Cover: Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities, from Harvard University PressCover: Materializing Magic Power in HARDCOVER

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 97

Materializing Magic Power

Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities

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Product Details


$39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674504363

Publication Date: 02/23/2015


220 pages

6 x 9 inches

24 halftones, 7 maps, 2 tables

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series


An ethnographic work that weaves together description and theoretical discussion, Materializing Magic Power demonstrates the insights we achieve when we approach religious practices from the vantage of materiality. The book will give scholars who have been working on Chinese religious practices a new and promising framework in which to revisit ethnographic and archival sources. For the novice, it gives a thorough multi-sited introduction to popular religious life in all its contemporary complexities. Materializing Magic Power will appeal to those curious about religious practices, but will also engage anyone who wonders about material culture’s role in how we build lasting social relationships.—D. J. Hatfield, Berklee College of Music

Materializing Magic Power is a significant contribution to the anthropology of religion and to the study of religion in China. We have quite a few studies of rural religion in Taiwan (although this is particularly well done in Lin’s case), but almost nothing for any Chinese society that brings this level of ethnographic context to migrant religion. It is by far the best study of this kind that I have seen for any Chinese community, even though we have known how important migration has been.—Robert P. Weller, Boston University

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