Sanyi religion

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The Sanyi religion (Chinese: 三一教; pinyin: Sanyi jiao; literally: "religion of the Three in the One") or Xiaism (Chinese: 夏教; pinyin: Xia jiao; literally: "religion of summer") is a Chinese religion, a systematisation of the Chinese folk religion including Confucian morality and ancestral worship, Taoist meditation techniques and pursuit of enlightenment (taken from Buddhism).[1] The "Three in One" is a philosophical concept expressing the original trinity proceeding from the Tao, the two principles, yin and yang, of the Great Pole.[2] The Great Pole is the One that contains yin and yang, the Two, in the Three.

It was founded by Lin Zhao'en (1517–98), in Putian, Fujian.[1] After his death, he was deified as the "Lord of the Three-in-One", and is worshipped in over a thousand temples in the Xinghua region of Fujian, and also in Taiwan and Southeast Asia's Chinese communities.[1] Xiaist practices include the "heart method" of self-cultivation, which is still widely practised in Xinghua today.[1]

Xiaism has its independent ritual tradition, similar to those of Taoism and Buddhism. Its ritual specialists perform communal offerings (jiao) and funeral services (gongde), along with individual rites.[1] In some communities in the Xinghua region, the Sanyi temple has become the primary village temple, centre of collective life.[1] Annual pilgrimages are made to the religion's central temple, the Zongkongtang, in Putian, Fujian.[1] The religion had over 500.000 adherents in the Xinghua area in 1998.[3]


  • Kenneth Dean. Lord of the Three in One: The Spread of a Cult in Southeast China. Princeton University Press, 1998. ISBN 0691028818
  • Edward L. Davis. Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415241294


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Edward L. Davis. Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture. ¶ Sanyi jiao
  2. ^ Dean, 1998. pp. 36-37
  3. ^ Dean, 1998. p. 7

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