Leadership and Succession in Chinese Temples

By Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 1, 2015 $US5.00

Religions are managed in a variety of ways. They may resemble an elected autocracy, a parliamentary democracy, or something akin to a monarchy, where heredity plays a primary role. This paper describes the basics of temple management in China. It is based on three months of field research in various parts of China. The author observed temple festivities and conducted interviews with spirit mediums, temple managers, Taoist priests and priestesses, monks, nuns, lay temple staff, and ordinary worshipers. Informal conversations were also undertaken with villagers, intellectuals, and provincial cadres, many of them tape-recorded for subsequent reflection and analysis.

Keywords: Religion, Leadership, China, Succession, Temples, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3-4, June 2015, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 1, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 497.974KB)).

Dr. Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew

Associate Professor, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore