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The Spread and Mutation of the Motif of“Taking Turns to Serve the Demon”
Author(s): 
Pages: 97-104
Year: Issue:  1
Journal: Nankai Journal(Philosophy,Literature and Social Science Edition) 

Keyword:  The Motif of"Taking Turns to Serve the Demon"Social EthicsCultural IntegrationMutationThematics;
Abstract: The motif of"taking turns to serve the demon"is often combined with a passenger’s sacrificing himself to kill the demon and remove the ills of the society. This motif originates from Indian epic, folk tales and Buddhist scripture, and witnesses a great development when local practice of excessive sacrifice was blended with the Chinese translation of Buddhist anecdotes. Stories of this motif in Ming and Qing Dynasties evolved from those in which boys and girls are sacrificed to the demons to be eaten to those in which boys and girls are taken as means for the demons’ ascension to godhood or demons marry by force the wives of mortals. This shows that humans’ role in the society changes from the meat of the violent to the means of the violent’s ascension to godhood. The ethics of an authoritarian society force the family leaders to take turns to sacrifice their younger generation for the sake of public good and rationalize the unreasonable"rules."Unfortunately, these rules will only be broken by some heroes from other communities. This is exactly the aspect of the motif that we need to reexamine.
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