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Searching for Peking’s Temples: Inscriptions, archives and fieldwork


October 24, 2013
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Irene Lin

Lecture by Marianne Bujard, Ecole française d’Extreme-Orient. Sponsored by the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies and co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies.

For the past decades, Peking has been undergoing tremendous transformation. Boosted by the opportunities of the new real estate market, the city is in the process of being completely reshaped. The thousands of temples which were part of the landscape and the social life of the capital are vanishing. Since 2003, together with a team of scholars Bujard has conducted research and fieldwork in order to make a complete survey of the temples of the inner city of Peking and to study their history and social functions. The main sources of the research are over five hundred inscriptions preserved in rubbings; the documentation found in the imperial and republican archives; and the results of interviews and fieldwork, which allowed us to identify 1500 temples. This presentation will discuss the principal results of the program and its publications.


Marianne Bujard is professor at the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient and teaches at the Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes. In the last ten years she has been in charge of a research program on the temples of Peking and the publishing of its results. Her works bears principally on the religious history of ancient China (Le sacrifice au ciel dans la Chine ancienne : théorie et pratique sous les Han Occidentaux, EFEO: Paris, 2000) and on the local cults (with Qin Jianming, Yaoshan shengmu miao yu shenshe (Le culte de la Dame du Yaoshan), Beijing: Zhonghua, 2003).