Buddha Versus Jesus: The Transnationalism of Traditional Religions

  • Ray Wang
Part of the Human Rights Interventions book series (HURIIN)


This chapter introduces transnational religious advocacy networks’ role in promoting greater space for activism in China, in the context of Buddhism and Taoism. Similar to how Christians would be breaking the law if they receive foreign donations or support missionaries, Buddhist and Taoist practitioners have also made breakthroughs on the most critical restriction on social activism under Communist rule—the “no foreigner allowed” taboo. Modern Buddhism and its followers have ideological and institutional advantages, especially via their methods of (1) salvation through teaching; (2) respecting otherness; (3) practicing human rights through preparing the path of Dun-Wu; (4) working on firsthand information and dedication to mutual understanding; (5) collaborating with locals without naming and shaming; and (6) tolerating the status quo groups and focusing on long-term cultural change. Through the examples of Tzu-Chi and Yiguandao, modern Buddhist and Taoist advocates sustain a different kind of transnationalism, which could provide new insights into revisiting the conventional wisdom used by rights advocates to promote religious freedom in the developing world.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ray Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of East Asian StudiesNational Chengchi UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan

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