Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies
by James Miller
April 2006, 317pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-626-8
$103, £80, 90€, A142
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-631-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Confucianism. Buddhism. Daoism. Fascinating religious traditions”—traditional, local, and even Western—have resurfaced in China and Taiwan since the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s—from practices such as spirit writing and self-mortification to martial arts and the mastery of inner cultivation to qigong and the emergence of sects. What are the social, cultural, and political forces shaping these practices? How have Americans, particularly Chinese Americans, adopted and interpreted Chinese religious traditions?

A comprehensive introduction to the resurgence of religion in China and Taiwan since the end of the Cultural Revolution and a wide-ranging examination of the impact of religious traditions on Euro-Americans and Chinese immigrants in present-day North America.

Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies is an accessible, multidimensional introduction to religions in present-day China and Taiwan as well as an in-depth exploration of how religious traditions and practices have been adopted by Americans and Chinese immigrants in North America. The work covers the period since the Cultural Revolution but places its focus on the contemporary global context.

Written by religious studies expert James Miller and eight acclaimed scholars, this handy one-volume reference answers the demand for a comprehensive yet highly readable work on Chinese religions and their various forms. The work breaks down the complexities of religious traditions, highlighting key issues, themes, and movements, such as the legacy of shamanism in popular Chinese and Taiwanese religion, qigong in contemporary China, and the interpretations and practices of Chinese traditions and rituals in North America. Filling a significant gap in the literature, the handbook demonstrates the impact of social, political, and cultural factors on Chinese religion and identifies the forces behind the prevalence, adaptation, and transformation of Chinese religious practices from a global perspective.


  • A collection of essays written by a diverse lineup of distinguished experts including James Miller, Tam Wai Lun, Ven. Jing Yin, Kim Sung-Hae, Alison Marshall, Tak-ling Terry Woo, David Palmer, Jonathan H. X. Lee, and Elijah Siegler
  • Photographs illustrating important aspects of Chinese religious practices
  • A bibliography for each chapter to facilitate further research
  • An index for fast access to key events, individuals, organizations, deities, religious terms and practices, and time periods
James Miller is assistant professor of religious studies at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His published works include Daoism: A Short Introduction and Daoism and Ecology.


"an invaluable resource for students of Chinese history and comparative religions, as well as non-specialist general readers"—Midwest Book Review, August 1, 2006
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