August 26, 2008

Book on Taiwanese religion and note on last post

Via Steven Crook's blog, I came by what looks like a great on-line book today, Gods, Ghosts, & Ancestors: Folk Religion in a Taiwanese Village, by David Jordan.

After just spending a few minutes looking through the book, I learned the technical name for the idols described in yesterday's post. They are called josses.

Occasionally I have questions about Taiwanese religion, but most young people I know aren't very knowledgeable about the details. And of the things I observe, I probably have a lot of mistaken ideas. For example, I only recently learned that the money burnt to ancestors and the money burnt to the gods are completely different things. Ghost money (冥紙) is normally only burnt during ghost month. The rest of the time, the paper money burnt to the gods is not called ghost money. I'm sure I'm missing a lot of details, so the book mentioned above looks valuable.


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