Mo (religion)

Mo or Moism (Chinese: 摩教; pinyin: Mó jiào), occasionally called Zhuang Shigongism (Chinese: 壮族师公教; pinyin: Zhuàngzú shīgōng jiào; literally: 'Zhuang Ancestral Father Religion'), is the religion of most Zhuang people, the largest ethnic minority of China. It has a large presence in Guangxi. While it has a supreme god, the creator Bu Luotuo (布洛陀),[1] numerous other deities are venerated as well. It has a three-element-theory (sky, earth and water).[1] Mo is animistic, teaching that spirits are present in everything.[2]

Mo developed from prehistoric beliefs of the Zhuang people;[2] it also has similarities to Chinese folk religion,[3] and has developed similar doctrines to Buddhism and Taoism, in the process of competition with the influence of these religions on Zhuang culture.[4][5] The Cultural Revolution of China weakened Mo,[2] though the religion has undergone a revival since the 1980s.[6][7] Moism varies from region to region.[2]

Zhuang Moism symbol
A symbol of the religious culture of the Zhuang people. It is an image of god Buluotuo, the great ancestor of the Zhuang nation identified with the Spring of the universe (the Utmost God).[note 1]


Mo has a three-element theory (sky, earth and water).[1] The religion is animistic, teaching that spirits are present in everything.[2] The spirits are seen as immortal and subject to changes in mood.[2] Mo exhibits totemism and the cult of reproduction.[2]


In Mo, Bu Luotuo is considered the supreme god, creator and the founder of the religion.[1]

The Flower Mother, Me Hoa, is seen as the creator of humanity and Bu Luotuo's wife. As the goddess of reproduction, she is seen as governing a large garden of golden flowers (boys) and silver flowers (girls). Whoever behaves with good sense and sentiment will receive good flowers (i.e. good children), while those who behave with bad sense receive bad flowers. Families have altars for her.[2]

Other gods include Tudigong, who is thought to protect the village; She Shen, who is the village tutelary spirit; the Shan Shen ("god of the mountains"); and the Dragon King.[8] Rice is seen as important;[2] there is therefore a field god and a rice god.


In Mo, spirits are thought to be present in everything, and even inanimate things such as water are considered to have souls. Mo spirits include deities and ancestors as well as devils.

People are considered to have three souls after death: One goes to the sky, one to the cemetery and one comes back to the deceased’s family. Souls of the dead enter a netherworld but can continue to assist the living.[8] According to the religion, people who have died by violence can become evil spirits.[8]


Praying is common within this religion. Sorcerers venerate their masters as well as the founders of witchcraft in their family. There are temples dedicated to land gods. The sun god is celebrated and given offerings.

Mo has the sacred epic Buluotuo,[2] concerning the creation of the universe and life as well as how to live a religiously meritorious life. Its transmission was originally oral.[9]

According to Mo, every person is a flower in the garden of Molujia, the goddess of birth.[2] On February 29 of the peasants' almanac, the goddess's birthday, women pick flowers and pray to her for pregnancy.[2] She is said to have been born in a flower at the beginning of the world.[2] There is a festival for her, which varies in place, date and ceremonial procedure.[2]

The religion has the custom of burying the dead twice.[2] People who have died by violence are cremated to prevent the release of potential malevolent spirits.

Shamans and mediums

Mediums, shamans or sorcerers are employed at funerals, to treat disease, and to ward off evil.[2]

Mo has female shamans, who attempt to treat sickness and communicate with ancestors while in trances.[8] They mostly are recognized as shamans after having had a state similar to trance and claims to have met spirits in this state.[2] In rural areas, they are considered prophets and miracle healers.[2] There are also male shamans, who serve at an altar.[8] There are sacrifices of oxen, chickens, and other livestock.[2]

Domestic worship

A complete family is considered to have three parts: The descendants of the same ancestors, the grave site, and the spirits of the ancestors.[2] The spirits of the ancestors are given great consideration and seen as protecting people.[2] To return to the sacred world of the ancestors is seen as the greatest end for the deceased.[2] Frequently, Mo practitioners have a hall for the ancestors of their homes where ancestors from the past three generations are venerated.[2] Such halls are also the site of ancestor worship ceremonies for important festivals, weddings, deaths and births.[2] It is not allowed to put dog, cat or snake meat in front of the hall.[2] Mo adherents feel a mixture of fear and awe towards their ancestors, believing that their ancestors can support or punish them at will.[2] Because they believe their fate is in the hands of their ancestors, the family propitiates the ancestors through prayer and sacrifices.[2]


Mo practitioners celebrate the following festivals of Chinese origin: the Spring Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Duanwu Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Dongzhi Festival.[2] Regular rituals are performed on traditional celebrations prescribed in the yearly calendar.

The supreme deity of Mo is a sky god. There are sacrifices to him on the morning of the new year.

Sanyuesan is a festival, which takes place on the 3rd of March of the lunar calendar and is considered to be as important as Qingming.[2] On the same day, before the festival takes place, sacrifices for the ancestors take place and graves are cleaned.[2] Adherents sing, and boys keep an eye out for potential female partners.[2]

Cattle are seen as holy. The Cattle Soul Festival is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, which Mo adherents believe is the birthday of the Cattle King.[2] On this day, adherents go to their cattle barns and free the animals from their yoke.[2]

The Frog Festival takes place during the 1st lunar month, when people pray for rain and a good harvest.[2]

The Ghost Festival takes several days, and is based on the belief that the deceased can contact their relatives as ghosts or by other supernatural means.[2] Families clean their homes carefully and undertake other preparations; then the ghosts are welcomed.[2] Finally, families say goodbye to the ghost and burn objects so that the ghosts are supplied in afterlife.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Astronomically, the Principle of the universe is represented by the Sun or the Pole Star—at the center in the Zhuang symbol—, with the Big Dipper constellation revolving around it—in the Zhuang symbol represented as the birds, points and wavings. The symbol is shown on Zhuang drums, monuments and temples.


  • He Qimin. "Self-understanding and Awareness of the Moment: Some Thoughts on the Position of Zhuang's Baeuqlugdoz Culture in Chinese Society." Study of Ethnics in Guangxi, 2011-03.
  • He Zhengting. "Discussion on Culture of Zhuang's Mo Religion." Study of Ethnics in Guangxi, 2005-03.
  • Huang Guiqiu. "The Protection of Buluotuo Culture and the Building of Harmonious Society for Zhuang Nationality." Guihai Tribune, 2006-05.
  • Liao Yuling. "On Formation Conditions and Development Trend of Folk Beliefs in Modern Guangxi." Journal of Baise University, 2008-01.
  • Mo Youzheng. "Exploration on Confucianism in the Scriptures of the Zhuang Shigong Religion." Journal of Nanning Teachers College, 2009-01a.
  • Mo Youzheng. "On the Deities' Relationships in the Shigong Religion of Zhuang Nationality." Journal of Guangxi Teachers Education University, 2011-02.
  • Mo Youzheng. "On the Value of the Scriptures of the Zhuang's Shigong Religion." Journal of Guangxi Teachers Education University, 2010-02.
  • Mo Youzheng. "Thoughts about the Ceremony of Releasing Souls from Purgatory of the Zhuangs' Shigong Religion and Its Culture." Journal of Hechi University, 2009-01b.
  • Qin Cong. "Achievement, Unique Value and Trend of Research on Folk Beliefs of Zhuang Nationality." Study of Ethnics in Guangxi, 2011-01.
  • Qin Yanjia. "The Study of Shigong Religion in the Center of Guangxi under the Micro Perspective and Latitude Dimensions." Study of Ethnics in Guangxi, 2010-04.
  • Qing Minlu. "An In-depth Study of Buluotuo Culture and Customs from the Perspective of Cultural Inheritance." Sports Research and Education, 2012-02.
  • Yang Shuzhe. "An Analysis of the Methods Employed by Shigongs Among the Zhuangs Living Along the Hongshui River Valley to Communicate With the Spiritual Beings." Journal of Guangxi Normal University, 2004-04.
  • Yang Shuzhe. "On the Implements Used in the Ritual of Zhuang's Shigong Folk-religion and their Deification." Journal of Guangxi Teachers College, 2001-03.
  • Yang Shuzhe. "Shigong Religion, the Zhuang People's Folk Belief." Journal of the Central University For Nationalities, 2001-04.
  • Yang Shuzhe. "The Basic Tenets and Doctrines of Shigong Religion." Journal of Guangxi Normal University, 2002-04.


  1. ^ a b c d Tsinghua (15 March 2005). "On the Culture of Mo Religion of Zhuangs". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak Li Jingfeng (2012). "Das Epos der Zhuang-Nationalität in China: Genese, Überlieferung und Religion" (PDF). Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Bonn. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  3. ^ Mo Youzheng. 2009-01b.
  4. ^ Yang Shuzhe. 2001-04.
  5. ^ Yang Shuzhe. 2002-04.
  6. ^ He Qimin. 2011-03.
  7. ^ Qin Cong. 2011-01.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Zhuang - Religion and Expressive Culture". n.d. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  9. ^ 黄蓓蓓, ed. (5 August 2011). "Buluotuo Scriptures of Zhuang". People's Daily News. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
Absolute (philosophy)

The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.

There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.

The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.

The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".

The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.

Chinese ritual mastery traditions

Chinese ritual mastery traditions, also referred to as ritual teachings (Chinese: 法教; pinyin: fǎjiào, sometimes rendered as "Faism"), or Folk Taoism (Chinese: 民间道教; pinyin: Mínjiàn Dàojiào), or also Red Taoism (mostly in east China and Taiwan), constitute a large group of Chinese orders of ritual officers who operate within the Chinese folk religion but outside the institutions of official Taoism. The "masters of rites", the fashi (法師), are also known in east China as hongtou daoshi (紅頭道士), meaning "redhead" or "redhat" daoshi ("masters of the Tao"), contrasting with the wutou daoshi (烏頭道士), "blackhead" or "blackhat" priests, of Zhengyi Taoism who were historically ordained by the Celestial Master.Zhengyi Taoism and Faism are often grouped together under the category of "daoshi and fashi ritual traditions" (道法二門道壇). Although the two types of priests have the same roles in Chinese society—in that they can marry and they perform rituals for communities' temples or private homes—Zhengyi daoshi emphasize their Taoist tradition, distinguished from the vernacular tradition of the fashi.Ritual masters can be practitioners of tongji possession, healing, exorcism and jiao rituals (although historically they were excluded from performing the jiao liturgy). The only ones that are shamans (wu) are the fashi of the Lushan school.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference includes over 1300 members, who are members of congregations that include approximately 76 percent of the 44,000 women religious in the United States as of 2018. The conference describes its charter as assisting its members to "collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today's world." The canonically-approved organization collaborates in the Catholic church and in society to "influence systemic change, studying significant trends and issues within the church and society, utilizing our corporate voice in solidarity with people who experience any form of violence or oppression, and creating and offering resource materials on religious leadership skills." The conference serves as a resource both to its members and to the public who are seeking resources on leadership for religious life.In April 2015 the Vatican closed a controversial, multi-year investigation initiated in 2012 by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who was later removed from his role in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). J. Peter Sartain, archbishop of Seattle, was appointed to work with the conference. The investigation embittered many American Catholics "against what they perceive as heavy-handed tactics by Rome against U.S. sisters who provide critical health care, education, and other services for the poor." While Pope Francis reaffirmed the canonical investigation and the organization's members were ordered to review their statutes and reassess their plans and programs, the Vatican in its conclusion praised the nuns' work. The joint final report of both the Vatican and the LCWR stated that the conference is "a public juridic person centered on Jesus Christ and faithful to the teachings of the Church," its publications "need a sound doctrinal foundation," and "when exploring contemporary issues, particularly those which, while not explicitly theological nevertheless touch upon faith and morals, LCWR expects speakers and presenters to have due regard for the Church's faith"


Liangguang (traditional Chinese: 兩廣; simplified Chinese: 两广; pinyin: Liǎngguǎng; Cantonese Yale: Léuhng Gwóng; "The Two Expanses", postal: Liangkwang) is a Chinese term for the province of Guangdong and former province and present autonomous region of Guangxi, collectively. It particularly refers to the viceroyalty of Liangguang under the Qing dynasty, when the territory was considered to include Hainan and the leased territories of British Hong Kong, the French Kouang-Tchéou-Wan and Portuguese Macau. The Viceroy of Liangguang existed from 1735-1911.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil

Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil also known as Ruler B, Yaxkin Caan Chac and Sun Sky Rain, (before 734-c.746/766?), was an ajaw of the Maya city of Tikal. He took the throne on December 8, 734.

Zhuang customs and culture

The Zhuang have a rich variety of customs and culture.

Zhuang people

The Zhuang people (Chinese: 壮族; pinyin: Zhuàngzú; Zhuang: Bouxcuengh) are a Kra–Dai speaking ethnic group who mostly live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. Some also live in the Yunnan, Guangdong, Guizhou and Hunan provinces. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. With the Buyi, Tay–Nùng, and other northern Tai speakers, they are sometimes known as the Rau or Rao. Their population, estimated at 18 million people, makes them the largest minority in China.

Major religions in China
Other religions
By region

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