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Local Ritual Traditions Of Southeast China: A Challenge To Definitions Of Religion And Theories Of Ritual

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Chapter Summary

We live in an era characterized by both material advancement and spiritual searching. In China, deepening economic reforms have triggered institutional evolution and social diversification, resulting in the diversification of accessible ideologies, including religions and spiritual belief systems. The Horizon Research Consultancy Group, an independent, Chinese research and consultancy firm founded in 1992, undertook its first survey of religion in China in 1995. It carried out a more comprehensive survey of China's religious beliefs nationwide in 2007. This chapter reports the principal findings of this survey in detail. The data indicate that the Chinese public attaches greater importance to social forces than to spiritual pursuits, with family, nation, and work, rather than religion, comprising the core of the Chinese value system.

Keywords:China's religious beliefs; institutional evolution; social diversification; spiritual pursuits



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