Only one currency is available for each shipping destination by mail. All three currencies are available for electronic products, with no shipping cost.
More information on our Terms and Conditions pageBuy this issue
This paper examines both the revival of religious organisations and practices in China and what could be coined the “exit from religion” exemplified by the loss of religious basis for social togetherness and the instrumentalisation of religious organisations and discourse. It argues that “revival” and “exit” taken as a twofold phenomenon facilitate an understanding of the evolving and often disputed nature of China’s religious sphere throughout history as well as the socio-political stage that the country is entering.
This article is a study of the continuities and changes in the state-led institutionalisation of religion in the PRC from 1979 to 2009 and their effects on the structuring of China’s religious field. A normative discourse on religion is constituted by a network of Party leaders, officials, academics, and religious leaders. Official religious institutions have become hybrids of religious culture with the institutional habitus of work units ( danwei) in the socialist market economy. A wide range of religious practices have found legitimacy under secular labels such as health, science, culture, tourism, or heritage. Religious affairs authorities have begun to acknowledge the existence of this expanding realm of religious life, and to accord discursive legitimacy to the previously stigmatised or ignored categories of popular religion and new religions, but hesitate to propose an explicit change in policy.
Since 1980, the revival of Daoist temples in China’s urban environment has been developing in two different directions. On the one hand, “official” temples operated by the Daoist Association claim to embody a modern form of Daoism and offer a number of different religious services to the people. On the other hand, community temples refashion the religious life of neighbourhoods, often on the outskirt of cities. This article explores the complex relationships between these different kinds of temples, the lay groups who visit them, and the Daoist clergy who serve them.
This article examines the interface of religion, gender, and old age in contemporary China through the case of a group of rural Han elder women and their community temple in northwestern Sichuan. Without access to monastic resources and charismatic leadership, the women have made the temple a gendered ritual space of their own to obtain social company, spiritual comfort, and moral capital for themselves and their families. Neither victims of feudal superstition nor obstacles to modernisation, they are a dynamic transformative force in contemporary rural China.
The paper addresses the changing dynamics of Protestantism in contemporary urban China through the lens of the Christian discourse of quality ( suzhi). Linking suzhi with processes of identity and subject formation in the Chinese Protestant community, the paper shows that the religiosity of today’s Chinese Protestants is not so much related to acts of spiritual seeking in a state-centred political framework as it is shaped by desires and practices of self-making among neoliberal individuals under rapid marketisation. It also demonstrates that Chinese Protestantism has undergone not just a quantitative increase but also a qualitative change that counters the one-dimensional representation of Christian religiosity in the post-Mao era.
The multiplicity of initiatives in China today that claim to be inspired by “Confucianism” calls for particular attention to the diversity of their practical application. In this case study, we analyse the formation and workings of a new kind of educational institution: initiated three years ago in the town of Tangchi (Anhui) by a Taiwanese Buddhist, but nonetheless strongly influenced by Confucian traditionalism, this “Cultural Education Centre” is inventing, somewhere between political control and moral proselytism, a new form of governmentality that could gain widespread acceptance.
Part of a larger project on the revival of Confucianism in Mainland China, this article explores the case of the Confucius ceremonies performed at the end of September each year in the city of Qufu, Shandong Province. In order to put things into perspective, it first traces the history of the cult at different periods of time. This is followed by a factual description of the events taking place during the so-called “Confucius festival,” which provides insight into the complexity of the issue and the variety of situations encountered. The contrast between the authorities and minjian Confucian revivalists, as well as their necessary interactions, ultimately illustrates the complex use and abuse of Confucius in post-Maoist China.
This article examines the academic and intellectual career of Kang Xiaoguang, a prominent advocate of Confucianism and of the establishment of Confucianism as China’s state religion. It argues that Kang’s advocacy is rooted in a utilitarian vision of religion, and a pragmatic desire to encourage the development of healthy state-society relations in twenty-first century China.