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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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Counting Confucians through Social Scientific Research

Counting Confucians through Social Scientific Research

(p.110) Chapter 5 Counting Confucians through Social Scientific Research
Confucianism as a World Religion

Anna Sun

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the long-standing problem of identifying Confucians in China (and East Asia in general) through social science research methods—a problem deeply rooted in the nineteenth-century conceptualization of Confucianism and the overall classification of Chinese religions. It investigates different types of empirical data—national censuses and surveys—from Mainland China, as well as from Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, in order to answer two questions. First is about whether “Confucianism” is a category in religious classifications in these East Asian countries and regions; the second asks about how many people are counted as “Confucians” in China.

Keywords:   Confucians, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Chinese religions, East Asia, religious classifications

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