The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan

The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan : Adapting to a Changing Religious Economy

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The most influential sect in the Chinese mainland in the 1940s, Yiguan Dao was largely destroyed in mainland China in 1953. Yiguan Dao not only survived, however, but developed into the largest sect in Taiwan, despite its suppression by the Kuomintang state. In 1987, through relentless efforts, the sect finally gained legal status in Taiwan. Today, Yiguan Dao not only thrives in Chinese societies, but has also become a world-wide religion which has spread to more than sixty countries. This book, based on fieldwork conducted in 2002 in Taiwan, is the first English-language scholarly study exclusively focusing on Yiguan Dao. Lu includes a history of Yiguan Dao in mainland China, but focuses on the sect's evolution in Taiwan in the past few decades. Specifically, he probes the operation of Yiguan Dao under suppression in the past twenty years, and examines the relationship between Yiguan Dao and its rivals in Taiwan's religious market. The Transformation of Yiguan Dao in Taiwan develops the religious economy model by extending it to Chinese more

Product details

  • Hardback | 214 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073911719X
  • 9780739117194

Review quote

Yunfeng Lu describes how a Chinese sect, Yiguan Dao, developed in Taiwan from being outlawed as an evil religion to being wooed by political leaders. We are shown how, initially, state suppression was a crucial variable in preventing any 'sect-to-church' development, creating an environment in which the sects, often operating in secrecy, underwent frequent schisms with a series of charismatic leaders. Once the suppression was removed, however, the movement was able to establish a stable organization, socialize second and subsequent generations, train a professional clergy and, in several other ways, reduce previous tensions between itself and the wider society. This is an excellent monograph that should be read for both its fascinating ethnographic detail and its undoubted contribution to sociological theory. -- Eileen Barker, London School of Economics Yunfeng Lu's meticulous research on Yiguan Dao adds new dimensions to the cross-national and historical study of religious movements. He traces the group's rise, suppression, and revitalization in China and Taiwan from the nineteenth century, combining participant observation and interviews with documentary and historical research. Yu also offers a substantial theoretical contribution about the complex interaction of state regulation, religious markets, and the vitality of religious movements. -- Marion S. Goldman, University of Oregon While various books and articles have touched on this religion...none have discussed the differing historical manifestations of Yiguan Dao or provided holistic accounts of its practice. Yunfeng Lu's study analyzing the religion's growth and adaptations to social change performs this role admirably... This multifaceted book will be invaluable to both seasoned scholars and undergraduate students alike. -- Scott Pacey The China Journal, January 2009 This book does have valuable contributions to both Yiguan Dao studies and general sociological studies on Chinese religion. Journal of Chinese Religions This is a well-crafted monograph about a Chinese religion. It provides the most comprehensive overview of Yiguan Dao, a religious sect that is perhaps obscure to most people but specialists would trace its spiritual roots back about 2000 years ago ... Given the revivals of various religions in mainland China since the late 1970s, it is indeed very interesting to find out what has happened to Yinguan Dao and other sects in mainland China. I am hopeful to see more theory-driven empircal studies from Yunfeng Lu and other scholars. -- Fenggang Yang, 2009 Journal of Contemporary Asia This remarkable and very readable book offers a brilliant preview of the way in which the sociology of religion will soon be greatly enriched by new studies of Asia faiths and religious movements. Nor will this enrichment only consist of new descriptive materials. Rather, because of the extensive current dialogues and collaborations between Eastern and Western scholars, the new studies will explicitly use the descriptive Asian materials to test and revise the latest theories, just as Lu's title indicates. In fact, Yunfeng Lu is playing a prominent role in these dialogues and collaborations, holding as he does appointments at both the University of Beijing and Baylor University. -- Rodney Stark, co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University; author of Religious Hostility Students and scholars of Chinese religions will benefit from Lu's in depth study. Likewise, the sociology of religion field receives a rich case study of a Chinese new religion. Religious Studies Review, March 2010show more

About Yunfeng Lu

Yunfeng Lu is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Peking University, more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Yiguan Dao in Mainland China: 1930-1953 Chapter 3 Yiguan Dao in Taiwan: 1949-1987 Chapter 4 Helping People to Fulfill Vows: Religious Commitment within Yiguan Dao Chapter 5 Market Forces and Religious Experiences Chapter 6 Deregulation and Organizational Transformation Chapter 7 Doctrinal Transformation within Yiguan Dao Chapter 8 Conclusionshow more