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Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and SingaporeGender, Religion, Medicine and Money$
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Marjorie Topley and Jean DeBernardi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028146

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects

The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects


(p.203) Chapter 9 The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects
Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Marjorie Topley

, Jean DeBernardi
Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses certain aspects of an esoteric, secretly organized, religion in China called Hsien-t'ien Ta-tao [Xiantian Dadao] (or Hsient'ien Tao [Xiantian Dao]) “The Great Way of Former Heaven” (or “The Way of Former Heaven”). It is based mainly on material discovered in Singapore during 1954–1955. The name Hsien-t'ien Tao has been recorded elsewhere as that of a Chinese “sect.” Evidence suggested that it might have links with several other groupings but the exact nature of connexion is obscure. This chapter shows that the Great Way of Former Heaven is in fact a name used by a number of schismatic sects for the religious system from which they have ramified. These sects themselves have a number of different names, some using Hsien-t'ien Men (“door” or sect) as an alternative.

Keywords:   religion, China, Hsien-t'ien Ta-tao, Xiantian Dadao, Great Way of Former Heaven, Singapore, schismatic sects, Hsien-t'ien Men

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