“Soul Stealer: 1768 Chinese Sorcery Scare” in Social Crisis


The “Soul Stealer: Chinese Sorcery Scare 1768” written by Alden Kuhn is a successful example to research more profound problem areas by use of legal history. In the aura of prosperity and good governance by the determination of the Qianlong Emperor, a “Soul incident” occurred and broke this harmony. All the people, from the emperor to the common plebs, were confused for a witchcraft events, with a kind of panic filled in the whole country. Emperors, officials and the plebs driven by different interests and motivations, took full advantages of the event to achieve their purpose of class. Behind the ordinary case of “soul stealer”, a huge social crisis is hidden.

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Wang, D. (2015) “Soul Stealer: 1768 Chinese Sorcery Scare” in Social Crisis. Sociology Mind, 5, 35-40. doi: 10.4236/sm.2015.51005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Kuhn, P. A. (1999). Soul Stealer: 1768 Chinese Sorcery Scare. Shanghai: Joint Publishing.
[2] Foucault, M. (2007) Discipline and Punish. Shanghai: Joint Publishing.
[3] Shuzo, S. (1998). The Civil Trial and Civil Contract in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Beijing: Law Press.

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