The making of female deities in North China, 800–1400
In order to study the multiplicity and controversy in the making of female deities, this dissertation takes both a longer perspective, the six centuries from 800 to 1400 as a whole as opposed to a single dynasty, and a broader perspective, writing about female deities in collections of hagiographies and making offerings to them and praying to them in local temples (traceable largely from temple inscriptions) rather than a single coherent body of texts. It starts with a search for continuities and transformations in representations of female deities and moves to an exploration into temple cults to female deities in North China. The examination of female cult deities includes an analysis of views and practices of various actors (the state, elites, clergy, and ordinary devotees) and influence of gender as well as a case study of the Two Transcendent cult in southeastern Shanxi.
0453: Womens studies