Faith and Politics: (New) Confucianism as Civil Religion
Keywords:Confucianism, New Confucianism, civil religion, political rhetoric
This paper discusses how, in contemporary China, politico-religious narratives that reiterate the country’s Confucian tradition serve to create a sense of belonging and sharedness in a community, and provide a way to interpret this community and the contemporary Chinese nation as having a divine mission. As these Chinese foundational myths combine elements of Confucianism with patriotism and nationalism, they can be interpreted as a constitutive element of a “civil religion with Chinese characteristics”, and as providing arguments for a “religious” legitimation of the CCP as organization that has to lead the nation on this mission.
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