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Contemporary Chinese Beliefs And Spiritual Pursuits

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Chapter Summary

Since the 1990s, a team of religious studies researchers from the Minzu University of China have explored the relationship between religion and ethnicity in China. Striving to "seek truth from facts", this chapter investigates the role of religion as a carrier of ethnicity and examines both the ethnic nature of religiosity and the religious nature of ethnicity. On the basis of several broad, comparative studies of China's ethnic minority regions, the authors reached the following fundamental conclusions: (1) The ethnic composition of the Chinese nation is best described as a pluralistic unity and the structure of Chinese belief as a pluralistic harmony; (2) Among ethnic minorities, the prevalent trend is the adoption of a single predominant religion as the basis of understanding for a community comprised of diverse viewpoints. These findings provide a new perspective for understanding the broad impact of ethno-religion on social politics, economics, and culture.

Keywords:China; ethnicity; religion



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