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|Other Titles: ||A Cosmic Model of ＂One Center, Four Regions＂: The Concepts of Defense in the Worship of Five Camps Soldiers|
Five Camps Soldiers;Defense;Ritual Propriety;Daoiam;the Fa School
|Issue Date: ||2014-09-18 13:56:35 (UTC+8)|
The worship of Five Camps Soldiers 五營信仰 currently practised on Taiwan and in southwestern China is a popular religious practice, especially in the Han Chinese community. Together with the Earth belief 土地信仰, it can be viewed as a symbol of defense by which devotees employ to protect their residential territory. Originating from the early Daoist beliefs, its ritual is a modified version of pre-Qin ritual propriety, and its organization, established in the Han Dynasty, consists of Three Qins 三秦 and Four Regions 四方. Located in the center are the Three Qins, and on the periphery, the Four Regions, which refer symbolically to the 30 protectorates of the ”empire,” namely, the nine Yi tribes in the east 東九夷, the eight Man tribes in the south 南八蠻, the six Rong tribes in the west西六戎, and finally the seven Di tribes in the north 北七鈥. Functioning as an imperial metaphor of defense, this religious organization, including the ritual of protecting tan (or. altar) 護壇儀式, is later adapted by the Fa School 法派 and then integrated with local residential guarding programs. The worship may be taken as an exorcistic minor rite 小法. However, it realizes concretely the cosmic model of ”One Center Four Regions.” and by commanding the celestial soldiers to advance or to retreat on a regular basis, it keeps the human realm a safe place to live. It may also sound like some minor arts 小道, but nevertheless it serves as a symbol for the village community and practically provides the villagers with a sense of belonging. In sum, it creates a relationship that speaks of right and obligation, as shown in sociology, and protection and safety as one may find in any religions. From the study of how the villages perceive the cosmos, and what they ask for from these celestial soldiers, we find a communal psychology that craves for protection in general and safety in the residential area. Finally, the study shows that human beings, as a religious entity, look beyond the living world: they seek for order and sacredness in their living environment as well.
|Relation: ||中正大學中文學術年刊, 15, 33-70|
|Data Type: ||article|
|Appears in Collections:||[宗教研究所] 期刊論文|
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