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In June this year Ian Johnson published a major report in the New York Times on China’s plans to urbanize 250 million citizens over the next decade or so. This drive continues the decades-long story of China’s conversion from an 80 per cent rural society into an 80 per cent urban society, a migration that…

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A recent news story on Reuters, headlined Thou Shalt Not Launch IPOs, China tells temples, reports that the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has issued an injunction against temples listing on the stock exchange. SARA official Liu Wei is reported as staying: Such plans “violate the legitimate rights of religious circles, damage the image…

religious diversity and ecological sustainability

Submitted by James Miller on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 12:52
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For the past six months I’ve been working with Dan Smyer Yu from the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity on a conference which is finally taking place next week at Minzu University in Beijing. The title of the conference is Religious Diversity and Ecological Sustainability in China. Here’s the conference rationale that…

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It’s been three weeks since the devastating tsunami in Japan, and I am still haunted by the familiar phrase from Daode jing ch. 8: Best to be like water, Which benefits the ten thousand things And does not contend. It…

daoism and technological innovation

Submitted by James Miller on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 17:23
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As China overtakes Japan to be recognized as the world’s second largest economy, it is inevitable that Chinese religions will undergo change and transformation. But since Marx infamously compared the social function of religion to that of a narcotic, religion has consistently been framed in the modern imagination as backwards, anti-modern, and anti-science. China’s modernizers, likewise, have viewed religion as a problem to be overcome in the quest to build the new China, and their view has become part of the mainstream amongst Chinese youth.

green china rising

Submitted by James Miller on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:18
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As the trailer for this new documentary from Mandarin Films makes clear, the global environmental crisis will be solved in China, not in America, for the simple reason that China has no other option. As I noted recently in my post on ecological civilization in China, there is a widespread recognition in China that the paradigm of industrial civilization must be changed so that China can bring economic development to its people without a correspondingly large increase in its ecological footprint.

chinese religions and economic sustainability

Submitted by James Miller on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 11:00
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In Sunday’s New York Times, Wayne Arnold published a column on the perennial topic “rethinking the measure of growth.” The story concerns attempts by Asian economists to come up with alternatives to GDP growth as the be-all and end-all of development. As is often the case with the New York Times, I found the most important information buried towards the end of the story, as though the editors didn’t actually think it was important! What is needed instead, some economists say, is a wholesale re-examination of development’s goals.

daoism’s quest for relevance

Submitted by James Miller on Fri, 06/25/2010 - 12:16
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In a Wall Street Journal blog today, Christopher Carothers asks, “Is Daoism is losing its way?” He writes: Today, Buddhism is regaining its traditional place as the largest religion in Chinese society. Islam is expanding through the growth of Muslim families in the Hui and Uyghur minority ethnic groups. Protestantism and Catholicism are winning new converts all over China and shaking off the old label of “foreign religion.” Daoism, on the other hand, seems to be standing still.

china religion in the news

Submitted by James Miller on Sun, 02/28/2010 - 23:00
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Daniel Bell's latest essay on the status of Confucianism in contemporary China http://bit.ly/9BCzS9 #
Ian Johnson's great article on the biggest single set of murals in China, dedicated to the Daoist patriarch Lü Dongbin
http://bit.ly/cLTGhk #
Foreign affairs minister launches Singapore Taoist Federation's program on inter-religious understanding http://bit.ly/b6ow2n #

china religion in the news

Submitted by James Miller on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 23:00
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A Daoist temple in Taiwan with statues of Jesus, Mohammed, Laozi and Buddha http://bit.ly/bVrni2 #
Photos of crowds of worshippers at the Guiyuan Temple worshipping the God of Wealth ??? http://bit.ly/drjTTZ #

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