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Practicing ScriptureA Lay Buddhist Movement in Late Imperial China$
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Barend ter Haar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839277

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839277.001.0001

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Religious Beliefs and Ritual Practices

Religious Beliefs and Ritual Practices

(p.118) 5 Religious Beliefs and Ritual Practices
Practicing Scripture

Barend J. ter Haar

University of Hawai'i Press

In the previous chapter we have already encountered the core religious ideas of the movement. Here I investigate the rejection of icons, as well as ancestor worship and the burning of paper money, which together formed the foundation of local religious practice in traditional China. Because the historiography classifies this movement as messianic in nature, central elements of its beliefs and their possible relevance to a messianic interpretation are investigated. Finally, I summarize and discuss the four core rituals of the mature movements, which are: a. the Initiation Ritual; b. the Vegetarian Fast; c. the recitation of the sacred scripture, called Lighting the Candles; and d. the funerary ritual.

Keywords:   ancestor worship, paper money, ritual, Buddhist scripture, vegetarianism

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