Title

Thriving under an anti-superstition regime : the dragon mother cult in Yuecheng, Guangdong, during the 1930s

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Chinese Religions

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Volume

43

Issue

1

First Page

34

Last Page

58

Publisher

Taylor and Francis Ltd.

Keywords

Dragon mother, Guangdong, Pilgrimage, Republican China, West river, Yuecheng

Abstract

China’s quest for modernity since the early twentieth century has put popular religion in a vulnerable situation. A large number of temples were demolished or converted for other purposes in the Republican period as a result of the campaigns against "superstition." Interestingly, during the 1930s, the popularity of the "ancestral temple" of the Dragon Mother (Longmu) located on the northern bank of the West River in Guangdong did not merely continue but flourished. This article explains the various factors that helped promote the expansion of the Dragon Mother cult, including the inconsistencies in government policies towards popular religion, the importance of the annual pilgrimage to the Dragon Mother for the regional economy and government revenue, and the development of the modern means of transportation. The concluding part examines the importance of this case study in rethinking the issue of rural-urban divide in Republican China.

DOI

10.1179/0737769X15Z.00000000017

Print ISSN

0737769X

E-ISSN

20508999

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Society for the Study of Chinese Religions 2015. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Poon, S.-W. (2015). Thriving under an anti-superstition regime: The dragon mother cult in Yuecheng, Guangdong, during the 1930s. Journal of Chinese Religions, 43(1), 34-58. doi: 10.1179/0737769X15Z.00000000017

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