Journal directory listing - Volume 65(2020) - Journal of NTNU【65(1)】March

Exploring Posthumous Marriage and Relationships between the Living and Dead in Modern and Contemporary Taiwan Author: Ho-Chun Lin(Department of Chinese LiteratureNational Chiayi UniversityProject Assistant Professor)

Vol.&No.:Vol.65 , No.1
Date:March 2020


Various records exist of posthumous marriages in ancient China; some are of marriages between the living and the dead and others are of those between two deceased people. The practice of posthumous marriage has existed in Taiwan since the Qing period, and it continues to be practiced and documented by people today. However, the manner in which it is practiced and how it is perceived by people in contemporary Taiwan have changed. This paper begins with a discussion of the origin of posthumous marriage and records of it throughout the course of history, from the Qian Dynasty to 20th century Taiwan. Then, documents of posthumous marriage in 21st century Taiwan are investigated to examine the relationship between the living and the dead in these narratives and to discuss how the public perceives this social practice. This paper reveals that the purpose of posthumous marriage is either to compensate for the untimely death of a woman in the traditional family system or to establish a larger social network by building a marital relationship between two families. Finally, this paper addresses how people have revalued the significance of posthumous marriage in contemporary Taiwan and discusses the transformation of values regarding posthumous marriage today.

Keywords:Go-Nuy, relative-in-law, posthumous marriage, marriage with a spirit tablet, contemporary Taiwan

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APA FormatHo-Chun Lin (2020). Exploring Posthumous Marriage and Relationships between the Living and Dead in Modern and Contemporary Taiwan. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University, 65(1), 51-72, doi:10.6210JNTNU.202003_65(1).0003