The geography of religions: Comparing Buddhist and Taoist sacred mountains in China

Mengyuan Bella QIU, Qing PEI, Ziyuan LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increasing attention has been given to geographical contributions to cultural heritage in religion. However, comparative quantitative research remains scarce. As a first attempt, this study presents findings from comparative spatial and statistical analyses of the geographical distribution and features of mountains in China sacred in Taoism and Buddhism. Because both have strong orientations to natural environments, we find more similarities than differences between them, even though the two religions have different origins, philosophies, and doctrines. The results empirically support the influences of Taoism on Buddhism in China, findings that supplement current understandings of Buddhism in China in terms of the geographical dynamics of integration and sinicisation of Chinese culture. The findings also enrich current debates, including in this journal, emphasising the importance of environmental symbols in studies on geography and religion. Connecting humanity with physical geography in light of the changes, including grief, being wrought in the Anthropocene, we hope to inspire more geographically grounded and methodologically eclectic studies on religions. Copyright © 2022 Institute of Australian Geographers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
JournalGeographical Research
Volume61
Issue number1
Early online date05 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Citation

Qiu, M., Pei, Q., & Lin, Z. (2023). The geography of religions: Comparing Buddhist and Taoist sacred mountains in China. Geographical Research, 61(1), 58-70. doi: 10.1111/1745-5871.12562

Keywords

  • Buddho–Taoist comparison
  • China
  • Cultural heritage
  • Geographical distribution and feature
  • Religion
  • Sacred mountains

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