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Title: Changing religion in contemporary China : a case study of a south western city
Author: Xia, Qing
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 7012
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis analyses the unprecedented rise of religion in contemporary China. It focuses on the past three decades since the initiation of the 'open door' reforms in China. I approach the topic drawing from the 'sociology of religion' in interpreting this religious phenomenon. The thesis demonstrates that transformations were brought into China by the implementation of the modernization project. Such transformations have impacted on the identities of Chinese people. The modernisation process has provided opportunities to Chinese society in re-configuring the relationship between 'modernity' and 'tradition'. As a consequence of this fast-changing environment, religion in China has been accommodated in social and private spaces created in the Reform Period. Those social and private spaces become the battleground of ideas where different institutions and interest groups contest and struggle with each other over the relative reach and influence of religion. Chinese society is accommodating pragmatically to religion both in a political and social context. The future of religion in Chinese society depends on whether the social, political, and private needs of Chinese society and the development of religion can be reconciled. History has had a great impact on Chinese religion. However, the experiences during the past two decades for religion have been extraordinary. In order to critically interrogate this, the thesis has mainly focused on the Post-Reform Period. Accordingly, fieldwork data have been collected from a case study of Chengdu City which is situated in the southwest region of China. By using this as a key exemplar, we can demonstrate the origins of the exponential growth in religion, as well as subsequent problems and possibilities of the social, economic and cultural transformation of Chinese society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral