Events & Seminars

HUMA MPhil Thesis Presentation
The Blessing of Village God Benzhu: Constructing Family Ties and Public Space in a Bai Village in Southwest China (Thursday 27 December 2018)

Abstract:

This research discusses the relationship between Benzhu religious practices and local society in a Bai village, southwest China. Benzhu religion is regarded as the representative of Bai culture and as Bai religion that has existed since Nanzhao period (738-902). By focusing on the daily lives of the people, this research finds that villagers do not practice ethnic discourse in Benzhu worship, instead, Benzhu worship marks their villages boundaries and has significant meaning for social organization and operation. Family ties are linked and fractured through the mediation of the Benzhu temple, and the public space in the village community is constructed as well as maintained by the Benzhu temple. Furthermore, Benzhu religion can be taken used by different local actors such as the sorceress or the Elderly Association to negotiate with their survival environment and experienced world. The dynamic relationship between Benzhu religion and the village community cannot be revealed if the ethnic discourse is adopted by researchers without any questioning. This research suggests the understanding of local society out of the binary of minority—Han dichotomy, the investigation of how the society organizes people to cope with their living environment, and the responses of local people to the changes of society and the state in different time period.

Speaker(s)
Ms. Ling LU
Date
December 27, 2018 (Thursday)
Time
10:00 a.m.
Venue
Room 3301, Academic Building (Lift 2)
Language
English