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  • Cited by 7
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Sandby-Thomas, Peter 2014. Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China.

    Sagli, G. 2008. Learning and Experiencing Chinese Qigong in Norway. East Asian Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 2, Issue. 4, p. 545.

    Yi-Da Chen, Ahmed Abbasi, and Hsinchun Chen, 2008. 2008 IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics. p. 7.

    Dunn, Emily C. 2007. Netizens of Heaven: Contesting Orthodoxies on the Chinese Protestant Web. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 31, Issue. 4, p. 447.

    LU, YUNFENG 2005. Entrepreneurial Logics and the Evolution of Falun Gong. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 44, Issue. 2, p. 173.

    Penny, Benjamin 2005. The Falun Gong, Buddhism and “Buddhist qigong”. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 35.

    Pittinsky, Todd L. and Zhu, Cheng 2005. Contemporary public leadership in China: A research review and consideration. The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 16, Issue. 6, p. 921.

  • The China Quarterly, Volume 175
  • September 2003, pp. 643-661

The Life and Times of Li Hongzhi: Falun Gong and Religious Biography


When the suppression of the falun gong started in July 1999, one of the targets of the government's propaganda was the biography of Li Hongzhi, its founder and leader. This article examines two versions of a biography of Li Hongzhi published by the falun gong in 1993 and 1994 that are no longer available. This biography presents Li as possessing superhuman abilities and god-like insight. In my analysis, I place this biography in the context of a centuries-old tradition of religious biography in China showing that, in textual terms, it represents a contemporary example of that venerable genre. As with its precursors, this biography seeks to establish a genealogy of the figure whose life is recorded and to buttress the orthodoxy of his doctrine.

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I am indebted to the National Library of Australia for a Harold White Research Fellowship that enabled me to do this research.
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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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