Out of the Ashes: Remembrance and Reconstruction in Catholic Shanxi, 1900-Present

  • Anthony E. Clark


Summer 1900. When the Sino-Western conflicts of the Boxer Uprising had reached their climax in 1900, the Shanxi Confucian, Liu Dapeng, penned a vivid account of the turbulence around his studio. In his Casual Notes from within the Garden (Qianyuan suoji), Liu described the theatrical ceremonies at Jinci Temple, where Boxers summoned the gods to possess their bodies and render them invulnerable:

Suddenly they raised their gaze and then dropped to the ground as if they were in a sound sleep. Before long their hands and feet began to undulate. They stood erect and danced around with a fierce expression, their eyes shut so tightly they could not be opened. Then they made fists and claws with their hands, leaping and rushing around.1


Shanxi Province Catholic Church Catholic Bishop Beijing Review Catholic Population 
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    Liu Dapeng, Qianyuan suoji (Casual Notes from Within the Garden), in Yihetuan zai Shanxi diqu shiliao (Historical Sources on Boxers in Shanxi), ed. Qiao Zhiqiang (Taiyuan: Shanxi Renmin Chubanshe, 1980), p. 28.Google Scholar
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© Cindy Yik-yi Chu 2014

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  • Anthony E. Clark

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