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Explanations Of International Differences In Religion That May Apply To China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents variety of sources and theoretical approaches to identify key variables that could have a significant impact on religious change in China. It also presents a particular variable that has received significant attention within the literature on religious change. The author discusses the ways in which these concepts might be applied by scholars in analyzing the current and near-future situation of religion in China. The most important difference among theories of religious change originates in assumptions concerning the demand for religion. Secularization theories focus on the causes of the changing demand for religion. The author diverges from the treatment of religious regulation within the religious economies literature in proposing that the notions of subsidies and restriction be expanded within the theories of religious change to include the analogous non-state positive reinforcements of and negative sanctions on religious behavior, practices, and religiously-legitimated rules and policies.

Keywords: China; religious change; secularization theories



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