The sociology of religion in China in many ways begins with the secularization and desecularization debate. By some measures, China ranks among the world’s most secular nations. Yet scholarship finds religious practice diffused and imbedded in the lives of the unaffiliated. Further, religion appears to be increasing as the nation modernizes and liberalizes. In addition to the state of belief and disbelief in China, researchers discuss how the religious landscape in China is shaped by economic and social transition within the context of a unique cultural tradition and regulated religious marketplace. In addition, scholars are exploring how religion influences individuals and the public sphere.

Religious Tradition and Religious Market in China

Within earlier sociological and historical traditions, pre-20th century China was associated with an agnostic-Confucianist dominant culture, ...

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