Managing Religious Diversity in China: Contradictions of Imperial and Foreign Legacies

In this essay I argue that despite the scope of change in the realms of military, security, economic, and social policies, as well as changes in the legal sphere, the path dependency left by the institutions of the previous imperial and republican regimes has influenced the current arrangements for...

Full description

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Published in:Studies in religion
Subtitles:Managing religious diversity in India, China and Canada
Main Author: Laliberté, André 1959-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Published: [2016]
In:Studies in religion
Year: 2016, Volume: 45, Issue: 4, Pages: 495-519
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
doi
Description
Summary:In this essay I argue that despite the scope of change in the realms of military, security, economic, and social policies, as well as changes in the legal sphere, the path dependency left by the institutions of the previous imperial and republican regimes has influenced the current arrangements for the regulation of religion by the state in China. This state of affairs has less to do with something specific to Chinese culture and more to do with the particular institutional context of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In the first section of this paper, I consider the influence of previous regimes’ institutions that is still felt in the current regulatory mechanisms for the control of religion. Then, in the second section, I explore the current approach to religious affairs, drawing attention to its quadripartite dimensions: political, legal, administrative, and managerial. In a third section I examine the nature of the challenges faced by the Communist Party of China, the legal and state apparatus of the PRC, and the religious institutions. The discussion uses evidence from fieldwork that I have undertaken over the space of ten years on the philanthropic activities of Buddhist institutions in China. I conclude by discussing the political obstacles that stand in the way of implementing a secular state in China that is genuinely pluralist and supportive of religious diversity.
ISSN:2042-0587
Contains:Enthalten in: Studies in religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0008429816659351