Faith and Politics: (New) Confucianism as Civil Religion

Authors

  • Bart DESSEIN Ghent University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2014.2.1.39-64

Keywords:

Confucianism, New Confucianism, civil religion, political rhetoric

Abstract

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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Author Biography

Bart DESSEIN, Ghent University

Professor Chinese language and culture

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Published

30.05.2014

How to Cite

DESSEIN, B. (2014). Faith and Politics: (New) Confucianism as Civil Religion. Asian Studies, 2(1), 39–64. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2014.2.1.39-64

Issue

Section

Modern Confucianism as a New Chinese Ideology