Sanyi jiao


Sanyi jiao
(The teaching of the Three-in-One)
Sectarian religion
The syncretic sectarian religious movement known as the Three-in-One (Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism) was founded by Lin Zhao’en (1517–98) in Putian, Fujian. After his death, Lin was apotheosized as the ‘Lord of the Three-in-One’. His disciples developed his cult and his religious movement in a series of splinter groups. His image is worshipped in over a thousand temples in the Xinghua region (Putian and Xianyou counties) of coastal Fujian, and in temples in Taiwan and Southeast Asia as well. The Three-in-One requires initiation into the ‘Heart Method’ of personal spiritual self-cultivation, which is still widely practised in Xinghua today.
This religious movement has also developed a parallel rival ritual tradition to that of local Daoist and Buddhist traditions, and troupes of Scripture Master ritualists often perform communal offerings (Jiao) and requiem services (Gongde), along with individual rites. The movement has popularized a mix of Confucian self-cultivation, Daoist inner alchemy and Buddhist illumination. The primary emphasis is still on Confucian morality, but inner cultivation and ritual practice now also play a major role in Three-in-One activities. In some communities in the Xinghua region, the Three-in-One temple has become the primary village temple, and thus the centre of collective life. Annual pilgrimages are made to the cult centre, the Zongkongtang, in Putian, Fujian.
See also: Lüshan jiao (Sannai jiao); sectarian religion; Yiguan Dao
Dean, Kenneth (1998). Lord of the Three in One: The Spread of a Cult in Southeast China. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
KENNETH DEAN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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