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Confucianism as a World ReligionContested Histories and Contemporary Realities$
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Anna Sun

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155579

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155579.001.0001

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The Confucianism as a Religion Controversy in Contemporary China

The Confucianism as a Religion Controversy in Contemporary China

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 3 The Confucianism as a Religion Controversy in Contemporary China
Source:
Confucianism as a World Religion
Author(s):

Anna Sun

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691155579.003.0004

This chapter examines the contemporary debate in China over whether Confucianism should be classified as a religion. It begins by introducing the formation of the official religious classification, the Five Major Religions, in the 1950s in socialist China. The chapter then turns to the contemporary Confucianism as a religion controversy in 2000–2004, an important debate among Chinese intellectuals with significant academic, social, and political implications. It argues that ideas are shaped by their social situations, and that the ideas about Confucianism, like many other bodies of knowledge, were shaped by and yet succeeded in transcending their specific environments of origin. The chapter draws on interviews with officials from the State Administration of Religious Affairs, with members of the Department of Confucianism, and with the current head of the Institute of World Religions.

Keywords:   Confucianism, Five Major Religions, socialist China, Chinese intellectuals, State Administration of Religious Affairs, Department of Confucianism, Institute of World Religions

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