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Chapter Summary

The emergence of a social scientific study of religion in China reflects not only changes in the object of study itself - namely religion - but also the process of modern state formation, the stream of which China reentered in the late 1970s. Following the Cultural Revolution a space for religion reopened as China once again sought to build a modern secular state by recognizing the right of freedom of belief. Religion is a classic concept in the social sciences to explain society. This chapter emphasizes the enduring nature of religion, its integration into social science analysis, and its links to politics and society in China. Religion is a rich field of study, interweaving through such various disciplines as political science, economics, and legal studies, to challenge existing conceptual frameworks of theory and analysis.

Keywords: China; cultural revolution; modern secular state; religion; social science analysis



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