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2 Political Religion in Twentieth-Century China and Its Global Dimension

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the global dimension of political religions in China, applying a longitudinal section through the twentieth century. It embeds the phases that can be most easily identified as having been politically religious the rule of the National Party or Guomindang 國民黨 (GMD) and that of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the leadership of Mao Zedong 毛澤東 within the broader intellectual and political trends as well as their global connotations. The National Party or Guomindang (GMD) was the first political organization to institute a comprehensive political religion in China. In this process, the alliance between the Nationalist leader Sun Yatsen and the Soviet Union served as the catalyst that transformed the Nationalists "from a collection of followers of a national hero to a highly organized party of disciplined individuals, united by the acceptance of a common revolutionary program".

Keywords: Chinese Communist Party (CCP); global dimension; Guomindang (GMD); Mao Zedong; political religions; Soviet Union; Sun Yatsen



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