Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities
A Hardback edition by Anna Sun in English (Apr 21, 2013)
$57.74 + FREE delivery
Short Description: Is Confucianism a religion? If so, why do most Chinese think it isn't? From ancient Confucian temples, to nineteenth-century archives, to the testimony of people interviewed by the... Read more
Is Confucianism a religion? If so, why do most Chinese think it isn't? From ancient Confucian temples, to nineteenth-century archives, to the testimony of people interviewed by the author throughout China over a period of more than a decade, this book traces the birth and growth of the idea of Confucianism as a world religion.
The book begins at Oxford, in the late nineteenth century, when Friedrich Max Müller and James Legge classified Confucianism as a world religion in the new discourse of "world religions" and the emerging discipline of comparative religion. Anna Sun shows how that decisive moment continues to influence the understanding of Confucianism in the contemporary world, not only in the West but also in China, where the politics of Confucianism has become important to the present regime in a time of transition. Contested histories of Confucianism are vital signs of social and political change.
Sun also examines the revival of Confucianism in contemporary China and the social significance of the ritual practice of Confucian temples. While the Chinese government turns to Confucianism to justify its political agenda, Confucian activists have started a movement to turn Confucianism into a religion. Confucianism as a world religion might have begun as a scholarly construction, but are we witnessing its transformation into a social and political reality?
With historical analysis, extensive research, and thoughtful reflection, Confucianism as a World Religion will engage all those interested in religion and global politics at the beginning of the Chinese century.
- Anna Sun
- Princeton University Press
- Publication date
- Apr 21, 2013
- Product dimensions
- 161 x 243 x 27mm
Preface ix Acknowledgments xvii Introduction: Confusions over Confucianism 1 Part I: The Puzzle of Classification: How Did Confucianism Become a World Religion? Chapter 1: Four Controversies over the Religious Nature of Confucianism: A Brief History of Confucianism 17 Chapter 2: The Making of a World Religion: Confucianism and the Emergence of Comparative Religion as a Discipline in the Nineteenth Century 45 Chapter 3: The Confucianism as a Religion Controversy in Contemporary China 77 Part II: The Problem of Methodology: Who Are the Confucians in China? Chapter 4: Confucianism as a World Religion: The Legitimation of a New Paradigm 97 Chapter 5: Counting Confucians through Social Scientific Research 110 Chapter 6: To Become a Confucian: A New Conceptual Framework 120 Part III: The Reality of Practices: Is Confucianism a Religion in China Today? Chapter 7: The Emerging Voices of Women in the Revival of Confucianism 137 Chapter 8: The Contemporary Revival and Reinvention of Confucian Ritual Practices 153 Chapter 9: The Politics of the Future of Confucianism 173 Notes 185 Bibliography 215 Index 233