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Religion And Environmentalism In Chinese Societies

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Chapter Summary

Charles Taylor distinguishes three meanings of secularism as it relates to the "North Atlantic societies" of Western Europe and North America. The three meanings are political, sociological and cultural. In the North Atlantic world, all governments are secular in the first sense, Western Europe (but not the United States) is secular in the second sense, and all societies (including the United States) are secular in the third sense. In this chapter, the author applies these three modes of secularism to the modern societies of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. The author argues that this framework is useful for deciphering many of the contemporary developments in both of these parts of the Chinese cultural world. Finally the framework assists us in understanding the manner in which the secularisms of state, society, and culture in mainland China and Taiwan have shaped one another through their mutual interactions.

Keywords:Charles Taylor; Mainland China; North America; North Atlantic societies; People's Republic of China; secularism; Taiwan; Western Europe



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