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Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700$
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Jimmy Yu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844906

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844906.001.0001

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Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain

Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain

(p.115) 5 Exposing and Burning the Body for Rain
Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700


Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the rainmaking practices of ritual exposure and self-immolation. It discusses the practices of different performers, including emperors, local officials, Buddhist monks, Daoist clerics, and female shamans. Their practices provide different models of understanding rainmaking rituals, each replete with its own set of ritual technologies and logic. It also discusses the various exorcistic powers of the human body in relation to rainmaking. The chapter argues that despite the diversity and the different types of performers, what underlies the different rainmaking practices is a performance-centered understanding of the universe that is thaumaturgical.

Keywords:   rainmaking, rain, thaumaturgy, ritual exposure, self-immolation, body, exorcistic, efficacy, sincerity, stimulus response, biocosmological power

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