The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions
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More About This Title The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions


Comprising the most up-to-date, interdisciplinary research on the study of Chinese religious beliefs and cultural practices, this volume explores the rich and complex religious and philosophical traditions that have developed and flourished in one of the world's oldest civilizations.
  • Covers the main Chinese traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as well as Christianity and Islam
  • Features a unique organizational structure, with groups of readings focused on historical, traditions-based, and topical elements of Chinese religion
  • Explores a number of contemporary religious topics, including gender, nature, asceticism, material culture, and gods and spirits
  • Brings together a team of authors who are experts in their sub-fields, providing readers with the latest research in a rapidly growing discipline


Randall L. Nadeau is Chair of the Department of Religion and Professor of East Asian Religions at Trinity University, Texas. He has published widely on such topics as popular religious literature, deity cults, and folk religion in both China and Japan, as well as methodology in the study of religion, especially Buddhism and popular religious movements.


Notes on Contributors ix

1 Introduction 1
Randall Nadeau

Part I Historical Survey25

2 Chinese Religion in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties 27
Randall Nadeau

3 Chinese Religion from the Han to the Six Dynasties 51
Gil Raz

4 Chinese Religion in the Sui and Tang Dynasties 75
Paul Copp

5 Chinese Religion in the Song and Alien Dynasties 99
Shin-yi Chao

6 Chinese Religion in the Ming and Qing Dynasties 125
Mark Meulenbeld

Part II The Traditions145

7 The Confucian Tradition in China 147
Keith Knapp

8 The Daoist Tradition in China 171
Louis Komjathy

9 Chinese Buddhism 197
Mario Poceski

10 Chinese Popular Religion 219
Philip Clart

11 Chinese Islam 237
James D. Frankel

12 Chinese Christianity 261
Ryan Dunch

Part III Critical Terms for the Study of Chinese Religions283

13 Sacred Text 285
Thomas Jansen

14 Religious Ritual 309
Joshua Capitanio

15 Material Culture 335
Julius N. Tsai

16 Nature 349
James Miller

17 Divinity 369
Randall Nadeau

18 Gender 397
Beata Grant

19 Divination 419
Jue Guo

20 Asceticism 441
Stephen Eskildsen

21 Self-Inflicted Violence 461
Jimmy Yu

Index and Glossary of Chinese Characters 481


“On the whole, it indeed provides a thorough, informative account of religious thought and practice throughout Chinese dynastic history.”  (Religious Studies Review, 7 December 2015)

“While different conceptualizations of the “critical terms” are certainly possible, this is a substantive volume that should benefit many readers.”  (Religious Studies Review, 7 March 2013)

“Summing Up: Recommended.  Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.”  (Choice, 1 November 2012)

“This book is what teachers and students of Chinese religions have been waiting for. Divided into three parts: historical survey, the traditions and critical terms for the study of Chinese religions, it represents a most comprehensive and at the same time cutting edge scholarship on this subject. Whether one uses it as the primary textbook or together with an anthology of primary sources, this volume will prove to be an indispensable companion”.
Chün-fang Yü, Columbia University

“The finest ‘companions’ to a particular field of scholarship come along at those transitional moments in academic history when younger scholars are taking over from previous generations and in so doing they both take the best from the past and move forward in creative new ways. I am happy to report that Randall Nadeau’s edited volume on Chinese religions is very much an exceptional example of this principle. This is a work – and indeed a very knowledgeable, methodologically pioneering, and even friendly companion – that provides crucial guidance for understanding China’s religious past and present.”
Norman Girardot, Lehigh University