The boundary between religion and the state in China

by on Friday, 06 August 2010 Comments

In this video Professor John Lagerwey examines the boundary between the state and religion in China.  Importantly, he identifies the problems that arise when attempting to understand Chinese religiosity through a Western religious framework, rather than through a Chinese cultural one.

This video is an excerpt from Professor Lagerwey's presentation on 11 May 2010 at the "Dialogue among Civilizations and Global Challenges" forum hosted by the Xu-Ricci Dialogue Institute at Fudan University, Shanghai.

Professor Lagerwey is the Professor for Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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John Lagerwey

Professor of Chinese Studies at the Centre for East Asian Studies
(The Chinese University of Hong Kong). 
His present research focuses on the ethnography of Huizhou (Anhui) and early Chinese religion, especially the period of the Warring States (481-222 BC), when traditional religion went into terminal decline and philosophy emerged. In this, China's "axial age", the shamans and diviners of early religion came under attack and were gradually replaced by cosmology, self-cultivation, and, in the end, the Taoist religion itself. Huizhou was one of the primary merchant and literati centers of late imperial China, but work on it hitherto has given a typically imbalanced picture of its religious practices. The aim of ethnographical work in Huizhou is to achieve a more accurate account of traditional Huizhou society.

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