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the Goossaert’s preface, are lectures in colloquial language (often in dialects), based on the written texts, which allowed even illiterate people to comprehend the basic meaning of didactic texts.17 This book of translations may be recommended to everybody interested in the history, religion, and culture of China. The facing-page bilingual format for the texts and their translations—combined with the general simplicity of the classical Chinese used in morality books—also makes it good study material for Francophone students learning classical Chinese. ROSTISLAV BEREZKIN Fudan University JINHUA JIA, XIAOFEI KANG, and PING YAO, eds., Gendering Chinese Religion: Subject, Identity, and Body. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2014. x, 300 pp. US$30 (hb). ISBN 978-1-4384-5307-1 This book is a collection of essays that grew out of the papers presented at the First International Conference on Women and Gender in Chinese Religion, which took place at the University of Macao in 2011. The editors attempt to tackle the “double blindness” in the study of religion and gender and to promote the “gendercritical turn” first proposed by Ursula King in 2004. They identify a double blindness specific to the China field, namely, that gender has received little attention in the scholarship on Chinese religion, while religion has rarely been included in scholarly discussions on gender in China. Such blindness renders the gender dimensions of Chinese religiosity invisible. The editors propose to remedy this by “facilitating multidisciplinary and comparative dialogues, integrating the studies of women, gender, and religion in the China field and thoroughly investigating their scope, methodologies , sources, and perspectives” (p. 2). The result is a welcome collection that delivers what it advertises. The nine essays in this volume are grouped around three themes: restoring female religiosity and subjectivity, redefining identity and tradition, and recovering bodily differences. Each theme is discussed in a set of three essays written by scholars with very different disciplinary training. Within each set the essays are arranged chronologically. Thus, the editors optimize the chronological, disciplinary, and thematic coverage of the volume while highlighting the particular strengths of the field. The three essays in part 1, by Yao Ping, Beata Grant, and Zhange Ni, aim to reconstruct women’s religiosity and subjectivity. They do so by examining previously neglected texts or rereading familiar texts that portray or are written by women on their religious beliefs and experiences. Yao Ping focuses on understudied medieval epigraphical materials, drawing attention to the ways mothers and daughters helped shape and promote Chinese manifestations of Buddhist filiality in the Tang era. Beata Grant and Zhange Ni both focus on women’s own narrations of 17 On this, see Yau Chi-on (You Zi’an) 游子安, “Cong xuanjiang shengyu dao shuo shanshu: jindai quanshan fangshi zhi chuancheng 從宣講聖諭到說善書:近代勸善方式之傳承,” Wenhua yichan 文化遺產 2008, no. 2 (cumulative no. 3): 49–58. 206 REVIEWS their religious experiences. Examining the autobiographical sermon of female Chan master Jizong Xingche 繼總行徹 (1606–?), Grant argues that Jizong gained authority and legitimacy by adopting the self-narratives of early male Chan masters when relating her own enlightenment experience. Zhange re-reads the autobiographical novel Jixin (棘心, Thorny Heart) by the well-known woman author Su Xuelin 蘇雪林 (1897–1999), delineating the blind spots that obscure the richness of the novel. In particular, Su’s nationalist and revolutionary audience ignored her Catholic conservatism while her Catholic audience failed to appreciate the inherent radicalism of a woman intellectual converting to Catholicism. Neither group acknowledged the unique challenges faced by women Catholics and their genderspecific religious experience in the early twentieth century. Part 2 consists of three essays by Jinhua Jia, Xiaofei Kang, and Wai Ching Angela Wong. The stated aim is to “analyze the gender lenses and discourses through which religious women have been commented upon and judged” (p. 9). The three essays illuminate the nature and significance of religious women’s interaction with men and their religious activities in the public sphere. Jia, drawing from both transmitted and excavated sources, effectively dispels the long-standing misimpression that Daoist priestesses of the Tang dynasty were courtesans. Kang follows the evolution of the story of The White-Haired Girl from a narrative condemning the oppression of poor peasants by wealthy landowners to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2050-8999
Print ISSN
0737-769X
Pages
pp. 206-208
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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