Psychology of Religion in China
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Psychological reflections on spirituality and religion in China have a 2,500-year history, and the scientific study thereof over the past century has both languished during the Cultural Revolution and flourished in the last three decades (Dueck and Han 2012). However, religions as we know them in the West as institutionalized with a professional clergy, set of doctrines, and specified practices is a mere century old (Yang 2008). The official religions include Taoism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Islam, but there are a host of folk religions and variations of the five sanctioned religions among China’s 55 ethnic minorities. Recent research by Tong and Liu (2005) indicates that there are some 300 million Chinese who identify themselves as religious/spiritual, the highest estimate to be published to date.
As a science, Chinese psychology emerged concurrently with American psychology (Han and Zhang 2007). Yuanpei Cai, who studied with Wilhelm Wundt (1908–1911), returned to...
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