The rise of Spatial Humanities has spurred a digital revolution in the field of Chinese studies, especially in the study of religion. Based on years of data compilation and analysis of religious sites, this book explores the formation of Regional Religious Systems (RRS) in Greater China in unprecedented scope and depth. It addresses quantitatively the enduring historical and contemporary issues of China’s deep-rooted regionalism and spatially variegated cultural and religious landscape.

A range of topics are explored: theoretical discussions of the concept of RRS; case studies of regional and local religious institutions; the formation of local cults and pilgrimage network; and the spread of religious networks to overseas Chinese communities and the Bon religion in Tibet. The book also considers long-standing challenges of researching with spatial data for humanities and social science research, such as data collection, integration, spatial analysis, and map creation.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars in Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, Chinese Studies, Digital Humanities, Human Geography and Sociology.

chapter |31 pages

Introduction Exploring Regional Religious Systems (RRS)

Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

part I|38 pages

RRS and the Spread of Religious Sites in Medieval China

chapter 1|23 pages

Making and Marking Buddhist Sacred Space

Wuyue Buddhism and Its Influence in the Song Dynasty (960–1279)1

chapter 2|13 pages

On the Spatio-temporal Analysis of Religious Institutions

A Study of the Jinhua Prefectural Gazetteer of 1480

part II|62 pages

RRS and the Buddhist Pilgrimage Network in Late Imperial China

chapter 4|20 pages

The Ways of Traveling

A Historical GIS Examination of the Pilgrimage Routes Centered on Mt. Jiuhua in Late Imperial China

part III|41 pages

Regional Analysis of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Religions

chapter 7|12 pages

Churches at the Margin

Mapping the Establishment of Protestant and Catholic Churches in China, ca. 1949–20041