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Making Saints in Modern China$
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David Ownby, Vincent Goossaert, and Ji Zhe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190494568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190494568.001.0001

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Sainthood, Science, and Politics

Sainthood, Science, and Politics

The Life of Li Yujie, Founder of the Tiandijiao*

7 (p.241) Sainthood, Science, and Politics
Making Saints in Modern China

David Ownby

Oxford University Press

This chapter chronicles the life of Li Yujie, student leader in the Shanghai May Fourth movement and Guomindang member who went on to found a redemptive society, the Tiandijiao (Heavenly Emperor Teachings) in Taiwan in the 1980s. Li was a technocrat in the Nanjing government’s Finance Ministry when he met Xiao Changming, the founder of the Tiandejiao (Heavenly Virtues Teachings). Li became Xiao’s lieutenant, helped him to establish his society in Shanghai, and was subsequently sent to Xi’an to proselytize. Li spent the eight years of the Sino-Japanese War on Huashan, one of China’s sacred mountains, where he corresponded with the gods via spirit-writing and authored his own sacred texts combining science with the White Lotus tradition. He succeeded Xiao to the leadership of the group after Xiao’s death in 1943, but for political reasons postponed most of his religious activities until after his retirement in 1965.

Keywords:   Li Yujie, Xiao Changming, Tiandejiao, Tiandijiao, Guomindang, Huashan, Redemptive Society

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