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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers$
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Norman Rothschild

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169387

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169387.001.0001

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Rejected from the Pantheon

Rejected from the Pantheon

The Ill-Timed Rise of the Cult of Wei Huacun

Chapter:
(p.179) Ten Rejected from the Pantheon
Source:
Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers
Author(s):

N. Harry Rothschild

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231169387.003.0010

This chapter examines the rationale behind Wu Zhao's decision not to enshrine a powerful Daoist transcendent, Wei Huacun, the Lady of the Southern Marchmount. Apotheosized as a Daoist deity, Wei Huacun was a transmitter and revealer of sacred texts. While Wu Zhao was certainly not averse to exalting Wei Huacun alongside a pantheon of other female divinities, she was keenly attuned to shifting ideological climes. At the very height of her campaign to define herself as a universal Buddhist monarch, Wu Zhao rejected an opportunity to link herself to this Daoist goddess, choosing to suppress rather than promote Lady Wei's cult. This chapter considers Wu Zhao's conflicted relationship with Wei Huacun.

Keywords:   goddess, Wu Zhao, Wei Huacun, Daoist deity, female divinities, monarch

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