Religion in Social Classification and Social Orders: A Study of Catholicism in A Tibetan Village in Yunnan

Mengyin HU
2021 International Journal of Sino-Western Studies  
"This article attempts a new perspective upon Catholicism in a Chinese Tibetan village> Cizhong of Yunnan Province. The article reviews the discussion on social classification by Durham and Bourdicu>and argues that Catholicism? together with the other local religion——Tibetan Buddhism——functions as a social classification inside the village. Catholicism>as well as Buddhism>involves a whole set of rules for the practice of daily life>that arc followed by villagers in Cizhong. By this social
more » ... fication? the village achieves harmony under a reasonable order. The article> based on months of fieldwork,argues two things: First, how Catholicism has become a "local" religion; and second, how the social classification functions in village affairs. The former focuses on historical material and reveals that Catholicism has gradually transformed to a "native" religion> in some sense>during the past century after it was brought there by French missionaries. 'I'his transformation can be seen in the change of missionaries^ image in local legends and villagers' narrative. The latter is based on current empirical material from fieldwork and demonstrates that villagers have created a new order out of the two sets of practices>one rooted in Catholicism and the other in Tibetan Buddhism, to manage social affairs and sustain balance or harmony in the village. Though the tension between the two religions still exists> a new order that shifts delicately between the two is practiced in most situations like funerals.
doi:10.37819/ijsws.20.117 fatcat:is45aj7bfngbdfo7lzlusnsgsi