Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society. Demon warrior puppets, sword-wielding Taoist priests, spirit mediums lacerating their bodies with spikes and blades-these are among the most dramatic images in Chinese religion. Usually linked to the propitiation of plague gods and the worship of popular military deities, such ritual practices have an obvious but previously unexamined kinship with the traditional Chinese martial arts. Based on fieldwork in China and Taiwan spanning nearly two decades, Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters offers a thorough and original account of violent ritual and ritual violence in Chinese religion and society. Close-up, sensitive portrayals and the voices of ritual actors themselves-mostly working-class men, many of them members of sworn brotherhoods and gangs-convincingly link martial ritual practice to the lives and desires of men on the margins of Chinese society. This work is a significant contribution to the study of Chinese ritual and religion, the history and sociology of Chinese underworld, the history and anthropology of the martial arts, and the anthropology of masculinity.

Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters

SKU: 050607
$46.40 Regular Price
$35.73Sale Price
  • ISBN

    9780824834913
  • Authors

    Boretz, Avron
  • Extent

    273
  • Format

    Paperback
  • Year

    2011
  • Publisher

    University of Hawaii Press

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