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 we need words to talk about things words are models ◦ words are determined by the group within which we use them (per discourse) ◦ words are approximations.

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Presentation on theme: " we need words to talk about things words are models ◦ words are determined by the group within which we use them (per discourse) ◦ words are approximations."— Presentation transcript:


2  we need words to talk about things words are models ◦ words are determined by the group within which we use them (per discourse) ◦ words are approximations  (some) differences academic vocabulary, regular language and labels ◦ academic vocabulary=> definitions made explicit and negotiated explicitly ◦ regular language=> definitions implicit and negotiated through actual usage ◦ labels=> usually pejorative meanings attached to vocabulary which one is not allowed to alter or negotiate 2

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4 4 filter observations, fears, ideas, etc. filter names gender, age, social group, political views, custom, etc. analytical theory, questions, etc. labels academic terms definition by use definition fixed definition negotiable Implicit meaningexplicit meaning

5  assumption of free academic intercourse ◦ Karl Popper ◦ only partially true (teacher-pupil networks, veneration of older teachers, control over publishing venues, etc.)  label 標籤 / 簽 ◦ “blacks”, “niggers” (vs Afro-American) ◦ Miao 苗 minority ~ proper name ◦ Yellow Danger ◦ feudal superstitions 封建迷信  stereotype 刻板印象 ◦ Dutch & Scots are misers, all Wenzhounese are good tradespeople ◦ all Chinese eat rice ◦ ethnic minorities more romantic  autonym 自稱 ◦ 中國:中華人民共和國  appellation ◦ China  does it matter? ◦ pejorative language does not belong in academic discourse ◦ terms & names organize data, labels too, but incorrectly 5

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7  we always need to combine detailed historical research with attention to the growing of discourses  deconstructing labels is not a popular task!  source analysis ◦ who is talking/judging ◦ layers of translation (from 白 / 方言 / 口語 to 文 ) 7

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9  traditional characteristics of the so-called White Lotus Teachings ◦ start rebellions ◦ millenarian and messianic beliefs ◦ rumours ◦ magical techniques ◦ dubious relationships between male and female ( 男女混雜, 夜聚曉散 )  traditional “historical” development of the White Lotus teachings ◦ start southern Song Mao Ziyuan 茅子元 (1086-1166) ◦ late Yuan rebellions 韓山童, 明王, 彌勒 ◦ late Ming rebellion 徐鴻儒 ◦ mid-Qing rebellions ◦ new religious movements 9

10 10 永樂 18 年: 唐賽兒 general stereotype White Lotus rebellion around 1800

11  my hypothesis ◦ WLT not an analytical term and not an autonym ◦ label used by officials and literati  test (falsification) ◦ White Lotus movement ( 白蓮社 / 會 ) of Southern Song and Yuan periods ◦ late Yuan rebellions (background 韓山童 rebellion in particular) ◦ when and why does term White Lotus Teachings ( 白蓮教 ) become a label ◦ autonyms of new religious movements ◦ what kind of new phenomena do we see after recognizing the labelling process 11

12  founder: Mao Ziyuan 茅子元 (1086-1166), near Lake Dianshan 澱山湖  spread during Song and Yuan (see Map)  autonym: White Lotus  Idealtype (Max Weber ‘s Idealtypus): ◦ lay believer central ◦ private residences as halls 堂 ◦ married state, children, inherited halls ◦ religious affiliation characters 普 覺 妙 道 ◦ titles 道人 ◦ charitable activities (bridge building & road, free tea and hot water, free rituals, etc.) ◦ daily rituals to recite name of Amitabha, sutra’s, worship Guanyin ◦ publication project of Buddhist canon ◦ self-awareness as a regional movement ◦ apologetic activities 12

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14  Pudu 普度 1255-1330 ◦ White Lotus movement family background ◦ prominent monk, directly connected to then White Lotus movement ◦ polemist together with the Wanshou Hall 萬壽堂 in Jianyang at the time of 1310 temporary) prohibition  Precious Mirror of the Lotus tradition from Mount Lu 廬山蓮宗寳鑑 ◦ in defense of the White Lotus movement as a general Pure Land movement ◦ deals explicitly with limited mistakes in his own tradition ◦ one chapter deals with all distortions of Pure Land believes, e.g.  visions just before dying (attested in Pure Land and Daoist texts)  prognostication through twitching of body (attested in Dunhuang texts)  popular version of Huiyuan 慧遠 ‘s biography (attested in Transformation Text from Dunhuang)  inner cultivation techniques ([mis]understood as sexual) (attested in Daoist texts)  out of circa 20 sections one brief and unclear reference to Maitreya beliefs  editions ◦ 1310, 1429 reprint (still includes “White”) ◦ Jiaxing canon reprint (drops “White”) 14

15  crucial rebellion of the Red Turbans in Huai region ◦ original leader Han Shantong 韓山童 ◦ 1351 辛卯 prophecy: 天下大亂,彌勒下生,明王出世 ◦ In 1355 his son declared 小明王 ◦ use military force, assistance by “foreign” forces ◦ no known self-appellation or autonym=> not an organized movement ◦ outside appellations (~labels?): Red Turbans 紅巾, Incense Army 香軍 ◦ Han’s grandfather had been banished for 白蓮會, no further context known  rebellion Xu Shouhui 徐壽煇 ◦ some followers carried religious affiliation character 普 and title 道人 => link White Lotus movement ◦ in separate mentions reference to Maitreyism 15

16  the sources of the Red Turban prophecy ◦ tradition of the Classic /Amulets of the Five Lords 五公經 / 符 ◦ elements current at the time: belief in Luo Ping 羅平, catastrophes in yin or mao 寅卯 year, Luminous King, demonological view of end of times, aid by foreign army ◦ widely attested oral and textual traditions since late 9 th until the late 20 th century  the White Lotus connections, if any: ◦ grandfather (not Han himself!), atypical mention 白蓮會 ◦ other Yuan rebellion may have had White Lotus movement members ≠ White Lotus movement as a whole changed ◦ White Lotus connection of the Red Turbans first made in late sixteenth century! 16

17  incorporation name White Lotus into Ming law on religious activities ◦ 凡師巫假降邪神書符咒水扶鸞禱聖自號端公太保師婆及妄稱彌勒佛白蓮社 明尊教白雲宗等會一應左道亂正之術或隱藏圖像燒香集眾夜聚曉散佯修善 事扇惑人民。。。 ◦ White Lotus Society implicitly distinguished from Maitreya worship and two other types of movement/group that were now prohibited ◦ Ming law systematizes individual prohibitions from the preceding Yuan period  White Lotus movement (i.e. the Pure Land movement) still exists, invisible after ca. 1400  not yet a label, just another prohibition of the PL movement  very broad, and inapplicable law: true impact unclear  negative connotation White Lotus in widely available document 17

18 Local histories:  Red Turban rebellion (1355) relabelled White Lotus rebellion, connected a.o. to Zhang Jue’s Great Peace rebellion of 184  Tang Saier 唐賽兒 (early 15 th century) relabelled White Lotus Teachings Veritable Records:  Li Fuda 李福達 (early 16 th century) relabelled in 1560s Private accounts  Xu Daoren 許道人 (1454) relabelled White Lotus by the late sixteenth century And so forth (migrants to the Mongols accused of magic, rumours of flying objects, and so forth) =>crucial points are:  similar dates of relabeling, not so of the much earlier events  diversity of religious phenomena  irrespective of sources: officials and elites 18

19  groups explicitly rejecting the term White Lotus Teachings ◦ proclamation by people involved in the rebellion led by Xu Hongru 徐鴻儒 ◦ Proclamation by people involved in the so-called White Lotus rebellion (1796-1804)  examples of autonyms ◦ late 16 th century movement centred on Zhejiang/ Fujian/Jiangxi: 無爲教,大乘教,龍華會 and others ◦ Wang Sen movement (origin Xu Hongru) (network survived early 17 th -early 19 th century): 大乘教 (autonym), 焚香教 / 聞香 教 (labels) ◦ Unity Way 一貫道  caveat: ◦ same autonym not necessarily same (type of) group ◦ different autonym maybe same (type of) group 19

20  one label with numerous stereotypes ◦ WLT causes violent rebellions (no investigation real/deeper causes) ◦ messianic/millenarian beliefs lead to violence/rebellion (manifestly untrue: only one specific demonological messianic tradition often connected to violent action) ◦ high position of women (usually fictive: tendency to invent female roles with magical abilities, e.g. Red Lantern women from Boxer rebellion!) ◦ ascribing magical techniques (karma mirror, paper cuttings) ◦ 男女混雜 & 夜聚曉散 ( Tang origins!)  always search for confirmation of stereotype 20

21  “White Lotus Teachings” in this sense is an elite phenomenon from fear and misunderstanding ◦ proclamations (Xu Hongru and WLT rebellions) show some non-elite awareness of the stereotype ◦ phenomena labelled as such not necessarily “popular”, if anything: local! ◦ stereotypes largely elite-creations  I leave applying these notions to the modern age to the students themselves 21

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23  term itself curious ◦ usual trsl. Elder Brothers Society ◦ real meaning: Elder Brothers and Elders Gathering ◦ no connection to anything with the gangs labelled as such ◦ refers to gangs in Hunan/Hubei regions late 19 th -early 20 th century  maybe just a sound? ◦ sounds similar to ethnonym *Klau; Gelao 犵狫 ◦ sounds similar to 咕嚕 bandits Sichuan  label to point to local gangs that seemed to cooperate beyond their locality  explanation for 1891 Lower Yangzi riots  ~ Sichuanese paoge 袍哥  eventually reappropriated as positive nicknamereappropriated 23

24  19 th century term  introduced to our field by G. Schlegel and adopted by W. Stanton  Stanton plagiarized by Hirayama Shū ◦ translated in Chinese reprinted in 1911 平山周 ◦ seen as reliable source  supposed revolutionary experience  contacts Sun Yatsen 孫中山  very little real knowledge ◦ introduced Western term “secret societies” to Chinese discourse  label: ◦ lack of clear criteria for applying the term ◦ suggests more structure than there really is ◦ suggest secrecy, conspiracy 24

25 ◦ “revolutionaries” late 19 th and early 20 th century tended to overestimate potential help ◦ pasted on the White Lotus narrative by modern scholarship since the 1920s ◦ inherited by modern labels such as xiejiao etc. 25

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27  only brief at this point, to make a point for later ◦ word shaman potential analytical term, usually applied without reflexion or definition=> label ◦ 巫 also used as a label  religious specialists one disapproves of  presumed to be “popular”  different types of mediators between human and extrahuman world  usually excludes spirit writing in Chinese context (not “popular”)  distinction with medium ◦ shaman as analytical term: keeps his/her and journeys to other world ◦ medium as analytical term: vessel for extrahuman being ◦ Chinese terms may vary, forms may vary 27

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