Shin, Cin, and Jinn in far east Asian, central east Asian, and middle eastern cultures : case studies in transethnic communication by exchange of terminology for elementary spiritual concepts of ethic groups

  • Methodology and Objects: Methodologically, from a diachronic linguistics perspective regarding the concept of the shin, spirits in folk belief in China and neighbouring cultures, we compare texts that comprise meanings a) historically in the local language and b) compared to the meanings of equivalent terms in languages of other cultures. Comparing sources of this belief, we examine if and how the shin belief can serve as an example of communication across cultural borders including practical forms of worshipping. Argumentation: We argue that the concept of the shin is across cultural and national borders a result from folk culture transcending political or cultural borders transmitted via migration of ethnic groups. Although similar, mind concepts of different cultures and groups never melted; evidence for this independence gives the Islamic distinctive separation between shin and jinn in this area in the Chinese Quran and other spiritual Chinese writings. On the other hand, the practice of worshipping is similar. Conclusions: A spiritual concept like shin varies in practice in different areas. Central Asia as the melting pot of Chinese and Middle East culture shows the cultural practice of Shamanism with shin belief, complex mind concepts like in Daoism, and religions incorporating shin belief (Islam). Observed changes in the particular local languages show the continuity of the local set of meanings. Multilingual and multicultural areas such as Central Asia rather integrate new words to increase their thesaurus with new meanings than to change the set of previous existing meanings in the languages. Arabic as a language of conquerors in Central Asia is a typical example for such a language that serves as a tool to set up new meanings.

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Author:Fee-Alexandra Haase
Parent Title (German):Journal of religious culture = Journal für Religionskultur
Series (Serial Number):Journal of religious culture = Journal für Religionskultur (95)
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Year of Completion:2008
Year of first Publication:2008
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/07/23
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Institut für Wissenschaftliche Irenik
Dewey Decimal Classification:2 Religion / 29 Andere Religionen / 290 Andere Religionen
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht