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From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao
The Essential Guide to Chinese Deities
Xueting Christine Ni
ISBN: 9781578636259
Book (Paperback)
Weiser Books
6 x 9
256 pages
Art throughout
June 1, 2018


"I have yet to be as pleased or as excited as I am at the opportunity to join in the celebration of Xueting Christine Ni’s debut, From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao. If you seek a primer text on the Chinese pantheon of divinities, then look no further. Luminous and detailed, this is an encyclopedic treasure trove that now renders the gods and goddesses of Eastern lore accessible to the West. Edifying, scholarly, and yet a sparkling, mesmerizing read, From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao is a personal favorite in my library." --Benebell Wen, author of The Tao of Craft: Fu Talismans and Casting Sigils in the Eastern Esoteric Tradition

"From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao is a must-read book for anyone who is interested in China. Xueting Christine Ni has woven history, society, religion, beliefs and most importantly a perspective into the Chinese mind set. A fascinating book that gives all of us a better understanding of today’s China." --Ken Hom, OBE, chef, author, and BBC presenter

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.

Xueting Christine Ni was born in Guangzhou, during China's "re-opening to the West". Having lived in cities across China, she emigrated with her family to Britain at the age of 11, where she continued to be immersed in Chinese culture, alongside her British education, realising ultimately that this gave her a unique a cultural perspective, bridging her Eastern and Western experiences. After graduating in English Literature from the University of London, she began a career in the publishing industry, whilst also translating original works of Chinese fiction. She returned to China in 2008 to continue her research at Central University of Nationalities, Beijing. Since 2010, Xueting has written extensively on Chinese culture and China's place in Western pop media, presenting publicly in collaboration with companies, theatres, institutions and festivals. Having worked on manhua, poetry, documentaries and science fiction, she continues her literary translation of China to the West, with a mission to help improve understanding of Chinese heritage, culture and innovation, and introduce its wonders to new audiences. Xueting currently lives in the suburbs of London with her partner and their cat, both of whom are learning Chinese.
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