Folk and popular religion is a very significant part of Chinese religious life, especially in rural areas. Contemporary Religions in China focuses on the religious activities of the lay people of contemporary China and their ideas of what it means to be "religious" and to practice "religion". Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with case studies, textboxes, images, thought questions, and further reading, which help to capture what religion is like, how and why it is practiced, and what ‘religion’ means for everyday people across China in the twenty-first century.
Contemporary Religions in China is an ideal introduction to religion in China for undergraduate students of religion, Chinese studies, and anthropology.
"What does religion look like today in China? Shawn Arthur’s book asks and answers this question in wonderful detail. This textbook makes the case for an ethnographic approach to religion that takes its cue from religion as it is practiced in everyday life, using theory to explain the facts, rather than fitting facts to the theory. The result is a clear, patient and honest account of religion in China through the eyes of an expert guide. I recommend it highly for anyone who is curious about religion in China today."
James Miller, Duke Kunshan University, China
List of Figures
List of Boxes
Chapter 1- Introduction to lay religion in China
Chapter 2- Setting the Stage and Defining Terms
Chapter 3- Entering Temples
Chapter 4- Understanding and Interacting with Deities, Spirits and Ancestors
Chapter 5- Interacting with Auspiciousness
Chapter 6- Interacting with Fate, Fortune, and Chance
Chapter 7- Lay Goals and Major Issues: Why Practice Religion