Images of the Immortal: The Cult of Lu Dongbin at the Palace of Eternal Joy

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9780824821708: Images of the Immortal: The Cult of Lu Dongbin at the Palace of Eternal Joy
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The Palace of Eternal Joy (Yongle Gong) is a mammoth cult site dedicated to one of late imperial China's most popular deities, Lu Dongbin. This study focuses on the Palace's role in the development of Lu's legend. It takes into account the various "histories" of the Palace presented in different texts and stresses the ways in which the site both reflected and produced cultural diversity. Paul R. Katz analyzes the texts in terms of the textuality - the processes by which they were produced, transmitted and understood. The study begins with a detailed description of the Palace of Eternal Joy and a brief account of its history. The reader is then introduced to the cult of Lu Dongbin. Special consideration is given to various hagiographical traditions, particularly those that influenced the growth of his cult at Yongle. Katz then looks at the four types of inscriptions found at the Palace (commemorative, official, hagiographical and poetic) and identifies the Palace patrons who worshipped there and contributed to its growth.

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About the Author:

Paul Katz is associate professor of Chinese history at National Central University, Chung-li, Taiwan.

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