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Religion in China Today: Resurgence and Challenge

Nov. 3, 2014 | UC San Diego

Over the past three decades, there has been a remarkable resurgence of religious belief and practice in China. This has taken many forms, from the revival and transformation of folk religion, the reinvigoration of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, and even the creation of new religious movements. These developments present new challenges to the Chinese state and have led to global controversies over the government’s handling of these challenges. This conference brought together distinguished Chinese and American scholars for a dialogue about the causes and political consequences of these developments.

Closed to the public.

Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China
21st Century China Program, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego


Venue: Village West 15A, UC San Diego

This will be a full-day workshop comprised of three panels and one roundtable discussion. Each speaker will prepare 15-20 minute remarks on their chosen topic, will join the discussion after all the panelists finish presentations, and will field questions from the audience. Workshop audience include faculty, students and community members.

Dowload agenda and abstracts (PDF)

Nov. 3, 2014 (Monday)

8:00 – 8:15 a.m.    Breakfast

8:15 – 8:20 a.m.    Welcome remarks by Richard Madsen

8:20 – 9:50 a.m.  Christianity in China: Developments and Tensions

  • Moderator: Richard Madsen, UC San Diego
  • "The Catholic Church in Contemporary Shanghai," by Paul Mariani, Santa Clara University
  • "Party-State - Protestant church relations in contemporary China: a Public Transcript Perspective," by Carsten Vela, Loyola University
  • "Understanding Christianity in Contemporary China," by Edward Xu, Fudan University

9:50 – 10:05 a.m.     Break

10:05 – 11:25 a.m.   Islam in Chinese Society

  • Moderator: Hason Khali, UC San Diego
  • "Integrating Islam? Hui versus Uyghur in China’s Xinjiang Problem," by Dru Gladney, Pomona College
  • "Individual Agency through Imagining Transnational Community: Converting to Islam in Modern China," by Alex Stewart, UC San Diego

11:25 – 12:45 p.m.   New Development of Confucianism

  • Moderator: Richard Madsen, UC San Diego
  • “The Confucian Moral Language in Contemporary Chinese Religious Life,” by Anna Sun, Kenyon College
  • “Confucianism and the Reconstruction of Chinese Identity,” by Na Chen, Fudan University

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.    Lunch

1:45 – 4:00 p.m.    Multiple Topics on Religion in China Today

  • Moderator: Edward Xu, Fudan University
  • "Doctrinal Evolution and Organizational Control of the Falun Gong,” by James Tong, UCLA
  • “Of Mothers and Goddesses: Religiosity and Women's Agency in Wenzhou,” by Mayfair Yang, UC Santa Babara
  • “Religion and Rural-Urban Immigration - An Approach to the Study of Social Integration in China,” Lizhu FAN, Fudan University
  • “The Strategic Thinking on the Involvement of Religions in the Comprehensive Social Construction,” by Liu Jinguang, China State Administration for Religious Affairs

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.   Break

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.   Public Lecture: "Religion in Contemporary China: Challenge and Hope"

  • Moderator: Richard Madsen, UC San Diego
  • Speaker: Xinping Zhou, Director, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences