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陈进国:《救劫:当代济度宗教的田野研究》
  作者:陈进国 | 中国民俗学网   发布日期:2017-05-16 | 点击数:1083
 

  序一 济度宗教的重要性

  [美]魏乐博

  陈进国教授关于济度宗教的大作在最重要的时间节点上出版了。大约一个世纪前,济度宗教在中国开始飞速增长。尽管20世纪后半叶它们在中国大陆丧失了存在的根基,但在台湾、香港和海外华人群体中继续发展,尤其是在东南亚地区。如今它们的信仰群体再一次显著增长。如果我们非常宽泛地理解“济度宗教”这一术语,将其作为一种医治时弊、创造人间天国可能性的关切,这一现象与基督教某些派别的主张或人本主义佛教的快速增长都密切相关。换言之,济度宗教已成为当代中国人生活中最有创造性并快速增长的文化发展的一部分。清楚地认识到这一点,对于我们每个人来说都至关重要。
  关于这些济度宗教团体的研究,学界长时间以来没有出现任何成熟的、视野广阔的综述性研究。欧大年等人开创性的研究,数年以来已经发生了很大的改变。另外,陈教授这种基于民族志深度视角对中国济度宗教团体的概览性的综合性研究,是具有开创性意义的。因而,该专著为学界对本领域的研究,提供了一种非常受欢迎的、非常重要的文献补充。
  这一专著有助于我们加深对济度宗教的认知,具有很多意义非凡的洞见。这里我尤其强调以下三个方面:
  首先,尽管这些团体的发展和延续不能与中国的全球化割裂开来,但所有的济度宗教团体基本都是本土原生性的。换言之,它们在中国的社会中发展,由中国人自己推动,在某种意义上,它们也将中国人的思想带入全球化对话的广阔视野。在面对新问题的时候,它们往往要被重新改造,因而,我们看到它们持续地与儒家、佛教和道教的思想展开对话就不足为奇了。在很多这些团体中,灵媒的频繁使用进一步激发了具有新思想的快速改变和实验,因为与精神力量如此直接的交流具有足够的神力使改变成为可能。陈教授用“家族相似性”的理论体系来辨识这些团体,使我们的视野更加开阔,能够看到这些相似的本土力量在民国时期开创人间天国的基督教运动中所起的作用,包括,同时期开始的康有为建立孔教会的盼望和人本主义佛教期待。因此,中国不仅仅是全球化和帝国主义野心的牺牲品,还是创建新精神世界尝试的积极推动者。
  第二,这些团体完全是现代化的。鉴于这些团体往往假借古代的宗教思想体系,经常利用诸如邪灵附体或者其他神圣启示机制的情况,这一观点似乎非常奇怪。尽管如此,它们的现代性恰恰符合了马克斯•韦伯和其他学者所谓现代性标志的那些特点:将自主个体的思想作为行动的基本单位,将世界看作普遍原则而非公共原则的主体,建立更宽容的官僚架构,并且努力培育理性的、有秩序的知识形式。这些观点与哲学家埃里克•沃格林所谓的“现代诺斯替教”有一定的相似性,他所指的是那些基于直接与真理相联系思想的运动,强调特权精神领袖的重要作用,以及建立完善的人间天国的可能性。尽管这一术语唤起了更早期基督教运动的记忆,但沃格林将这些运动看作完全现代的,并且确实认为它们影响了20世纪某些最重要全球运动。也正是在这个意义上,这些济度宗教团体为全球性对话提供了中国人独有的一种回应。
  最后,我发现陈教授关于宗教“内卷化”的思想极其有价值的。针对这些济度宗教团体中如此广泛的现象,这一思想有助于阐释那些我们所见的越来越复杂的精神系统的发展(诸如冥想和宇宙学),对神秘知识的强调以及成员关系的清晰边界(与更多传统的中国人的宗教性形式相比较而言)等问题的成因。他已经指出了广泛存在于济度宗教团体发展中的一个现象,并允许我们将其看作一种明智的适应。
  世界范围的很多宗教人类学的近期发展都在关注西方之外的基督教,这是一个先前被该领域学界大大忽视的主题。陈教授的专著赋予我们一种超越基督教的更宽阔的视野,让我们更加清楚认识到宗教如何在不放弃自身本土化根基的情况下适应现代社会。
  魏乐博
  波士顿大学
  2016年6月

  注:序一由中国社会科学院世界宗教研究所梁恒豪博士翻译。

  Preface Ⅰ Significance of Salvationist religions

  Robert P.Weller

  Professor ChenJinguo's book on salvationist religions comes at an important time. Suchreligions began growing rapidly in China roughly a century ago. Even thoughthey lost much ground on the mainland in the second half of the twentiethcentury, they continued in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among overseas Chinese,especially in Southeast Asia. Today they are once again growing significantly.If we take the term "salvationist religion" very broadly, as aconcern with curing the ills of the present and creating the possibility of akind of heaven on earth, the phenomenon is closely related to certain kinds ofChristianity and to the rapid rise of humanistic Buddhism. That is, it constitutesone of the most creative and rapidly growing cultural developments in modernChinese life—something that is important for all of us to understand moreclearly.
  It has been along time since we have had any sophisticated broad overview of these groups,and much has changed in the years since the pioneering work of Daniel Overmyerand others. In addition, we have never had a general study of general range ofChinese salvationist groups based on the kind of ethnographic depth thatProfessor Chen offers here. This book thus offers a very welcome and importantaddition to our literature.
  Of the manysignificant insights that this book offers to our understanding of salvationistreligion, there are three that I would particularly highlight here.
  First,although the rise and success of these groups cannot be understood apart fromChina's contact with global forces, all of them are fundamentally indigenous.That is, they developed in Chinese societies, at the hands of Chinese people,in part as ways of bringing Chinese thought into dialogue with broader globalevents. It is thus no surprise that we see a constant dialogue of Confucian,Buddhist, and Daoist ideas as they are reworked to face new problems. Thefrequent use of spirit mediums in many of these groups further encouraged rapidchange and experimentation with new ideas, because such direct communicationwith spiritual powers carries enough charisma to make change possible. We canlook even more broadly—extending the set of "family resemblances"that Professor Chen uses to identify these groups—to see some of the same indigenizing forces at work insome Chinese Christian movements of the Republican Period, in Kang Youwei'shope for a 孔教会, or in the humanistic Buddhist hope,beginning at around the same time, to create a "Pure Land" onearth. China was thus not simply avictim of globalization and imperialist ambition, but an active player in theattempt to create a new spiritual world.
  Second, thesegroups are completely modern. Such a claim may seem odd given how these groupsrecall ancient systems of religious thought, and how they make use ofmechanisms like spirit possession or other forms of divine revelation. In spiteof this, their modernity consists in just those traits that Max Weber andothers consider the hallmarks of modernity: placing the idea of an autonomous individual as the basic unit ofaction, seeing the world as subject to universal principles rather thancommunal ones, creating broad bureaucratic structures, and striving to fosterrationalized and orderly forms of knowledge. They bear a certain amount ofresemblance to what the philosopher Erik Voegelin called "modernGnosticism," by which he meant movements based around the idea of a directaccess to truth, the important role of a privileged spiritual elite, and thepossibility of creating a perfected realm on earth. Even though the termrecalls a far earlier Christian movement, Voegelin saw these movements asabsolutely modern, and indeed as having influenced some of the most importantglobal movements in the twentieth century. In this sense too, thesesalvationist groups offer a uniquely Chinese response to a global conversation.
  Finally, I findProfessor Chen's idea of religious "involution" (内卷化) extremely useful. It helps to explainwhy, with so many of these groups, we see the development of ever moreelaborate spiritual systems of meditation and cosmology, the emphasis on secretknowledge, and the clear demarcations of membership (in contrast to moretraditional Chinese forms of religiosity). He has identified a phenomenon that occurs across a wide range ofsalvationist group and allowed us to see it as a sensible adaptation.
  Many of the recentdevelopments in the world-wide anthropology of religion have concernedChristianity outside the West—a topic that had previously been much neglectedby the field. With Professor Chen's book we have a widening of perspectivebeyond Christianity, which offers us a greatly enhanced view of how religioncan adapt itself to modern times without simply giving up its indigenous roots.

  注:Robert P. Weller(魏乐博),美国波士顿大学人类学系主任、教授。


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  文章来源:中国民俗学网
【本文责编:郑艳】

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