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Chinese Religion A Contextual Approach by Xinzhong Yao, Yanxia Zhao

Chinese Religion A Contextual Approach



Chinese Religion A Contextual Approach by Xinzhong Yao, Yanxia Zhao

Chinese Religion is a new introduction to the field of Chinese religion and culture. It seeks to guide readers through some of the primary source material and to introduce them to continuing, contemporary debates and interpretations of religious ideas, concepts and practices in China and beyond. Religious beliefs are never pursued and held in a vacuum; they are an integral part of a particular culture, interwoven and interactive with other elements of the culture and tradition. Chinese religion in this sense can be said to be part of Chinese culture and history. In this clear account, Xinzhong Yao and Yanxiz Zhao move away from the traditional and outmoded definition of Chinese religion, the three institutional doctrines: Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism, towards a multi-layered hermeneutic of the syncretic nature and functions of religions in China. Additional features include questions for reflection and discussion and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter.


With interest in China and things Chinese growing at an unprecedented rate, this wide-ranging, informative and readable introduction to Chinese religion by Xinzhong Yao and Yanxia Zhao is both timely and welcome. Based on twenty years experience of teaching a course in Chinese religion and culture, the authors provide a first-rate account of Han Chinese religion in its social and historical context, aimed at students and the general reader. Highly recommended! - Professor Brian Bocking, University College Cork, Ireland

About the Author

Xinzhong Yao is Professor of Chinese Religion at King's College London, UK, and author of An Introduction to Confucianism (Cambridge University Press 2000). Yanxia Zhao is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK, and author of Father and Son in Confucianism and Christianity: A Comparative Study of Xunzi and Paul (Sussex Academic Press, 2007).

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Book Info

Publication date

25th March 2010


Xinzhong Yao, Yanxia Zhao

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


224 pages


Oriental religions



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