This Unit is dedicated to the academic, comparative study of Chinese religions in all forms, both historical and contemporary. The Unit makes every effort to recognize Chinese voices in religious practice as well as scholarship, and applies rigorous standards of linguistic, cultural, historical, and social-scientific understanding to the study of religion in China.
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Chinese Religions Unit
Call for Proposals
All proposals for both panels and papers are welcome and will be given careful consideration. We encourage panel organizers to take various forms of diversity into account, including race, gender, rank, kind of institution, region, etc., especially for presenters and respondents. For gender diversity, you can look for participants in the database Women in the Study of Asian Religions (http://libblogs.luc.edu/wisar/). Please feel free to direct any general questions about panel and paper submissions to the co-chairs.
If you wish to contribute to the following themes, please get in touch with the contact person attached to the theme:
● Food and Chinese Religions: Jessica Zu, email@example.com
● Confucian Perspectives on Border Peoples: Xurong Kong, firstname.lastname@example.org
● Han Chinese Participation in the Post-Mao Religious Revival in Ethnic Tibetan Areas: Maria Turek, email@example.com
● Sinicization of Religions in China: Rongdao Lai, firstname.lastname@example.org
● When Chinese Mahayana Meets Theravada: Encounters and Hybridities in Modern Asia: Ester Bianchi, email@example.com and Jack Meng-Tat Chia, firstname.lastname@example.org
● Digital Methods in the Study of Chinese Religions: Ruifeng Chen, email@example.com
● Modern Forged Manuscripts of East Asian Religions: Ruifeng Chen, firstname.lastname@example.org
● Gender Discourse in Chinese Religions: Shaodan Zhang, email@example.com
● One Size Doesn't Fit All: Tailoring Buddhist Teachings to Laypeople: Alan Wagner, firstname.lastname@example.org. This panel brings together perspectives which see beyond the simple division of Buddhist communities into monastic and lay spheres. In late medieval China in particular, we find several examples of prominent Buddhist teachers who not only wrote for a lay audience, but tailored their teachings to different classes of laypeople. Rather than treating the laity as a homogenous group, such writers see that differences of age, gender, profession, and social class have important impacts on people's religious needs and on the kinds of practice and teaching that are most appropriate for each group. Nuanced views of the lay population illuminate distinctions in Buddhists' understandings of karma, "cultivation", paths to liberation, precepts and "skillful means" as these apply to the realities of daily worldly life. This panel welcomes comparative perspectives, both modern and premodern, from across China which show similar attention to the diversity of a religious community and their needs.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Katherine Alexander, University of ColoradoMember Since: 2019
Stephanie Lynn Balkwill, University of WinnipegMember Since: 2017
Rongdao Lai, McGill UniversityMember Since: 2019
Elena Valussi, Loyola University, ChicagoMember Since: 2020
Richard Wang, University of FloridaMember Since: 2019
Stuart Young, Bucknell UniversityMember Since: 2016