East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

February 23, Thomas Dubois, “Opiate of the Masses with Chinese Characteristics”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 “Opiate of the Masses with Chinese Characteristics – Interpreting China’s Religion Policy”

Thomas DuBois

Associate Professor, College of Asia and the Pacific.

Australian National University

4:30-6:00p.m., Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Light refreshments will be served*


Late in 2016, China released its newly revised Religious Affairs Law, which was immediately panned by critics as an aggressive intrusion into protected religious freedoms. In fact, the law is hardly new. It is consistent with the very specific way that the Communist Party has interpreted religious freedoms in the decades since the 1982 promulgation of “Basic Ideas and Policies Concerning Our Country’s Religious Question in the Socialist Era” initiated a more apparently tolerant stance. The talk traces the development of Chinese religion policy over three decades, closing with a discussion of the new law, and the recent rapprochement between China and the Vatican.

About the Speaker

Thomas DuBois is a historian of modern China.  His research focuses on Chinese religion and society, with a particular interest in northeast China. His publications include Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China (Hawaii, 2005), Casting Faiths: Imperialism and the Transformation of Religion in East and Southeast Asia (Palgrave, 2009), Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (Cambridge, 2011), and most recently, Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900-1945 (Cambridge, 2017). His research has also been featured in the Huffington Post and New York Times. Prof. DuBois received his undergraduate degree from University of Chicago and Ph.D. from UCLA.

* To learn more about our Winter program, please look at: Winter Schedule


Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology),  Dali Yang (Political Science), and Dingxin Zhao (Sociology)

This particular East Asia Workshop event is sponsored by the Committee on Chinese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.


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