Ideological Change in Chinese Religious Policy: Resolving a Legitimacy Crisis?
Since the era of Deng Xiaoping, the CPC’s religious policy is contradictory in two points: Firstly, there is a tension between repression through the state and liberalization through the party’s nominal acknowledgement of religious implementations in order to build a socialist-harmonious society. Secondly, the Partys’ acknowledgment of a religious impact on social stability contradicts the socialist self-understanding of the CPC. This contradiction refers to tensions in the field of ideology. The traditionalist interpretation of the marxist ideology and the attempt to integrate the growing religious demand into the concept of an harmonious society leads to an inconsistent perspective towards religion. At the same time, limiting religious freedom makes a restrictive policy towards religion more difficult to legitimate due to an increasing number of religious believers. The party’s ambition to integrate religion into the ideological doctrine of a socialist harmonious society will be interpreted, on the one hand, as the government’s ambition to master ideological inconsistencies. On the other hand, the party intends to legitimate the restriction of religious freedom as a still crucial concept of its religious policy.
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Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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