Heritage and religion in China

Yujie Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Religious sites and festivals, particularly those associated with the three oldest spiritual traditions of China, are often officially recognized and promoted for income from tourism, for the spectacles of their buildings, landscapes and ceremonies. But this is a recognition of religion and ritual as culture. It increases the commercialization of religious institutions. Often it is a destructive recognition, turning sites of pilgrimage into theme parks. In any case it creates tensions and negotiations between economic stakeholders and religious communities. A number of brief case studies illustrate these tensions. Turning religion into cultural heritage can aid preservation, even as it turns it into an eternal inheritance, but in many cases it destroys or replaces religious devotion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Religion in China
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781786437969
ISBN (Print)9781786437952
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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