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Religion in China - Ties that Bind

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Religion in China - Ties that Bind

Adam Yuet Chau

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In recent years, there has been an astonishing revival of religious practices in China. Looking beyond numerical counts of religious practitioners, temples, and churches, anthropologist Adam Yuet Chau’s vivid study explores how religion is embedded in contemporary Chinese lives and society, from personal devotion to community-wide festivals.

Covering Buddhism, Daoism, and folk religion, as well as Christianity and Islam, this ethnographically rich book provides insights into the contemporary relevance of religious traditions in Chinese societies. By considering the ways in which Chinese people ‘do’ religion, Chau reveals how religious practice plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining a wide range of relationships: between people, spirits, and places; ritual service providers and their customers; the state and religious groups. He argues that relationality is the key anchor of religious lifeworlds, and this insight demands an entirely new way of approaching religion everywhere.

This lively account will appeal to those studying or curious about Chinese or East Asian religions, and serves as a perfect gateway to understanding religious practices in China today.

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