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The Spiritual Land Rush: Merit and Morality in New Chinese Buddhist Temple Construction

  • Gareth Fisher
Abstract

This article explores factors contributing to a boom in Buddhist temple construction in contemporary mainland China. In contrast to recent studies focusing on struggles between religious believers and the state over the revival of local temples and churches, this article examines the culture of merit making and morality building that leads clergy and lay practitioners to form translocal networks with the aim of constructing temples in rural areas where they have few or any cultural ties. The author explores how temple building is driven by differing moral visions within the urban Buddhist community, but with little consideration for the culture and history of the people in the localities where the temples are constructed.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
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