The conventional view is that Chinese religions, which place an emphasis on filial piety and female submissiveness, are uniformly patriarchal. This interpretation ignores important variations within these traditions that often provide religious roles that empower women. Any account of religion in China must also consider the consequences of Communist rule on religious belief and practice.

There is a long-standing academic debate as to whether there are any Chinese religions. Belief in a High God is largely absent from Asian religious cultures, and Confucianism is a state ideology relating to social order and respect for authority. Similarly, Buddhism may be thought of as “the Righteous Way,” or the dharma, which develops meditation practices to regulate desire. Daoism is typically a set of beliefs and practices promoting health ...

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