Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access Secular Belief, Religious Belonging in China

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Secular Belief, Religious Belonging in China

  • HTML
  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Review of Religion and Chinese Society

A recent Gallup poll found that almost half of China’s people are atheists. However, surveys conducted by Fenggang Yang and others show that as much as 85 percent of the population periodically engages in religious practices. How can we reconcile reports of widespread atheism with those of widespread religious practice?An answer is to be found in the social nature of Chinese religion—it is more about belonging than belief. Rituals and sacred myths meaningfully anchor persons to families and communities. The collapse of the commune and danwei systems has made the search for non-state-controlled community forms more pressing than ever. These alternative forms are typically established through myth and ritual. This is true as much for Christian forms of community as for traditional Chinese folk forms. Belonging in China is religious even though, as a result of sixty years of Communist indoctrination, belief is secular. The contradiction between secular belief and religious belonging creates tensions, and in the long run it is unclear how they will be resolved.

Affiliations: 1: University of California, San Diego, rmadsen@ucsd.edu

10.1163/22143955-04102003
/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-04102003
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading

A recent Gallup poll found that almost half of China’s people are atheists. However, surveys conducted by Fenggang Yang and others show that as much as 85 percent of the population periodically engages in religious practices. How can we reconcile reports of widespread atheism with those of widespread religious practice?An answer is to be found in the social nature of Chinese religion—it is more about belonging than belief. Rituals and sacred myths meaningfully anchor persons to families and communities. The collapse of the commune and danwei systems has made the search for non-state-controlled community forms more pressing than ever. These alternative forms are typically established through myth and ritual. This is true as much for Christian forms of community as for traditional Chinese folk forms. Belonging in China is religious even though, as a result of sixty years of Communist indoctrination, belief is secular. The contradiction between secular belief and religious belonging creates tensions, and in the long run it is unclear how they will be resolved.

Loading

Full text loading...

/deliver/journals/22143955/1/1/22143955_001_01_S003_text.html;jsessionid=Dke5uRfcWvQzk47CU06pZ_wh.x-brill-live-03?itemId=/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-04102003&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah
/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-04102003
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Chan Anita ,, Madsen Richard ,, and Unger Jonathan . 2009. Chen Village: From Revolution to Globalization . Berkeley: University of California Press.
2. Chau Adam Yuet ,. 2011. “ "Modalities of Doing Religion".” In Chinese Religious Life , edited by Palmer David A. ,, Shive Glenn ,, and Wickeri Philip L. , pp. 6784. New York: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731398.003.0005
3. Davie Grace . 1994. Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging . Oxford: Blackwell.
4. Dean Kenneth . 1993. Taoist Ritual and Popular Cults of Southeast China . Princeton: Princeton University Press.
5. Goossaert Vincent ,. 2008. “ "Republican Church Engineering: The National Religious Associations in 1912 China".” In Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation , edited by Yang Mayfair Mei-Hui , pp. 209232, 360–361. Berkeley: University of California Press.
6. Goossaert Vincent ,, and Palmer David A. . 2011. The Religious Question in Modern China . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
7. Kuah-Pearce Khun Eng . 2011. Rebuilding the Ancestral Village: Singaporeans in China . Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
8. Liu Kwang-Ching ,. 1990. “ "Introduction".” In Orthodoxy in Late Imperial China , edited by Liu Kwang-Ching , pp. 124. Berkeley: University of California Press.
9. Luhrmann T. M. 2012. When God Talks Back . New York: Knopf.
10. Madsen Richard . 1998. China’s Catholics: Tragedy and Hope in an Emerging Civil Society . Berkeley: University of California Press.
11. ——. 2001. “ "Beyond Orthodoxy: Catholicism as Chinese Folk Religion".” In China and Christianity: Burdened Past, Hopeful Future , edited by Uhalley Stephen ,and Xiaoxin Wu , pp. 233247. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
12. ——. 2007. Democracy’s Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Development in Taiwan . Berkeley: University of California Press.
13. ——. 2009. “ "The Archipelago of Faith: Religious Individualism and Faith Community in America Today"” American Journal of Sociology Vol 114: 12631301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/595946
14. ——. 2010. “ "Chinese Christianity: Indigenization and Conflict".” In Chinese Society: Conflict, Change, and Resistance , 3rd ed., edited by Perry Elizabeth J. ,and Selden Mark , pp. 239260. New York: Routledge.
15. ——. 2014. “ "Religion under Communism".” In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism , edited by Smith S. A. , 585601. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
16. ——. 2014. “ "From Socialist Ideology to Cultural Heritage: The Changing Basis of Legitimacy in the People’s Republic of China".” Anthropology and Medicine , DOI: 10.1080/13648470.2014.880875.
17. Mao Zedong . 1965. “ "Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan"” (1927). In Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung , vol. Vol 1, pp. 2359. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
18. Putnam Robert D. ,, and Campbell David E. . 2010. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us . New York: Simon and Schuster.
19. Schutz Alfred ,. 1967. “ "On Multiple Realities".” In Collected Papers, vol. 1: The Problem of Social Reality , edited by Natanson Maurice , 207228. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
20. Taylor Charles . 2007. A Secular Age . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
21. WIN-Gallup International. 2012. “ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism".”
22. Tu Weiming . 2010. The Global Significance of Concrete Humanity . New Delhi: Center for Studies in Civilizations.
23. Yang C. K. 1961. Religion in Chinese Society . Berkeley: University of California Press.
24. Yang Fenggang . 2010“ "The State of Religion in China: The First Glimpse through a Survey".” Newsletter of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society 3:2. (accessed 7 January 2014).
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-04102003
Loading
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-04102003
2014-04-20
2016-12-08

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Subscribe to Citation alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Review of Religion and Chinese Society — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation