The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Six — Jintai Temple, China, by Brock Erdahl
3. Jintai Temple
Buddhism has flourished in China since ancient times. Over the centuries, a multitude of temples, monasteries, statues, and other invaluable sites and artifacts were created across the country. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed in whole or in part during the tumultuous period between the 1840s and 1970s. The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) proved to be especially devastating. Historical and religious relics of all sorts were demolished during this period in order to distance China from its supposedly shameful past, eliminate worldviews other than Maoism, and hasten the appearance of a communist utopia. Jintai Temple, which was originally constructed in the south of Zhuhai during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), suffered the fate described above, though its ruin actually predated the Cultural Revolution. Today it has been reconstructed and currently serves as a monastery, place of worship, and, for better or for worse, tourist attraction. Similar renovations have been made to many other damaged sites of historical, cultural, or religious significance throughout China over the last three decades.
For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see https://mgjnorthstarproject.wordpress.com/
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=10
The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Reports.
Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.
Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year
(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.