Burning Money: The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld

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Although frequently denigrated as wasteful and vulgar and at times prohibited by governing elites, today this venerable custom is as popular as ever.


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Burning Money explores the cultural logic of this common practice while addressing larger anthropological questions concerning the nature of value. The heart of the work integrates Chinese and Western thought and analytics to develop a theoretical framework that the author calls a "materialist aesthetics. The work examines the custom in contemporary everyday life, its origins in folklore and history, as well as its role in common rituals, in the social formations of dynastic and modern times, and as a "sacrifice" in the act of consecrating the paper money before burning it.

Here the author suggests a great divide between the modern means of cultural reproduction through ideology and reification, with its emphasis on nature and realism, and previous pre-capitalist means through ritual and mystification, with its emphasis on authenticity. The final chapters consider how the burning money custom has survived its encounter with the modern global system and internet technology. Innovative and original in its interpretation of a common ritual in Chinese popular religion, Burning Money will be welcomed by scholars and students of Chinese religion as well as comparative religion specialists and anthropologists interested in contemporary social theory.

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Hardcover , pages. Published September 30th by University of Hawaii Press. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Burning Money , please sign up.


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    Sort order. May 20, Patricia rated it liked it Shelves: chinese-history-iconography-arch. Having no idea that the author was an anthropologist, I jumped into this book whose subtitle is "The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld" as I'm interested in the relationship in Chinese culture between 'gods, ghosts and ancestors'. On that note, I found chapters "Endless Scroll", "Origins" and "Liturgy" very interesting and helpful as they traced the history, evolution and practise of burning paper money at Chinese funerals.

    Author Blake records several creation myths and covers the Having no idea that the author was an anthropologist, I jumped into this book whose subtitle is "The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld" as I'm interested in the relationship in Chinese culture between 'gods, ghosts and ancestors'.

    Author Blake records several creation myths and covers the first historical references to the practise, cross-referencing them with historical texts the Book of Rites, the 7th century Buddhist text The Forest of Pearls in the Garden of the Dharma Fa yuan zhu lin , which contains one of the first literary references to 'paper money', Marco Polo's travel writings, the 12th century manual Family Ritual, etc. Chapter three relates the stories around the 'invention' or 'discovery' of burning paper money, most linked to its discovery by the historical?

    Cai Lun who is recorded as having discovered paper in CE. The story of how his older brother Cai Mo steals the process and his clever wife turns misfortune into their fortune is charming. Extremely useful to me as a Sinologist was the breakdown of the ritual that incorporates the burning of paper money at funerals into its five parts incorporating all five senses: lighting candles sight , lighting incense smell , offering food taste , burning the paper money touch At this point the work turned more anthropological and begins to compare the rite with other sacrifices and services in other cultures Cooper, Gene.

    In spite of the title, it contains a summary of Dean's own fascinating work on Taoist cults in South China.

    Dzi dzat (paper offerings)

    Dean, Kenneth. Princeton, Dean, Kenneth and Zheng Zhenman. Ritual Alliances of the Putian Plain.

    Incense makers cash in on Lunar New Year demand - Money Talks

    Leiden: Brill, DeGlopper, Donald R. David Johnson Univ. William Skinner Stanford Univ.


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    An investigation of rural superstitious activities in Chuansha County, Shanghai Municipality," Chinese Sociology and Anthropology , Caroline Walker Bynum Boston: , ch. Hsieh Jih-chang and Chuang ying-chang, eds.

    (PDF) Burning Money: The Material Spirit of the Chinese Life world. | Ziying You - aremouvvi.ml

    Johnson, David, Andrew J. Nathan, and Evelyn S. Jordan, David K. Press, Jordan, David K. Morris, and Marc L. Moskowitz, eds. Sidney L. Breenblatt, et. Rubinstein, eds. Steven Sangren Kuo, Z. Lagerwey, John, ed. Liao Hsien-huei. Lin, Wei-ping. Lu, Yunfeng. Luo Zhufeng, ed. Sharpe, MacInnis, Donald E. Press, Overmyer, Daniel L. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,