. Huang Chen made available the implication that the local elite really ought not to be worshipping Four Immortals at all. The Fu-chou elite both adopted an object of state concern as their own and turned it to their own purposes, in many ways opposed to the state's.

Keywords: Hua-kai cult; Fu-chou; Huang Chen; Three Immortals; Four Immortals; localism; elite life

Chapter.  17423 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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