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ERIC Number: EJ809842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-6200
Religion in Chinese Education: From Denial to Cooperation
Nanbu, Hirotaka
British Journal of Religious Education, v30 n3 p223-234 Sep 2008
In China, from the founding of the People's Republic of China to the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, it was thought that religion would disappear with the development of society and the freedom not to believe in religion was stressed. During the Cultural Revolution religion became the object of oppression. However, from the end of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1970s to date, the long-term existence of religion came to be accepted. Searching for cooperation between socialism and religion, ways in which religion could effectively contribute to modernisation began to be put forward. In comparison with the previous situation, the current period is marked by a much more tolerant policy. If one looks at religion in education, first, at the level of legal codes, the separation of public education and religion is extolled based on the rule of separation of religion and state. And, it is clearly forbidden to engage in activities that use religion to interfere with educational activities. This applies to ethnic minorities as well. Second, be this as it may, religion is touched upon at all levels of education. For example, at the level of high school education, the distribution of the three major world religions is explained and many other religions are introduced. Moreover, the culture and customs of some religions are introduced. In higher education, in universities and graduate schools, the Religious Studies major has been created for the training of those in charge of regulating religions as well as scholars. Third, several of the religions recognised by the Chinese government have developed institutions to train personnel. Furthermore, some of these institutions are working in cooperation with institutions of higher education to offer programmes of study. In this way, especially following the end of the Cultural Revolution, cooperation between socialism and religion was sought. And, coexistence with ethnic minority groups, which believe in a number of different religions, was considered. And yet, within school education, the treatment of religion is strictly limited. Only education that aims at a basic knowledge of religion is conducted. There are significant national differences in the relationship between education and religion. It would be fruitful for China to reconsider this relationship, taking account of developments in other countries, in the present situation where the Chinese government has a more tolerant policy towards religion. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A