Northwestern Events Calendar


Thomas David DuBois: Opiate of the Masses with Chinese Characteristics - Interpreting China's Religious Services Law

When: Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CT

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Gina Giliberti  

Group: Global Politics and Religion Research Group

Category: Academic


Late in 2016, China released its newly revised Religious Services Law, which was immediately panned by critics as an aggressive intrusion into protected religious freedoms. In fact, the law is hardly new. It is consistent with the very specific way that the Communist Party has interpreted religious freedoms in the decades since the 1982 promulgation of “Basic Ideas and Policies Concerning Our Country’s Religious Question in the Socialist Era” initiated a more apparently tolerant stance. The talk traces the development of Chinese religion policy in these decades, and closes with a discussion of the new law, and the spiritual significance of Marxism in the twenty-first century.

Thomas David DuBois is a historian of Chinese religion and society at the Australian National University. His most recent publication is “Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia” (Cambridge, 2011).

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