Social Scientific Studies of Religion in China: Methodology, Theories, and Findings

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Fenggang Yang, Graeme Lang
BRILL, Jan 27, 2011 - Social Science - 312 pages
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The revival of religious belief and practice in China over the past thirty years, after decades of severe repression, has attracted much attention by scholars. Social scientific studies of religion by mainland Chinese scholars has also increased in recent years, using theories and methods developed mainly outside China. Increasingly, mainland scholars are also debating whether theories and concepts developed in western societies are fully appropriate for the study of religion in Chinese societies. This volume presents a selection of papers by sociologists, anthropologists, and historians of religion on these themes. The chapters include rich field studies of particular religions and religious activities, along with theoretical and historical reflections by scholars inside and outside China on problems and opportunities in the revival of the social scientific study of religion in Chinese societies.
 

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Contents

Introduction The Rising Social Scientific Study of Religion in China
1
Part I Methodological and Theoretical Challenges
21
Chapter One Thirty Years of Religious Studies in China
23
Chapter Two History as a Factor in the Social Scientific Study of Chinese Religion
47
Chapter Three Explanations of International Differences in Religion that May Apply to China
61
Chapter Four The Dilemma of Pursuing Chinese Religious Studies within the Framework of Western Religious Theories
87
Some Introductory Notes for the Intrepid Western Scholar
109
A Challenge to Definitions of Religion and Theories of Ritual
133
Chapter Seven Contemporary Chinese Beliefs and Spiritual Pursuits
165
Chapter Eight Exploring the Relationship between Religion and Ethnicity in China
181
A Case Study of the Hebei Province Dragon Tablet Fair
195
Chapter Ten On the Problem of Developing a Mechanism for the Participation of Religion in the Social Services Sector
227
Chapter Eleven Religion and Environmentalism in Chinese Societies
245
Chapter Twelve Secular State and Religious Society in Mainland China and Taiwan
273
Afterword
297
Index
303

Part II Identities Organizations and Societies
163

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About the author (2011)

Fenggang Yang (PhD in 1997, the Catholic University of America) is Professor of Sociology and Director of Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University in Indiana. His forthcoming book is "Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communism" (Oxford University Press). Graeme Lang (PhD in1979, York University) is Professor of Sociology at City University of Hong Kong. His publications on religion in China include "The Rise of a Refugee God: Hong Kong s Wong Tai Sin" (Oxford University Press, 1993).

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