East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

Feb 10 Workshop


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents


 “Global Religious Change, Local Politics, and Civil Life in China and Taiwan”


Robert Weller

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Boston University


4:30-6pm, Tuesday

February 10, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.


This paper discusses four of the most important global trends as they were accommodated, adjusted, and transformed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait: the removal of religion from politics (secularization), the attempt to confine it to a purely religious sphere (religionization), the increased interest in textual authority and religious self-consciousness (rationalization), and an increase in the direct physical manifestations of belief through unmediated physical experience (embodiment). The current similarities show the relative importance of shared cultural traditions and shared global influences over differing forms of political control. Nevertheless, some significant differences have also appeared in the religious ecology of the two places, especially in the relative importance of local temple worship, Buddhism, and Christianity. One result is that Taiwan’s adaption to global religious change has had much stronger indigenous Chinese roots than we see on the mainland.


Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song


This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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