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484 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall 1997 ofpeasant reactions. Since outmigration, riots, and deviant social behavior are three peasant responses to increasing poverty in the reform era, an important question that needs to be asked is: what are the possible factors that cause people to choose one of these responses? In an attempt to answer this question, intensive interviews and direct participation by researchers in the lives of the respondents might yield some useful clues. Possibly greater depth and detail in case studies or longitudinal studies would help to uncover deeper insights into peasant reactions. Amid all the research that is being done on Chinese civil society, tiiis study has made an important contribution by offering a well-conceived theoretical framework and ample evidence for the existence ofpublic opinion in an autocratic regime. Given its many strengths, this book should be widely consulted, especially by anyone who has a strong interest in the evolution ofpublic opinion and mass protest in China. Kwong-leung Tang University of Northern British Columbia Kwong-leung Tang is an assistant professor in the Faculty ofHealth and Human Sciences who specializes in Asian social development and international human rights. Wm Donald S. Lopez, Jr., editor. Religions ofChina in Practice. Princeton Readings in Religions. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. xvi, 499 pp. Hardcover $59.50, isbn 0-691—02144—9. Paperback $19.95, isbn 0-691—02143-0. Religions of China in Practice is the third of a new series, Princeton Readings in Religions. The intention of the series is to present an anthology that both features new studies of the last thirty years and focuses on the practice of religion rather than on philosophy and "the religious expression of elite groups." This volume superbly succeeds in this laudable task. No other volume to date so comprehensively represents the new generation of scholars studying Chinese religion (thirty contributors) and the type ofwork now being done. No other anthology presents brief excerpts from (predominantly premodern) texts pertinent to religion as extensively as this one (thirty-seven selections). y niversityyng departrnentai affiliations ofthe thirty-one scholars represented in this volume, including the editor and die author of the introduction, themselves tell die tale of the shift in disciplinary orientation of research relating to Chinese religion . Thirty years ago, probably none of the contributors would have been in a ofHawai'i Press Reviews 485 department ofreligion; among this set ofscholars it is the most heavily represented discipline (twelve), at least by affiliation. What would have been the most numerous category in the past, language and literature, is second, with nine scholars in East Asian language and literature departments and two in East Asian studies programs or their equivalents. The remainder includes five in history and three in anthropology. The greater awareness ofreligion as a generic category adds a depth to diese studies rarely found in the past. The selections are arranged into four categories: "The Unseen World," "Communicating with the Unseen," "Rituals ofthe Seen and Unseen Worlds," and "Earthly Conduct." This is a refreshing change and a far more useful division than the normative shibboleths of "Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism," with "Popular Religion" sometimes added. For those needing the comfort ofWestern traditional representations, there is a second table ofcontents, rearranging the selections into the topics of "Buddhism," "Daoism," "Popular Religion," "Minority Religion" (religions ofnon-Han peoples/cultures still resident in China), and "State Religion." The editor, however, points out that a number of the selections could fall equally into two or more of this last set of categories. Finally, there is a third table ofcontents which again rearranges the selections according to chronology , from the Shang dynasty ofover three thousand years ago to the present century—useful for quick reference to place in time any particular selection. Each selection is divided into three parts: an introduction to the specific text, a list of further readings pertinent to the topic, and the text itself. In general, these briefintroductions (oftwo to five pages) are sufficient to provide die necessary background to understanding the translated text for those already familiar with Chinese religion. The texts range from Shang dynasty oracular inscriptions, through excerpts from well- to lesser-known classic texts...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 484-487
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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