© 2018

Meaning and Controversy within Chinese Ancestor Religion


Part of the Asian Christianity in the Diaspora book series (ACID)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
    Pages 1-9
  3. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
    Pages 11-54
  4. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
    Pages 55-124
  5. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
    Pages 167-210
  6. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
    Pages 211-217
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 219-232

About this book


Chinese practices related to ancestors have long been the subject of conflicting interpretations. These practices are rooted in the lived experience of practitioners, and therefore need be considered as embodied expressions of the quest for existential meaning. For practitioners, the achievement of existential meaning requires the inclusion, implication, and mediation of the ancestors. When gestures in ancestor rites are analyzed from this perspective it is possible to appreciate their essence as constitutive of “ancestor religion.” This book uses an inquisitive method that investigates the discrepancies between foreign and local explanations, and proposes another hermeneutic framework for ancestor related praxes.   


De Groot Granet Jestice Chu Hsi Confucianism Matteo Ricci

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Fu Jen Catholic UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

About the authors

Paulin Batairwa Kubuya is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Fu Jen Catholic University and Executive Secretary of Taiwan Regional Bishops' Conference-Commissions for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Meaning and Controversy within Chinese Ancestor Religion
  • Authors Paulin Batairwa Kubuya
  • Series Title Asian Christianity in the Diaspora
  • Series Abbreviated Title Asian Christianity in the Diaspora
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-70523-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-88954-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-70524-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 232
  • Number of Illustrations 3 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Comparative Religion
    Asian Culture
    History of China
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Paulin Batairwa Kubuya’s book is very valuable … . It provides a very helpful overview of the extended debates about ancestor religion in Christianity, including a review of recent scholarship and practical approaches from Hong Kong and Taiwan.” (Amy O’Keefe, Review of Religion and Chinese Society, Vol. 7, 2020)

“This book is well written and edited. Part of Palgrave’s ‘Asian Christianity in the Disapora’ series, it indeed demonstrates the significance of the ancestors in Chinese Christianity and has relevance for many communities. By developing the study of Chinese ancestor religion, Batairwa Kubuya provides focus and punch, proposing a new way of interpreting the ancestors for Christians and others.” (Jonathan A. Seitz, Reading Religion,, September, 2018)