The worship of Mazu, the Chinese Goddess of Seafarers, is very much alive in Fujian and Guangdong, on Taiwan and Hainan, in Macau and Hong Kong, and among the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Temples and shrines dedicated to her, and often endowed with sizeable funds, have established highly complex relations across the Taiwan Strait and between communities in China and Southeast Asia, thereby actively contributing to the exchange of cultural achievements, religious tourism and, above all, to mutual understanding at all levels of society. The Mazu cult is one of many traditional features which mark China’s strong interest in her maritime past. Its cult also belongs to the past and present of Macau and the region now called Zhuhai, including some of the offshores islands nearby. While Portuguese works and studies in other European languages frequently refer to the Mazu cult in Macau, Western authors have devoted less attention to its role in Fujian, on Taiwan and in other locations. This present collection of papers may be seen as the fruits of earlier experiences and the result of repeated efforts to scholarly attention towards a fascinating topic hitherto much neglected in Europe.
Edited by Jiehua Cai and Marc Nürnberger
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