Initial readings of the data about contemporary chinese buddhist monasteries
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Initial Readings of the Data About Contemporary Chinese Buddhist Monasteries. Jiang Wu 吴疆 Department of East Asian Studies Daoqin Tong 童道琴 School of Geography & Development The University of Arizona. Introduction to the Data. BGIS ECAI: Atlas of Chinese Religion China Data Center.

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Initial Readings of the Data About Contemporary Chinese Buddhist Monasteries

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Initial Readings of the Data About Contemporary Chinese Buddhist Monasteries

Jiang Wu 吴疆

Department of East Asian Studies

Daoqin Tong 童道琴

School of Geography & Development

The University of Arizona


Introduction to the Data

  • BGIS

  • ECAI: Atlas of Chinese Religion

  • China Data Center


Assumptions of Chinese Monasteries

  • Buddhist monasteries are fundamentally independent and local institutions.

  • They are one of the types of local institution which has been allowed to grow in China.

  • Temple building activities are largely spontaneous endeavors undertaken by local communities

  • Thus, temple building can be retreated as an index to social and cultural development.


Purpose of this Study

  • Changing the paradigm in the study of Buddhism

  • From sectarian-based model to monastery-or place-based study

  • Identify various social, cultural, economic factors (viables) and their relationships to temple building

  • Identify patterns in the growth of Buddhism through history

  • Understand the transformation of Chinese society


Methods

  • Data sampling

  • Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA)

  • Regression analysis

  • Historical approach

  • Quantitative and qualitative research


Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA)

  • Allow users to describe and visualize spatial distributions, discover patters of association, clusters, etc.

  • Explore the properties of datasets without the need for formal model building

  • We believe that the temple distribution is not random

  • Spatial autocorrelation


Spatial Autocorrelation

  • Refers to the coincidence of attribute similarity and locational similarity (Anselin 1988)

  • Moran’s I (Anselin 1995)

    • Provides the degree of linear association between values observed at different locations

    • Positive vs. negative


China Temple Distribution


Moran’s I

  • I=0.3951

  • P-value =0.0015 with 9999 random permutation

  • Positive spatial autocorrelation

LH

HH

LL

HL


Local Indicator of Spatial Autocorrelation (LISA)

  • Capture local spatial clustering (Anselin 1995)

  • Provinces that are statistically significant


Factors to Explain Variability in Temple Distribution

  • Linear regression

    • Dependent/Response variable (Y)

      • number of temples in a province

    • Independent/Explanatory variables (X’s)

      • Population

      • Income

      • Rural/urban

      • media (TV, newspaper, internet users)

      • Ethnicity

      • Education

      • Transportation


Regression Results

  • R-square 0.69

  • Population (10,000)

  • Income (yuan)

  • Internet users (10,000)

  • HS_above (%)


Statistically Insignificant

  • Population: Population does not contribute significantly to the variality of temple distribution.

  • Roads (km): transportation does not have correlations with temple distribution.

  • Interpretation: Chinese population is huge and transportation has been well-developed. Thus they have minimum impact.


Positive Correlation

  • Income: Higher income level tends to boost the number of temples.

  • Museum: the existence of museum indicates the existence of more temples

  • Interpretation: Economic growth stimulates the growth of Buddhist institutions.

  • As cultural indicators, museums and monasteries have similar role in local society as they require local investment. (Note: some temples might have been appropriated as museums.


Negative Correlations

  • Internet users: The area where the number of internet users increases may have negative impact on the distribution of Buddhist institutions.

  • HS_above: people with above high-school education may have negative impact on the building of Buddhist institutions.

  • Interpretation: Higher education may discourage the development of Buddhist institutions. (Not necessarily Buddhism as a whole.)


Future works

  • Narrow the scales to country level

  • Seeking continuities with data in Tang and Qing

  • Incorporating William Skinner’s Macro-region theory more effectively

  • Conducting residual analysis to identify the defects in the original data collection


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