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The Sage and the PeopleThe Confucian Revival in China$
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Sebastien Billioud and Joel Thoraval

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190258139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190258139.001.0001

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The Quest for a Recognition of Confucian Religion

The Quest for a Recognition of Confucian Religion

Chapter:
(p.145) 6 The Quest for a Recognition of Confucian Religion
Source:
The Sage and the People
Author(s):

Sébastien Billioud

Joël Thoraval

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190258139.003.0007

Although Confucianism is not officially recognized as a religion in China, the claim for its religious dimension is today one of the features sometimes encountered in “the space of the people.” Chapter 6 explores the status that could be ascribed to Confucian religion in a post-Maoist era. Four options are examined that range from existing situations to mere intellectual projects. (1) Confucianism could be institutionalized as a religion among other religions recognized by the state (as is the case in Hong Kong or in Indonesia). (2) It can occupy a central position within syncretist religious movements still forbidden in China, like the Yiguandao. (3) It could be ascribed a prevailing position in the religious landscape if it were turned into a “national teaching” or a “state religion.” (4) It could be reinterpreted as a modern “civil religion.”

Keywords:   Confucianism, religion, Confucian academy, Yiguandao, state religion, civil religion

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