|日治時期台灣齋教三派（先天、龍華、金幢）母堂所在地，即以新竹為北部重鎮。根據台灣總督府社寺課昭和十五年（1941）的調查，全省齋堂數以新竹65 座為冠，遠高於台中36 座、台南台北各35 座。但是近來有關齋堂之研究多集中於台南、台北兩地，除《竹塹文獻》陸續整理介紹新竹地區齋堂外，桃竹苗文化局尚未進行或出版相關資料。此一現象與桃竹苗地區齋教人士積極協助佛教發展、甚至多數剃度「空門化」有關；此外，此地區作為台灣傳統山林佛教的代表，逐漸不敵都市佛教的興盛，衰落無以為繼，遂多改型託管如法鼓山等佛教大系，歷史湮滅，亦為其受到忽略的原因。
Three sects of Vegetarian Religion, that is Xiantian, Longhua and Jintong, have emerged in Taiwan since the seventeenth century, and most of their halls centered in Xinchu County during the Japanese occupation (1895-1945). According to the official investigation held in 1941, there were 65 Vegetarian Halls located in Xinchu, as 36 in Taizhong, 35 in Taipei, and 35 in Tainan. However, contemporary research has focused on Tainan and Taipei, neglecting the development of Vegetarian Religions in Xinchu area. The phenomena might relate to the rapid transformation from Vegetarian Halls to Buddhist temples in this area. As the island around urbanization since 1970s leaved this isolated area, the rising Buddhist enterprises which created new pilgrimage sites in eastern and southern Taiwan also affected the finance of this religious community.
However, previous development preserves relatively great amount of data for investigating the transformation of Vegetarian Religion.
This project aims on the reconstruction of the history of Vegetarian Religions in Xinchu, Miaoli, and Taoyuan in last century（1905-2005）. From the perspective of Hakka study, this research will also compare the religious practice of Hakka from Minan＇s in terms of Vegetarian Religion. More specific issues include the function of Vegetarian Hall as the refugee of unmarried women, the classification of clan shrine and Buddhist monastery, the cult of Guanyin and other female deities, and so on.
The goals of this project will conduct three investigations: (1) to collect and analyze historical data of the Vegetarian Religion in the Hakka community; (2) to compare the religious registration system of the Japanese colonial government with the post-war KMT government; (3) to interview the survived ritual experts and followers of Vegetarian Religion, as well as those converted to Buddhism.
Keywords: Vegetarian Religion, Taiwan Buddhism, Hakka Women, Colonial religious、registration, Religious Sectarian identity|