A late Qing Blossoming of the Seven Lotus : hagiographic novels about the Qizhen 七真

Abstract : This study of Qing-era hagiographic novels about the “Qizhen”, the seven early patriarchs of Quanzhen Daoism, offers a close analysis of both their contents and their context. By examining the treatment of Quanzhen characters and stories found in the novels, it shows that they collectively offered a venue for their authors to both refashion and innovate with many familiar tropes of earlier Daoist historical and hagiographic literature to fit the social and cultural realities of the Qing period. It further argues that the production and circulation of these reformulated and innovative hagiographical novels about the early Quanzhen masters seem to have been motivated by a group of self-claimed Quanzhen Longmen Daoist followers who shared an common proselytizing desire to promulgate a “correct religious path” and combat what they perceived to be the proliferating vulgar influence of profane novels throughout the Qing. The publication history of this group of hagiographic novels reveals the lasting impact that they exerted on the (re)production and circulation of Quanzhen identity in popular culture.
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Vincent Durand-Dastès. A late Qing Blossoming of the Seven Lotus : hagiographic novels about the Qizhen 七真. Liu Xun and Vincent Goossaert. Quanzhen Daoists in Chinese Society and Culture, 1500-2010, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley, pp.78-112, 2013, China Research Monograph, 978-1-57729-107-3. ⟨hal-01378114⟩

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