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Demonic WarfareDaoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel$
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Mark R. E. Meulenbeld

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838447

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838447.001.0001

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Demonic Warfare During the Ming

Demonic Warfare During the Ming

The Emperor and His Daoist Warriors

(p.132) 4 Demonic Warfare During the Ming
Demonic Warfare

Mark R. E. Meulenbeld

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines demonic warfare during the Ming dynasty by situating Daoist martial rituals within imperial politics. It considers how the liturgical structure of Daoism is implemented on an imperial scale by Daoist experts of Thunder Ritual who do so at the behest of the early Ming emperors such as Zhu Yuanzhang, who seeks to strengthen his martial forces by building the empire on a foundation of local, terrestrial spirits who can be enlisted as demon soldiers. The chapter looks at the Altar for Baleful Spirits (litan), an official institution subsumed under the City God that is designed to incorporate the unruly spirits who roam through the empire after the dynastic wars have ended. It argues that the formation of the pantheon that is deified at the end of Canonization of the Gods can be traced back to this period.

Keywords:   demonic warfare, Ming dynasty, martial ritual, imperial politics, Ming emperors, Zhu Yuanzhang, demon soldiers, Altar for Baleful Spirits, unruly spirit, gods

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