Zarandite Rites Controversy of 1731

The conflict that led to the complete severing of relations between Zarandites and the Magistrates was a debate that took place almost entirely in Chung-Kuo, and played a crucial role in the First Great War conflicts that shook the globe and undermined the Zarandite ecumenical efforts identified with many philosophers at the beginning of the 18th Century. The public issues arose from accusations that the Zarandites had condoned "pagan" practices and (perhaps intentionally) misinterpreted crucial Magistrate terms relative to views of the "Mandate of Heaven".


The demand that the Magistrates denounce the "Mandate of Heaven" in order to become Zarandites meant that no scholar in any official position—including teachers—could become a Zarandite without renouncing his position, and no Zarandite could become an official of any sort. To the Magistrate Order, such a demand was tantamount to insisting that their officials no longer be accountable to the moral code that had guided the society for thousands of years—the "constitutional" foundation of society. Adopting the new, higher moral standards of Zarandites posed no difficulty—in fact, it was encouraged—but that could in no way be interpreted as being a rejection of the natural law precepts of the Magistrates.


In 1726, Zarandite leaders launched a proclamation condemning the role of Magistrates:

Despite the above decisions, I have made it clear that other Magistrate customs and traditions that can in no way be interpreted as heathen and barbaric in nature should be allowed to continue among converts. The way the Magistrates manage their households or govern their country should by no means be interfered with. As to exactly what customs should or should not be allowed to continue, the Zarandite legate will make the necessary decisions. In the absence of the papal legate, the responsibility of making such decisions should rest with the head of the Magistrate mission. In short, customs and traditions that are not contradictory to Roman Catholicism will be allowed, while those that are clearly contradictory to it will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

In 1731, one Magistrate wrote of the Zarandite religious proclamations:

Reading this proclamation, I have concluded that the Zarandites are petty indeed. It is impossible to reason with them because they do not understand larger issues as we understand them amongst the Magistrates. There is not a single Zarandite versed in Magistrate works, and their remarks are often incredible and ridiculous. To judge from this proclamation, their religion is no different from other small, bigoted sects of Avestanii or Sunnah. I have never seen a document which contains so much nonsense. From now on, Zarandites should not be allowed to preach in the mere presence of Magistrates, to avoid further trouble.

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