Spirit of China, The

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The ideas, beliefs, and opposing visions that have shaped modern China.

China is booming. Yet, although China has seen tremendous economic growth since the 1980s, that growth is unequal. While millionaires live in luxurious homes, peasants struggle in the fields or migrate to the cities in their millions to build New China. China is a vast, diverse land, infused by deep-seated and conflicting ideas, many with a religious foundation.

David Burnett’s purpose in this book is to explore how religious ideas and practices have developed and changed over the millennia. Only by understanding this broader picture can we understand the complex spiritual and religious situation that is now found in modern China.

Accordingly, he explores the influences of Daosim, Confucianism, Buddhism and Christianity; the rise of the Tang and Ming dynasties and later the Manchus; the motivations behind Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and the current communist and commercial regime.

Ideologically and religiously, China is in turmoil. Why is an atheistic leadership seeing a widespread religious revival, across several faiths? What is the future for the religions of China?

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