Chinese Religion: A Contextual Approach

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A&C Black, May 25, 2010 - Religion - 226 pages
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Chinese Religion: A Contextual Approach is a new introduction to the field of Chinese religion and culture. It seeks to guide readers through some of the primary source material and to introduce them to continuing, contemporary debates and interpretations of religious ideas, concepts and practices in China and beyond. Defining religion as a way of life, this book examines religious beliefs and practices in particular cultural contexts, and highlights the relevance of religion to personal, communal and political life.

In this clear account, Xinzhong Yao and Yanxia Zhao move away from the traditional and outmoded definition of Chinese religion, towards a multi-layered hermeneutic of the diverse and yet syncretic nature and functions of religions in China. Additional features include questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter and suggestions for further reading at the end of the book.
 

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Contents

1 Setting the Context
1
2 Religion and Zongjiao
24
3 Religion in History
45
4 Religion as Culture
77
5 Religion in Family contexts
103
6 Religion and State
123
7 Religious Beliefs
146
8 Religious Practices
170
9 Religion as the Way of Life
193
A Glossary of Chinese Characters and Terms
200
A Glossary of Chinese Names and Texts
209
Bibliography
214
Index
221
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About the author (2010)

Xinzhong Yao is Professor of Chinese Religion at King's College London, UK, and author of An Introduction to Confucianism (Cambridge University Press 2000). Yanxia Zhao is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK, and author of Father and Son in Confucianism and Christianity: A Comparative Study of Xunzi and Paul (Sussex Academic Press, 2007).

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