Bibliography Reading List: Chinese Religion

Publications about Chinese religion in general.

场学政 (Chang Xuezheng):


The most comprehensive book on the history of religion in Yunnan, with lots of detail. The contents of this book has been copied many times into other works.

Kenneth Dean:

Taoist Ritual and Popular Cults of Southeast China

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Most commentators imagine contemporary China to be monolithic, atheistic, and materialist, and wholly divorced from its earlier customs, but Kenneth Dean combines evidence from historical texts and extensive fieldwork to reveal an entirely different picture. Since 1979, when the Chinese government relaxed some of its most stringent controls on religion, villagers in the isolated areas of Southeast China have maintained an "underground" effort to restore traditional rituals and local cults.

Kenneth Dean and 郑振满 (Zheng Zhenman):

Ritual Alliances of the Putian Plain: Historical Introduction to the Return of the Gods

Historical Introduction to the Return of the Gods

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This book documents the revival of local popular religion in Putian, Fujian. Volume 1 provides a historical introduction to 153 regional ritual alliances made up of 724 villages. Volume 2 surveys the population, lineages, temples, gods, and annual rituals of these villages.

David Johnson:

The City-God Cults of T'ang and Sung China

雷宏安 (Lei Hongan):


Daoist rituals in various Yunnan groups.

吕大吉 (Lv Daji):

中国各民族原始宗教资料集成: 彝族卷·白族卷·基诺族卷


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A most comprehensive collection of ancient rituals in China and their meaning. This volume covers the Jinuo, Yi and Bai minorities in Yunnan.

缪坤和 (Miao Kunhe):


Exploration of the effect of Confucianism on Nanzhao and Dali.

栾保群 (Luan Baoqun):


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A very comprehensive dictionary of Chinese deities, that somehow seems to drown in the number of them.

史波 (Shi Bo):

神鬼之祭: 西南少数民族传统宗教文化研究


Research into the traditional believe systems of the ethnic minorities in China's southwest.

乌丙安 (Wu Bingan):


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This handbook of Chinese folk deities gives a relatively detailed explanation of several hundred deities.

杨学政 (Yang Xuezheng):


Comprehensive and authoritative history of religion in Yunnan. Covers the history of all the main religions in Yunnan. 

张云霞 (Zhang Yunxia):


Abstract: 南诏上层统治阶级为了消除部落臣民在意识形态上的差异,加强对其政权的统治,在南诏社会积极推广儒家思想。大唐帝国从自身利益出发,也利用儒家思想来加强治理西南边疆,使儒家思想在南诏社会得到迅速传播和发展,南诏社会风气渐渐向内地模式转换或趋同,形成了人知礼乐、本唐风化的良好社会环境。