MAO ZEDONG IN PRESENT-DAY CHINA – FORMS OF DEIFICATION
The purpose of this paper is to present how in China, a country combating religious beliefs, Mao Zedong has become a cult object and how the fondness towards the “Great Helmsman”, often adjacent to deification, is manifested in the present-day country. During his life, Mao Zedong was the central character of the political and social sphere of the People’s Republic of China. Admiring and, to some extent, identifying himself with the First Emperor of China, Mao was to become his contemporary version. The height of the personality cult occurred during the Cultural Revolution and was manifested in mass adoration of the Chairman. After his death and reckoning of merits and faults (in a 7:3 ratio, with dominance of the first ones), Mao seemed to be evanescing in the shadow in the modernizing China. The Maoists were fighting against religion, the feudal superstitions, however in recent years, in the officially atheist China, some beliefs in supernatural beings, power of religious rituals and offerings for ghosts reappear, as well as the interest in Buddhism, Taoism, syncretic sects and Christianity. Among the hope bringing powers there appears also deified Mao, as the creator of powerful China. The places connected with the Chairman, located on the route of the “Red Tourism” are visited by masses of the Chinese. Talismans with his image are supposed to provide security, good fortune and even prosperity. Mao is becoming a deity in the nationalistic pantheon of the power gaining China.
Chairman Mao commemorated on 35th anniversary of death, China Daily, 9 September 2011, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-09/09/content_13662794.htm (accessed 4.04.2012).
Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/69112/113427/ (accessed 7.03.2012).
China: Gao Brothers under pressure, Radio Free Asia, 12 August 2011, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,4565c2252c,4565c25f36b,4e5f718131,0,RFA,,.html
Crabb Roger, Citroen apologizes to China for scowling Mao ad, 15.01.2008, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSPEK16018320080115 (accessed 20.03.2012).
Dziak Waldemar J., Bajer Jerzy, Mao. Zwycięstwa, nadzieje, klęski, Wydawnictwo TRIO, Warsaw, 2007.
Gelot Ludwig , Secularisation as an International Crisis in Legitimacy, Politics and Religion,1/2012. Vol.VI, Beograd
Jevtic Miroljub, Political Science and Religion, Politics and Religion,1/2007. Vol.1, Belgrade
Jung Chang, Jon Halliday, Mao, Wydawnictwo Albatros, Warsaw, 2007.
Li Li, A Red Capitalist, Beijing Review, 10 December 2006.
Lin Yizhou: shoucan Mao Zhuxi xiangzhang 20 duo wan mei, Zhongshan Ribao, http://art.taocang.com/art/zhangjia/62951.htm (accessed 27.02.2012).
Mao Zedong’s Hometown Attracting More Tourists, China.org.cn, 5 July 2005, http://www.china.org.cn/english/travel/134071.htm (accessed 7.03.2012).
Mao Zedong, Speech at the Lushan Conference, 23 July 1959, http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-8/mswv8_34.htm (accessed
Mao Zedong, Talks At The Chengtu Conference, 10 March 1958, http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-8/mswv8_06.htm (accessed 7.03.2012).
Mao Zedong, The First Speech, 8 May 1958, Internet Marxist Archive, http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-8/mswv8_10.
htm (accessed 8.05.2009).
Qian Yanchi, Mao Zedong. Man, Not God, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 2009.
Okuyama Michiaki,The Yasukuni shrine problem in the East Asian context: Religion and politics in modern Japan, Politics and Religion, 3/2009. Vol.III, Beograd
Rex John, Secular Substitutes for Religion in the Modern World ,Politics and Religion,1/2007.Vol.I, Beograd
Serafimova Maria,Religion and Attitudes of Political Parties, Politics and Religion, 2/2007.Vol.I,Beograd
Shaoshan, http://www.visithunan.org/jqjd/ReMenTuiJian/21.shtml (accessed 4.04.2012).
Shaoshan de chuanshuo – shaonian Mao Zedong Dongshan qiudu de gushi, Hunan Meishu Chuban, Changsha, 2003.
Song Qiang, Zhang Zangzang, Qiao Bian, Gu Qingsheng, Zhongguo haishi neng shuo bu, Zhongguo Wenlian Chubanshe, Beijing 1996.
Song Qiang, Zhang Zangzang, Qiao Bian, Gu Qingsheng, Zhongguo keyi shuo:
bu. Lengzhanhou shidai de zhengzhi yu qinggan jueze, Zhonghua Gongshanglian Lianhe Chubanshe, Beijing 1996.
Su Guoqing, Qingzhu Zhonghua renmin gongheguo guoqingjie, http://chineseposters.net (accessed 29.03.2012).
Watts Jonathan, Chinese artists cross the red line, The Guardian, 22 April 2006.
Yan Wei, New March of Red Tourism, Beijing Review, 19 May 2005, http://www.bjreview.cn/EN/En-2005/05-19-e/china-2.htm (accessed 7.03.2012).
Zhongguo bu gaoxing: da shidai, da mubiao ji women de neiyouwaihuan, Jiangsu Renmin Chubanshe, Beijing 2009.
Copyright (c) 2017 Joanna Wardęga
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.