6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Religion in the Social Transition of Contemporary China (Day 1)

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Webcast Recap

The rapid growth of religious activity in China, especially among Christians but including other religions as well, raises profound questions about the relationship of religion to government, its impact on society, and its potential effects on the emerging social challenges facing China. What are the factors shaping the Chinese approach to this critical issue? What challenges does this approach face? How might we expect it to evolve in the future? These are important questions for U.S.-Chinese relations, given the role of religion in American society and the importance attached to religious freedom in United States foreign policy. This two-day conference will examine this critical and timely topic through several lenses from distinguished scholars from both China and the United States.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.                   

Welcome Remarks: J. Stapleton Roy, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and Caleb K. Zia, President, Asia Research Center Foundation

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

PANEL ONEReligion and Religious Policy in China

Moderator: Christopher Wilde, Asia Research Center Foundation


Thinking Thrice of the Sinicization of Christianity -- ZHANG Zhigang, Peking University

Counting Religion in China Today -- Brian Grim, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life

Investigating China’s Church-State Relations Through a Comparison of the Classical Chinese I-Ching Concept of “Religion by the State,” and the Western Concept of “Separation of Church and State” -- LI Ling (Daniel), Shanxi Normal University

From Crisis of Beliefs to Crisis of Religion—the Basic Transformation of Religious and Beliefs in Contemporary China --               LI Xiangping, East China Normal University

12:00 p.m.   Lunch Break

1:30 – 3:15 p.m.                       

PANEL TWOReligious Freedom in China: Chinese and Western Perspectives

Moderator: J. Stapleton Roy, Director, Kissinger Institute

Discussant: John Hanford, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (2002-2009).

Riding the Dragon: China and Religious Freedom -- Thomas F. Farr, Georgetown University

Chinese Freedom of Religious Belief Under the Background of Globalization -- WANG Xiaochao, Tsinghua University

From Administrative Management to Legal Adjustment: The Evolution of the Management Mode of Religion in China -- LIU Peng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.   Coffee Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.                     

PANEL THREE -- Religion and Society: A Comparison of Various Models Currently Being Practiced in the Chinese Speaking World

Moderator: Caleb K. Zia, Asia Research Center Foundation

Law and Religion: The Hong Kong Model and its Adaptability to Mainland China --TAI Yiu Ting (Benny), The University of Hong Kong

Religion and the Development of a Harmonious Society: A Singaporean Reflection -- Michael Nai Chiu Poon, Trinity Theological College

Church Policy in China—Finding a Workable Model -- WANG Ambroise Aiming, Nanjing Union Theological Seminary

The Religious Freedom, Doctrines and the Regulation of State—A Case of the Religious Groups Act Draft of Taiwan -- WU Yungsheng (Ezra), Ming Chuan University                 



This event is a collaboration between the Wilson Center's Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and the Asia Research Center (ARC) Foundation.