20 Mar 2023 17:00

Spirit writing and gender in Chinese religious practice

Aula A - Palazzo Vendramin ai Carmini, Dorsoduro 3462

Center for the Study of Lived Religion
Inaugural Lecture

Elena Valussi, Loyola University Chicago
"Spirit writing and gender in Chinese religious practice"
Date: 20 March, 2023
Time: 17.00–18.30

This talk will first introduce spirit writing as a technique of communication between human and gods in Chinese religious practice. It will then focus more specifically on the presence of women and goddesses in spirit-writing circles from the earliest materials available to us, in an effort to make women in this tradition more visible, and their activities more acknowledged. I will explore the role of actual women within spirit-writing circles, the role of goddesses as communicators and transmitters of texts, and the gender-specific connection established between women and goddesses during this transmission. I also wish to render the implicit gender roles of male and female divinities more explicit in the context of spirit-writing transmission. The last part of the talk will focus more specifically on the transmission of spirit written texts at the core of the tradition of self-cultivation for women called female alchemy (nüdan 女丹).

Register in advance for this meeting: link
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For information please contact professor Joseph Sanzo


Department of Asian and North African Studies (Joseph Sanzo);


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