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Rituals, Spacetime and Family in a “Native” Community of North Shanghai

Department of Religious Studies, School of Philosophy, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433, China
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Religions 2019, 10(10), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100582
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
China’s dramatic process of urbanization has profound influence on the country’s religious communities, practices and psyche. This article focuses on a village of North Shanghai that has been integrated into urban life through demolition and relocation at the turn of the century. It follows the evolution of the ritual practices of its former inhabitants until present day. It underlines the fracture that has occurred in the way jia (home/family) was recognized and lived as a focus of ritual activities, and it documents the subsequent enlargement of the ritual sphere that is taking place. The choice of specific temples as privileged places of pilgrimage and ancestral worship is shown to be the result of a combination of factors, relational, geographical, and financial. The study also highlights the fact that the plasticity and inventiveness of the practices observed still testify to the resilience of the “home” concept, whatever the transformation it undergoes, and it links such resilience to the agency of women. By closely following the dynamic of ritual activities in the everyday life of the community under study, the article aims at providing a pragmatic and evolving approach to what “Chinese religion” is becoming in an urban context. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese religion; urban religiosities; social space; family; lineages; rituals Chinese religion; urban religiosities; social space; family; lineages; rituals
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Chen, J.; Vermander, B. Rituals, Spacetime and Family in a “Native” Community of North Shanghai. Religions 2019, 10, 582.

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