The Drama of “God-Making” 360 Years Ago
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The Drama of “God-Making” 360 Years Ago book
The establishment of temples to worship spirits goes back to a very early period. This was one way of making provision for the dead. When people die, it is only a matter of the physical frame being dismantled; the soul continues to exist, but it has lost its home. In the section of the Book of Changes attributed to Confucius, there is a warning that “a spirit may take physical shape, and wandering spirits may take on strange forms.” The governor general of Ji-Liao established seven shrines in his constituency, spending hundreds of thousands of taels of silver. The Jizhou shrine had a statue made of agolloch eagle-wood. A lively drama that involved raising a living person to a pedestal of divinity thus came to an end. History had already begun its move out of the Middle Ages, yet, strange to say, the medieval movements of god-making had not yet exhausted themselves.