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Chinese Communist Thought and Practice on Religious Diversity

  • Robert P. Weller

Abstract

As human beings we create boundaries all the time. We create them cognitively when we map the world into categories: beauty or ugliness, legality or corruption, anthropology or sociology. We create them socially as well through the division of labor, ethnic labels, religious choices, and an infinity of other distinctions. As a result, the problem of pluralism—how we deal with the many differences that separate us—affects all societies.

Keywords

Communist Party Cultural Revolution Religious Diversity United Front Notational System 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    This is an extremely abbreviated summary of a book that Adam Seligman and I have written on the issue: Adam B. Seligman and Robert P. Weller, Rethinking Pluralism: Ritual, Experience, and Ambiguity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See, for example, the essays in Pamela Kyle Crossley, Helen F. Siu, and Donald S. Sutton, Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006).Google Scholar
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    See, for instance, Gu Jiegang’s arguments with the KMT ideologue Dai Jitao, in Tze-Ki Hon, “Ethnic and Cultural Pluralism: Gu Jiegang’s Vision of a New China in His Studies of Ancient History,” Modern China 22, no. 3 (July 1, 1996): 315–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See, for example, the work of Steve A. Smith, “Talking Toads and Chinless Ghosts: The Politics of ‘Superstitious’ Rumors in the People’s Republic of China, 1961–1965,” American Historical Review 111, no. 2 (2006): 405–427. Current field research by Xiaoxuan Wang is showing similar religious maintenance in southern Zhejiang in the 1950s.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Joachim Gentz 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Weller

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