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Confucianism as Religion

Controversies and Consequences

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Yong Chen

Confucianism as Religion tackles the perennially controversial question of whether Confucianism is a religion. After surveying the epistemological difficulties in both Chinese and Western scholarship in addressing the controversy over Confucian religiosity, Yong Chen convincingly reveals the sociopolitical and cultural stakes that are deeply entangled with the controversy. He brings the issue to the scrutiny of the latest theoretical constructions in religious studies and anthropology and, by defying Wilfred C. Smith’s claim that it is a question that the West has never been able to answer and China never been able to ask, proposes a holistic and contextual approach to the question about the religious status of Confucianism.