East Asian Religions in Diaspora: The Chinese Experience in Canada

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Tak-ling WOO, York University, Canada
“The Chinese Case” includes Folk Religiosities, Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism and argues that the traditional Chinese religious ethos, taken as a whole and in the singular, offers an early example of the complementarity of secularization and market theories in capturing multiple pluralistic and dynamic religious landscapes. (Beyer, 1997)

It seeks to offer an alternative, indigenous understanding/theory of religion building on works by Robert Campany (1992), Thierry Meynard (2005), Anthony Cua (2005), and Michael Puett (2013) by drawing on foundational masters like Laozi, Zhuangzi and Kongzi, and the Avatamsaka scholar-monk Fazang and popular shanshu (morality books). “The Chinese Case” focuses on teachings of change, skepticism, self-cultivation and individual responsibility that generated the adage that “all Religions teach people to be good”; a pluralistic understanding of “Religion” or religious impulses; the historic syncretism or “buffet-style” religiosities; and the inclusive, non-doctrinaire ethos that allowed for a seemingly ready integration into the Canadian religious landscape, which in turn allowed for the shaping of “model minorities”.