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Religions 2018, 9(12), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120400

Did the Imperially Commissioned Manchu Rites for Sacrifices to the Spirits and to Heaven Standardize Manchu Shamanism?

Department of History and Culture, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, China
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract

The Imperially Commissioned Manchu Rites for Sacrifices to the Spirits and to Heaven (Manzhou jishen jitian dianli), the only canon on shamanism compiled under the auspices of the Qing dynasty, has attracted considerable attention from a number of scholars. One view that is held by a vast majority of these scholars is that the promulgation of the Manchu Rites by the Qing court helped standardize shamanic rituals, which resulted in a decline of wild ritual practiced then and brought about a similarity of domestic rituals. However, an in-depth analysis of the textual context of the Manchu Rites, as well as a close inspection of its various editions reveal that the Qing court had no intention to formalize shamanism and did not enforce the Manchu Rites nationwide. In fact, the decline of the Manchu wild ritual can be traced to the preconquest period, while the domestic ritual had been formed before the Manchu Rites was prepared and were not unified even at the end of the Qing dynasty. With regard to the ritual differences among the various Manchu clans, the Qing rulers took a more benign view and it was unnecessary to standardize them. The incorporation of the Chinese version of the Manchu Rites into Siku quanshu demonstrates the Qing court’s struggles to promote its cultural status and legitimize its rule of China. View Full-Text
Keywords: The Imperially Commissioned Manchu Rites for Sacrifices to the Spirits and to Heaven; shamanism; Manchu The Imperially Commissioned Manchu Rites for Sacrifices to the Spirits and to Heaven; shamanism; Manchu
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jiang, X. Did the Imperially Commissioned Manchu Rites for Sacrifices to the Spirits and to Heaven Standardize Manchu Shamanism? Religions 2018, 9, 400.

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