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Literary temples and martial temples in Taiwan

A. “Advocate literature and respect martial art. Sacrificial rites and smell of burning incense.”  Literary temples and martial temples in Taiwan.

The folk belief bases on people’s free and merciful religious sense and expresses its abundant and diverse style and features. Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity have the largest believers and the most influence. Taking a broad view, temples and churches stand in numbers and strew in the random. Various religious activities that are serious but bustling attract a stream of people exulted in spirits. These are not only unique culture activities, but also a profound lifestyle.
Among many believes, the most popular and deepgoing principal religion is the worship for Master Conficus and Guangong. The homage to literary sage and martial sage has surmounted superstition and common fame and wealth. People take charge of being well versed in both polite letters and martial arts in accordance with the instruction of skill and virtue cultivation. The main purpose is “learning the thriving and prosperous manners and music in literary temples and practicing loyal and brave righteousness in martial temples”. The morality is a high level belief with great meaning; therefore, the temples become people’s mental and ideological prop.
Generally there are many literary temples offering sacrifice to Confucius and martial temples offering sacrifice to Guangong. Most of the temples are built separately, but some of them are integrated in one temple and known collectively as Man Mo Temple.
According to the documents, there are more than thirty officially and publicly established temples of Confucius in Taiwan. And among these, there are twenty three publicly established temples which showed the respect and worship for Confucius. The Temple of Confucius in Tainan is the largest one with longest history, which is built in 1665 during the Ming Dynasty (18th year of Emperor Yong-Li). In 1684 (23rd year of Emperor Kang-Xi, Qing Dyanasty), the Taiwan Governmental Confucian Scholl has been built here and become the highest learning institution in Scholars’ mind. It has been said as “The Fist School of Taiwan”.
There is a large number of temple of Guangong spread broadly in Taiwan. According to the documentary, the number of martial sage’s temple is up to 356 and the temples located in major cities. The earliest construction may trace to the Emperor Yong-Li of the Ming Dynasty and the others were established during the Emperor Qinglong, Tongzhi and Xianfeng of Qing Dynasty. The temples were of long standing and well established and have a host of believers. Guangong has its unique majesty and status in the folk belief.

Both the literary sage and martial sage, as implied by the name, committed people’s more abundant and satisfactory spiritual demand. The most representative one is the Man Mo Temple of Sun Moon Lake. This temple is majestically impressive with broad scene. In addition, the martial temple not only offers sacrifice to Guangong, but also the patriot Yuei Fei. That makes this temple the example of Man Mo temples.
Because of the noble morality and the superb personality of Confucius, Guangong and the patriot Yuei Fei, people raised them from “human” to “God”. They hold ceremony, worship and venerate these Gods and follow their morality as their own moral type. With the combination of belief and morality and the religious conversion, this kind of spirit is the valuable thing of the folk belief in Taiwan.