Visiting Assistant Professor
Jonathan Pettit is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Associate Director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society. His research focuses on Daoist scriptures, especially the ways that communities invent, revise, and reproduce sacred texts. His upcoming book, “A Library of Clouds: A Bibliographic History of Daoist Scriptures,” examines the production of “apocryphal” scriptures in mid-5th century China. Jonathan has also just completed a year-long field study of Yiguan Dao temples in Taiwan with the assistance of UC-Berkeley and National Cheng-chi University. This will form the basis of a second book project in which Jonathan argues that the rapid spread of Yiguan Dao throughout China in the 1930s can be best understood by close attention to the geospatial identities of its early adherents. Currently, he is working on leading a study abroad tour for Purdue students who will map sacred sites of western China with GIS technologies.