Officials in the Tang and Song Dynasties and the Ancient Temples in the Hangzhou City
As places of worship in ancient Chinese cities, ancient temples occupy an important position in the city’s political, cultural and spiritual world. The establishment, maintenance and development of temples in ancient China cities is undoubtedly one of the basic issues in the researches on the temples of ancient China. A feasible approach is to examine the impact of city officials on the establishment, maintenance and development of ancient temples and the characteristics exhibited in the process. Currently, here is no monograph on this subject and the number of related papers is small. Therefore, some academic value and research space are expected. With regard to the defined direction of this research and the available historical data of related cities, this article will examine the roles of officials of Tang and Song Dynasties (including the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms) in the establishment, maintenance and development of temples in the ancient city of Hangzhou (including a number of locations within the jurisdictions of the Qian Tang County and the Ren He County, both inside and outside the city gate) and the characteristics exhibited in the process.
This article includes the introduction and the body, of which the body is divided into six chapters. Introduction section includes First, the origins of this topic, which discusses the reason for this topic. Second, the definition of the relevant concepts. The three basic concepts of “officials in the Tang and Song Dynasties”, “Ancient Hangzhou City” and “temples” will be defined. Third, a review of the academic history. A detailed review of the two issues in academic history will be made on the influence of ancient China officials on the temples and the research status in the ancient temples of Hangzhou City
The first chapter is an overview of the ancient city of Hangzhou. This chapter provides an overview of the development of the ancient city of Hangzhou in each historical period, with an emphasis on the Tang Dynasty and the periods after the Tang Dynasty. Temples in Hangzhou are no doubt in the urban environment. Hangzhou City is the soil for the origin, continuity and development of temples. The development of Hangzhou City in the different periods of the Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties, the Song, Ming and Qing Dynasties, has both created a demand for temples, and also provided the conditions to meet this demand.
Chapter Two is on the establishment of temple shrines by Tang and Song officials in Hangzhou City. This chapter examines how the officials established monasteries, temples and shrines in Hangzhou. Generally speaking, the officials played an obvious role and had a long period of influence. Three factors are at work firstly, the urban environment and urban characteristics of the Hangzhou City, secondly, the characteristics of the official group; and thirdly, the social atmosphere.
Chapter Three is about how the officials in the Tang and Song dynasties promoted the establishment of temple shrines in the Hangzhou City. This chapter will cover the stories of how Meng Gong donated gold to help buy land and build temples, Su Shi was chosen as Garan for the Longjing Temple, the Brahma Temple and the HuiYing Temple, and various officials of the Tang and Song dynasties were chosen as altar god shrines. From the story of Meng Gong, it is not easy for the Tang and Song officials to rely on financial means to promote the establishment of the temple. It is inevitable that Sushi became the Garan for three monastic Buddhist Temples, but the role it played is limited. Where the officials of the Tang and Song dynasties, after their death, continued to promote the establishment of monasteries and shrines by becoming cultural resources is mostly in the shrines. The Tang and Song officials as ancestral shrines in the city of Hangzhou had a great impact on later generations. The fact that the Tang and Song officials became the ancestral shrines reflects the heterogeneity of Hangzhou residents and migrants in their choice of the god of temples.