Mark Meulenbeld

Associate Professor
(608) 262-9220
1216 Van Hise
Ph.D., Princeton University (2007); MA, Leiden University (1997)


Affiliate member of the Religious Studies Program

WED 3:50 - 4:50

Daoism, Chinese Religion and Literature

  • Ritual and narrative culture in Chinese religious traditions (Ming dynasty to present)
  • Interaction between local religion and Daoism in the (Ming to present)
  • Fieldwork in Hunan (ongoing since 2004)
  • Fieldwork on Taiwan (ongoing since 2003)
  • Daoism and ecology; Daoism and modernity


  • Introduction to Daoism (EA/RS 350)
  • Genres of Asian Religious Writing (EA/RS/LCA 235)
  • Topics in Chinese Literature: Journey to the West (EA/LITTRANS 371)
  • Topics in Religious Studies: Society, Modernity, and Chinese Religion (RS 200)
  • History of Chinese Thought: Hagiography, Ritual, and Miracles (EA 661)
  • Seminar in Chinese Thought: Exorcisms, Festivals, and Theatre in Late Imperial Popular Culture (EA 971)



Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel. University of Hawai’i Press (will appear Jan. 2015).



“Dancing with the Gods: Daoist Ritual and Popular Religion in Central Hunan” In John Lagerwey & Lü Pengzhi (ed.), ComparativeEthnography of Local Daoist Ritual 「地方道教儀式實地調查比較研究」. (Taibei: Xin Wenfeng, 2013), pp. 113-84.

“From ‘Withered Wood’ to ‘Dead Ashes’: Burning Bodies, Metamorphosis, and the Ritual Production of Power. Cahiers d’Extrême Asie 19 (2012), pp. 217-66.

“Death and Demonization of a Bodhisattva: Avalokiteśvara’s Reformulation within Chinese Theology.” (forthcoming in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2015).

“Of Statues and the Local Soil: How Village Gods in Hunan Speak Daoist Theology” In Gil Raz (et. al.), Daoist Visual Culture (forthcoming, 2014).

“Daoism.” In Jacob Neusner (ed.), Introduction to World Religions: Communities and Cultures (Abingdon Press, 2010), pp. 233-49.

“Thunder Ritual.” In James Robson (ed.), Norton Anthology of World Religions. Norton (forthcoming, 2014)

“Chinese Religion in the Ming and Qing.” In Randall Nadeau (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2011), pp. 125-144.



“How the Chinese 'Novel' became a Province in the Empire of World Literature” (article)

"His Ugly Body Exposed: A Visual History of the Thunder God’s Powers" (article)

"Ghost Stories: The Social Imaginary of Ming China" (book project)

"Uses of Transcendence: Ritual Ecology and Modernity in a Chinese Village" (book project) 




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