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Charismatic Religion

(620 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Rudolf G.
1. Features In religious studies, the phrase “charismatic religion” applies to thousands of religious movements that have the following five features. 1. They arise in times of cultural, economic, or national crisis (Crisis Cult). 2. They are founded and directed by prophets (often women), whose direct mandate from the Supreme Being (by visions, dreams, etc.) the adherents recognize. 3. The vision, often symbolically, shows the reason for the crisis and intimates divine help in the renewing of the world under the leadership of the prophet. 4. The vision contains elements of a “…

Taiping Rebellion

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Rudolf G.
1. Name and Origin The Chinese Taiping Rebellion rested on a vision of its originator, Hung Hsiu-ch’üan (Hong Xiuquan, 1814–64), in the year 1837. The term t’ai-p’ing (great peace) adopted a utopian ideal (Utopia) that went back to the third century b.c. In the vision an “old man” charged Hung to chase out the “demons” from earth and heaven who had caused human beings to forget their Creator. The finding of a book containing Bible verses and evangelical tracts verified for him the genuineness of the vision. Putting his mission into action, Hung in 1842 initiated the God Worshipers…


(2,180 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Rudolf G.
1. The Churches in China The first verifiable presence of Christianity in China came via Nestorian missionaries, who entered China from the Middle East in the mid-7th century. Their work effectively ended by the 9th century, although traces of Nestorianism survived until the 14th. The first Western missionary was John of Monte Corvino (1247–1328), a Franciscan, whose efforts were nullified by the advent of the Ming dynasty in 1368. Between 1552 and the mid-1800s, the Jesuits, and later also other ord…


(1,025 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Rudolf G.
The modern term “Confucianism” has no exact equivalent in traditional Chinese doxography. It denotes the sum of the officially sanctioned values and norms that have influenced, and to some extent still influence, the fabric of Chinese social structure, visible, e.g., in ancestor worship, subordination in the five key human relations (prince and subject, father and son, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, teacher and student), and the governing of everyday life by moral concepts. The nearest Chinese equivalent is the teaching of the Ju, cultured officia…