Everyday Religiosity in the State Sphere: Folk Beliefs and Practices in a Chinese State-run Orphanage

Linliang Qian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The religious sector in contemporary China is often portrayed as resisting or negotiating with an interventionist state in order to survive or protect its autonomy. This article, however, shows how it enters the state sphere and imbues the presumed state agents. By exploring folk beliefs and practices in a state-run orphanage (such as philanthropists' activities, which they related to accumulation of karmic merits, childcare workers' discourses, conduct associated with predestined relationships and baby ghosts, and institution officials' preoccupation with palmistry, fortune telling and karmic retribution), and the impact of folk belief and practices on the working of the state apparatus, this study aims to enrich current scholarship by looking at state-religion interactions beyond the religious sphere and also reversing the image of Chinese religions as merely passive or reactive actors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-98
    JournalChina Information
    Volume30
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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