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The Regulation of Religious Affairs in Taiwan: From State Control to Laisser-faire?

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  • André Laliberté

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Abstract

This article looks at Taiwan’s policy towards religion to show that non-Western societies can also achieve what Alfred Stepan called a “twin toleration” wherein the state does not intervene in religious affairs, and religion does not seek to control the state. The paper shows the sets of constraints in which policy-makers struggling for an adequate way to deal with religion operate. They have to choose among a variety of models in democratic societies, to take into account the legacy of the authoritarian era, and to consider the specificities of Taiwan’s situation, influenced by a Chinese cultural heritage, Japanese colonialism and observations from other parts of the world. The paper then describes how these constraints have influenced the major stages in the evolution of relations between state and religions in Taiwanese society and then argue that the state had yet to reach a consensus up until 2008 on the legislation of religion because of disagreements between different religious actors.

Suggested Citation

  • André Laliberté, 2009. "The Regulation of Religious Affairs in Taiwan: From State Control to Laisser-faire?," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 38(2), pages 53-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:38:y:2009:i:2:p:53-83
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    File URL: http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jcca/article/view/45/45
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Galbraith & Sara Hsu & Wenjie Zhang, 2009. "Beijing Bubble, Beijing Bust: Inequality, Trade, and Capital Inflow into China," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 38(2), pages 3-26.
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