Are The Gods On Our Side?

Boxer, Gansu Brave, Tiger-man

I have an essay for Gods and Radicals entitled “Are The Gods On Our Side?” I use Guan Di as a case study to analyze the implications of both sides of a conflict (such as the class struggle) praying to the same god(s).

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2 responses to “Are The Gods On Our Side?

  • aediculaantinoi

    Excellent article (which for some reason, before now, would not show up for me when I looked for it–?!?), and I’ll be looking forward to welcoming you to MGW in July! 😉

    One further question: do you know more about that intriguing Manchu shield in the photo above? It looks very interesting!

    • Heathen Chinese

      Sadly, I don’t know more about the Manchu shield, but I would assume that it’s related to some sort of totemic tiger spirit or god. Traditional Manchu religious practices are usually classified as “shamanism” by anthropologists (though maybe that term is out of vogue these days), I think.

      The symbol at the top of the shield is the Chinese character for “king,” which is said to be present on the foreheads of tigers (it’s easy to see how that association came to be, since tigers are striped, and the character consists of three horizontal lines with a vertical line connecting them).

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