The Sinicization of Chinese Religions: From Above and Below


Since its announcement by Xi Jinping in 2015, “Sinicization” has become the slogan that guides Chinese official policy towards religion. What does it mean? What effects is it having on Chinese religions? Where will it lead? This book, with contributions from experts in the major religious traditions in China, is one of the first in English that answers these questions.
From the top down, Sinicization is a project to control all forms of religion in China, even ancient indigenous forms, to make them conform to the demands of its Party-State. From the bottom up, however, religious believers are using the slogan either to sincerely attempt to adapt traditional practices to their modern cultural context or to protect their faith by offering lip service to government demands – or some combination of the two.

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Richard Madsen is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, San Diego and the author of many books on morality, politics, and religion in China.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

  Richard Madsen

1 Sinicization or Chinafication?
Cultural Assimilation vs. Political Domestication of Christianity in China and Beyond
  Fenggang Yang

2 “Official Confucianism” as Newly Sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party
  Yong Chen

3 The Sinicization of Buddhism and Its Competing Reinventions of Tradition
  Weishan Huang

4 Already Post-Modern: Buddhist Stone Images in Luoyang and the Question of Sinicization
Buddhist Stone Images in Luoyang and the Question of Sinicization
  Dong Wang

5 Faith in the Future/Practices of the Past
A Sinicized Islamic Revival among the Hui of Xining
  Alexander Stewart

6 Xiejiao, Cults, and New Religions: Making Sense of the New Un-Sinicized Religions on China’s Fringe
  J. Gordon Melton


All interested in the development of religion, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and New Religious Movements within contemporary Chinese politics and culture.
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