China is an immense land with a history spanning thousands of years, and its needs and problems are perhaps too many for a single deity to watch over. This book begins to explore the veritable army of gods, immortals, and deities to whom the Chinese have turned for help, support, and intervention–not just in the annals of history but also in the bustling modern world.
From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao offers fascinating insight into the complex interweaving of China’s main religions and folklore and the way the gods themselves have evolved to meet changing challenges, finding their way from scriptures and statues to vouchers and videogames. Author Xueting Christine Ni recounts the stories of 60 Chinese gods and goddesses, selected from across the spectrum of China’s mythical beings, deified heroes, gods, goddesses, and immortals. They derive from Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and folklore, as well as revered sages and protective deities from other traditions. Get to know Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy; Zhong Ku, the demon slayer; Tian Hou, the goddess of the sea; the beloved Monkey King, and a host of other Chinese deities, both ancient and modern.
In addition to exploring the origins and rituals of this eclectic pantheon, this book also looks at how, in a country that has undergone a myriad of changes and upheavals, its gods and goddesses have never been more than a whisper away.