Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Guan YuThe Religious Afterlife of a Failed Hero$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Barend J. ter Haar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803645.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2020

A Deity’s Conquest of China

A Deity’s Conquest of China

(p.75) 4 A Deity’s Conquest of China
Guan Yu

Barend J. ter Haar

Oxford University Press

From the eleventh century onwards we see an increasing importance of supra-local cults for anthropomorphic deities all over China, including the worship of Lord Guan. In the conventional account of the spread of the cult, it is assumed that people were acquainted with the deity’s image from written narrative traditions, especially the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This account derives in large part from the typical mind-set of literate elites (including modern scholars) that written texts trump all other forms of cultural influence. This chapter argues that the cult was transmitted all across northern China in particular in the form of oral stories that featured a miraculous event demonstrating Lord Guan’s power. It will be shown how the cult was already widespread by the first half of the early fourteenth century, long before the narrative traditions of the Three Kingdoms acquired their phenomenal popularity and were transformed into written texts.

Keywords:   Lord Guan, oral culture, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Sanguo yanyi, Korean travellers, salt trade, Shanxi merchants

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .