Understanding Chinese Religions

By Joachim Gentz

Chinese religions are often represented as a unity in which each tradition possesses a number of features typical of a Chinese religious system. Some of these features have been described as non-religious, so that, from the 17th century, there has been debate in Europe as to whether religion in China exists at all or whether what appear as 'Chinese religions' are not atheistic, purely functional, superstitious cults and rituals. However, Chinese religions have long been of interest and fascination for Western scholars. Abundant historical material makes Chinese religions a highly interesting case. With their entirely different philosophical and political contexts, Chinese religions are a challenging field of analysis for Western systematic theories of religion. At the same time, Chinese religions provide students with new and challenging perspectives on the nature of reality, environmental contexts, health, and different types of self-awareness. These prompt the question as to whether the Western religious tradition is an exception amongst the religious traditions of the world. This book explains some systematic problems related to Chinese religions and examines the roots of stereotypes associated with Chinese religions. It also offers a new systematic approach to explain Chinese religions before presenting the main religious traditions in their historical perspective. The book, along with others in the Understanding Faith series by Dunedin Academic Press, is intended for students of comparative religion and is a basic source of essential information about the major world faiths in the 21st century for those who seek to understand this aspect of influence on our lives today. (Series: Understanding Faith)

176 pages

Publication Date: 1/24/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781903765777