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The Sinister Way – The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture - California Scholarship Online
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The Sinister Way: The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture

Richard von Glahn


The most striking feature of Wutong, the preeminent God of Wealth in late imperial China, was the deity's diabolical character. Wutong was perceived not as a heroic figure or paragon of noble qualities but rather as an embodiment of humanity's basest vices, greed and lust, a maleficent demon who preyed on the weak and vulnerable. This book examines the emergence and evolution of the Wutong cult within the larger framework of the historical development of Chinese popular or vernacular religion—as opposed to institutional religions such as Buddhism or Daoism. This study, spanning three millennia ... More

Keywords: Wutong, God of Wealth, China, greed, lust, maleficent demon, cult, divine power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780520234086
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234086.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard von Glahn, author