Beijing Summit on Chinese Spirituality and Society

Hats off to all the participants in the very successful Beijing Summit on Chinese Spirituality and Society! The Summit was held on October 8-10, 2008 at Peking University and included thirty-four distinguished scholars specializing in the study of religion. The participants were from a variety of academic disciplines and from all corners of the globe: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.  They presented invited papers and engaged in lively discussions about the theories, methods, and important topics in the social scientific study of religion in China.  The thematic sessions included the Emerging Social Scientific Study of Religion in China, the Historical Factor in Contemporary Society, Religious Pluralism in Chinese Societies, Empirical Studies of Chinese Religions and Spiritualities, Confucianism in the Modern World, Applying Contemporary Theories to Understand Religion in China, Globalization and Religion in China, Religion and the Harmonious Society, Social and Spiritual Capital in the Market Economy of China.  In addition, many other Chinese and international scholars and graduate students submitted papers, from which we selected 42 empirical studies of Chinese religions for presentation at the Summit.   These papers covered a wide range of topics and religious phenomena in various parts of China.  Together they provided a clear indication of the growing interest in the social scientific study of religion in China.  The Summit also attracted many other scholars, students, government officials, and journalists for attendance.  The People’s Daily, the Guangming Daily, and the Chinese Ethnic News reported on the Summit with an affirmative tone, and their articles were reprinted by a number of other Chinese media organizations and official websites.