Marxism and Religion


Editors: Daji Lü and Xuezeng Gong
In Marxism and Religion leading Chinese scholars unfold before our eyes theoretical explorations of religion in present-day China. In addition, they along with senior cadres superintending religious affairs strenuously explain why the Marxist view of religion still has relevance to living religions in a country undergoing deep changes unleashed by the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening-up policies.
Mistakenly perceived by so many westerners as outdated and dogmatic quasi-scholarly work in the service of communist regime’s propaganda, studies selected here are brainchildren of a group of creative and reform-minded scholars and cadres who endeavor to uphold Marxist traditions while innovatively sinicizing them, hoping that their efforts will contribute to the ruling party’s ideological reconstruction.

Contributors include: Fang Litian, Gao Shining, Gong Xuezeng, He Qimin, Jin Ze, Li Xiangping, Lü Daji, Wang Xiaochao, Wang Zuo’an, Ye Xiaowen, Zhu Xiaoming, and Zhuo Xinping.

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Lü Daji (1931 - 2012) was a Senior Research Fellow of Religious Studies at the Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He was a leading Marxist scholar and published numerous monographs and articles on religion.

Gong Xuezeng is Professor of Religious Studies at the CCP’s Central Party School. He has published dozens of books devoted to topics such as relations existing between religion and socialism and roles religion plays in China’s peaceful development.

Chi Zhen, Ph.D. (2007), National University of Singapore, is Associate Research Fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He has published monographs and articles on Chinese intellectual history. He teaches modern Chinese history at China Executive Leadership Academy Jinggangshan.

Thomas David DuBois is Senior Research Fellow in Chinese history at the Australian National University. He is author of Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China (Hawaii, 2005), and Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (Cambridge, 2011), and has also written on the economic, legal and social history of the Chinese northeast.
International advisor: Thomas DuBois Australian National University
"These different essays offer us a variety of approaches, but the main conclusion we can take from this compilation of translations is that the debates on the place of religion in China are far more sophisticated than assumed by non-specialists, […] This book will be a very useful resource for libraries, and can serve as a very useful starting point for policy-makers, business people, academics, and everyone interested in person-to-person exchanges with China who would also like to gain insight on the official perspectives on religion.”
André Laliberté, University of Ottawa, Journal of Chinese Religions Volume 43/2 (2015)

" Marxism and Religion makes accessible to English readers a representative sampling of academic and policy discussion from the top levels of the religious academic/policy establishment in the world’s most populous nation."
Ryan Dunch, University of Alberta, Journal of Church and State (July 2016)
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Opiate of the Masses with Chinese Characteristics: Recent Chinese Scholarship on the Meaning and Future of Religion
      Thomas David DuBois (杜博思) and Chi Zhen (池桢)


1. The Nature and Substance of Religious Study: A Critical Perspective from the Development of Modern Western Religious Studies (从对近代西方宗教学发展的审思探讨宗教学的性质和内容构成)
      LÜ Daji (吕大吉)
2. Theories of Religion in Contemporary China (中国当代宗教理论)
      ZHUO Xinping (卓新平)
3. An Overall Inquiry into the Role Religion Plays in the Strategy of Cultural Development (全面研究宗教在文化发展战略中的地位与作用)
      JIN Ze (金泽)
4. The Social Dimension of Religion and Its Expression: A Fundamental Thesis of Chinese Sociology of Religion (宗教社会性及其表达——中国宗教社会学的基本命题)
      LI Xiangping (李向平)
5. A Tentative Analysis of the Relationship Existing between Modernization and New Religions (试论现代化与新兴宗教的关系)
      GAO Shining (高师宁)
6. The Development of Modern Society and the Evolution of Religion (现代社会的发展和宗教的演变)
      HE Qimin (何其敏)
7. A Theoretical Examination of and Reflection on the Global Revival of Religion (关于全球宗教复兴的理论分析与思考)
      WANG Xiaochao (王晓朝)


8. An Outline of the Basic Theories and Development of Marx and Engels’ Historical Materialist View of Religion (概说马克思、恩格斯历史唯物主义宗教观的基本理论与历史发展)
      LÜ Daji (吕大吉)
9. A Comprehensive Understanding and Scientific Appraisal of Leninist Perspectives on Religion (全面把握、科学评价列宁主义宗教观)
      GONG Xuezeng (龚学增)
10. A Survey of Marxist Perspectives on Religion in New China (新中国马克思主义宗教观研究概述)
      GONG Xuezeng (龚学增)
11. On the Sinicized Marxist View of Religion (论中国化马克思主义宗教观)
      FANG Litian (方立天)
12. On the Socialist View of Religion with Chinese Characteristics (论中国特色社会主义宗教观)
      ZHU Xiaoming (朱晓明)
13. A Brief Discussion on Theories of Religion and Legal Reconstruction over the Past Twelve Years (略谈十二年来我国的宗教理论和法制建设)
      YE Xiaowen (叶小文)
14. Building a Harmonious Society and New Ideas of Religious Work (构建和谐社会与宗教工作新理念)
      WANG Zuoan (王作安)


All interested in China's theoretical explorations of religion, and anyone concerned with reformulations of Marxist view of religion in present-day China.