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Transformations of Religions in China: Past and Present

Panel Chair: Zheng Xiaoyun | Friday, August 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

The religious history and status quo of religions are two main subjects for Chinese religious researchers. A large amount of academic results have been published on the religious history of China thanks to the efforts made by experts in this field. With continuous and rapid development of religions in China, more attention is paid to status quo of different religions. In this panel, five theses concerning three religions of China – Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity – provide viewpoints and perspectives for you to know something about the Chinese religions.

Wei Daoru

The Changes of the Study of Chan in the Yuan Dynasty of China

The political, minzu and religious policies of the Yuan Dynasty are obviously different from those of the Song Dynasty. This article analyzes five social factors that directly or indirectly cause the changes of the study of Chan in the Yuan Dynasty. By comparing Kan-hua Chan of Gaofeng Yuanmiao in the Yuan Dynasty with that of Dahui Zonggao in the Song Dynasty, the thesis elaborates three important changes and basic characteristics of Kan-hua Chan in the Yuan Dynasty.

Xiaofeng Tang

How to Evaluate Rapid Increase of Chinese Christianity after 1978

The rapid increase of Chinese Christianity after 1978 is an undeniable fact. When we try to evaluate this fact and its social influences, we have to answer these following questions first: Why do exist so many different versions about the number of Chinese Christians? How many “nominal Christians” are there in China?Is Christianity adversary of Chinese native religions?Does exist a so-called saturation status of Chinese Christianity in Chinese Culture and Society?Is Christianity the only religion increasing rapidly among all religions in Chinese Society?

Yang Jian

Master Hsuan Hua’s Sangha in USA

In 1962, Master Hsuan Hua went to USA and began his career of disseminating Buddhism. After continuous efforts, Hsuan Hua Sangha met with success and made great contribution to the publicity of the Han Buddhism in America by many methods. On the one hand, the Sangha persists in the traditional Han Buddhist theories and practices. On the other hand, in order to exist and develop in American established culture and fundamentally different Protestant context, it takes flexible methods in propagating Buddhism.

Lin Qiaowei

Daoism and the State Cult of Chinain Ming Dynasty

In ancient China the state cult was the core of the Chinese imperial court, which included a series of public divine worship activities in the different grades as the Grand, Secondary and Tertiary Sacrifices. The state cult, providing the imperial ritual offerings for the gods in national temples, did not only reflect the core of the political ideas and the social beliefs, but also imply some important religious meanings. As is well known, the Confucian teachings was the philosophical basis of the state cult in Chinese history. But how about the relation between Daoism(in this paper the English word "Daoism" is refer to the Chinese terms Daojiao道教/religion of the Dao) and the state cult in China?

Leon E. Stover, in his book Imperial China and the State Cult of Confucius, “explores the political logic of old China's archaic civilization, where court protocol was the very essence of a liturgical government whose philosophical basis rested on the scriptural authority of Confucian teachings.” When we focus on the influence of the Confucianism, we might ignore the relation between Daoism and the Chinese state cult.This article will look into the literature of the court protocol in Ming dynasty, and explore the establishment of the state cult in Ming court, comprised of the worship of the Daoist gods and beliefs, in addition to the Confucianism.It will present a basic outline on the following three aspects, the enactment of the state cultswith the participation of the Daoists(Daoshi道士),the national templesproviding the state rituals managed by the Daoists(Daoshi道士), and the graded rites of the state sacrifices involving theDaoist gods, trying to show the Daoist gods and beliefs how to earn the credentials in the imperial courtand how to play an important role in the state cult in Ming China.


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