The Water God's Temple of the Guangsheng Monastery: Cosmic Function of Art, Ritual & Theater
374 pag. hardcover 17 x 25 cm
The 14th century dragon king temple in Southern Shanxi is the only known intact survivor of this ancient Water God institution once existing in every Chinese agricultural community. After describing the history, lay-out and mural paintings of the building, its original Yuan time mural paintings enable the author to depict the ritual of praying for rain, and the actual rain-making of the god. The meaning of the unique painting of a theatrical company is interpreted as to subject and its connections with the ritual of praying for rain. Rainmaking magic is compared with similar practices in other parts of the world (India), and thus suggests a common cosmological basis of Chinese and Indian cultures, and a common pattern of human behaviour and mode of thinking concerning human procreation and food production.