|dc.description.abstract||This paper focuses on the development of Renhe Temple in Puding, Daxi Town during the years from Qianlong Emperor’s reign to 2011, and discusses the faith in Kaizhang Shengwang of people in Taoyuan district. This study deals with this topic from several perspectives: the history of this temple’s construction, its cultural background, the reformation of this temple, the influence of religious activities and local social development and the distribution of its branch temples, aiming at giving a clue of the development of the faith in Kaizhang Shengwang.
Renhe Temple’s history of construction and its cultural background are influenced by its geographical conditions: Hexi district where Renhe Temple is located in is developed earlier than other districts in Daxi. Indigenous people in Taiwan used to settle in Daxi; as the entry of Chinese people, these indigenous people gradually moved to Hedong district, to exploit more economic resources and explore their living space. As a result, there were a larger number of Chinese people from Fujian Province and Guangdong Province in Hexi district. Immigrants from Zhangzhou, Fujian Province especially took a dominant status in Daxi, making local people’s faith in Kaizhang Shengwang a logical phenomenon.
As for the reformation of the temple and its related religious activities, Renhe Temple should be built no earlier than 1775. The manager in charge of all the issues in Renhe temple was a “supervisor”, which was replaced by a legal person set in 1985, making its management more systematic. Besides, although some believers believe that the deity named “San Wanggong” was an old alternative name of Kaizhang Shengwang, according to current information at hand, these two figures should not be the same one. The birthday celebration of Kaizhang Shengwang was the grandest and most pupular religious festival during the whole year for the temple. Then it was combined with the celebration of Tianshang Shengmu and celebrated earlier in January 14 so as to save budget for the temple and avoid unnecessary waste.
As for the effect of local social development, the successful operation and continuous distribution of Renhe Temple should be attributed to the participation and close interaction of local elites in Daxi. Four big families, Jiang Youyuan, Zhao Shenglong, Wang Taiyuan and Xiao Hecheng as well as the committee members from Lan’s family had the closest relationship with Renhe Temple and played the most important roles in its development. These five families contained Hakka people, Fujian people, indigenous people and people from She nationality, which made them a counter-example of the stereotype that “only Fujian people believe in Kaizhang Shengwang”. Besides, the functions of Renhe Temple are not only offering a place for prayers and giving consolation for them, its decorations can also civilize local people.
The branch temples of Renhe Temple include Furen Temple, Ruiyuan Temple and Dongxing Temple in Daxi Town, Jingfu Temple in Taoyuan County, Wufu Temple, Fulong Temple in Dayuan Town, and Fuxing Temple, Shengxing Temple in Fuxing Town. They are mainly distributed in northern Taoyuan; however, there are also some branch temples in southern Taoyuan where Hakka people live. This phenomenon is an evidence that the faith in Kaizhang Shengwang of People in Taoyuan County can be found in people of different groups.||en_US|