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the creative processes of the universe. He set much stock in dreams as yet another source of divinatory guidance, as in dreams he participated in dialogues with the sages. He touted the value and importance of study and learning in the communal context of developing a coterie of mutually supportive friends. In a nutshell, Kelleher’s translation of and commentary on Wu Yubi’s “Journal,” in a graphic and lively manner, offer concrete illustrations of quiet-sitting, meditation, moral introspection, and ethical learning. It will be a most useful resource for anyone teaching Confucianism. Yet, precisely because the book seems to be consciously and purposefully developed as such a resource, it refrains from addressing some deeper questions that any study on the Confucian tradition should pay some due attention to: What is Confucian religiosity and spirituality in relation to its metaphysics ? What is the Confucian mystique as expressed in the notions of quiet-sitting, sagehood, the Way, and Heaven? One may also gripe that the bibliography and suggested further readings are unnecessarily parsimonious. My minor disgruntlement notwithstanding, I am thrilled by its publication and foresee using it in one of my classes. I urge my colleagues to do the same. ON-CHO NG The Pennsylvania State University LÜ DAJI AND GONG XUEZENG, eds., Marxism and Religion, translated by Chi Zhen. Religious Studies in Contemporary China Collection, vol. 4. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2014. xiv, 421 pp. €150, US$194 (hb). ISBN 978-90-04-17456-6 Its cover announces that this book’s contributors, China’s leading scholars on religion and senior cadres involved in religious affairs, aim to correct mistaken perceptions by “so many westerners” that Chinese scholarship is “outdated,” “dogmatic,” and “in the service of communist regime’s propaganda.” The ten scholars who wrote for this volume live up to the expectations by presenting interesting, and at times bold and frank opinions, on the understanding of religions by Chinese Marxists . In addition, three important officials in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hierarchy and the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) present their views on religion. Most of these chapters reveal a diversity of views, but the variety of perspective on offer amounts to little more than minor disagreements on the exegesis of authoritative texts within the Marxist-Leninist canon. There are a few remarkable exceptions and original voices in this book, reflecting an increasingly sophisticated and interesting scholarship on religion in China. This book does not claim to represent this diversity, however. It aims primarily to publicize to outsiders the views of the authorities and, as the advertisement to the book candidly mentions: its texts “contribute to the ruling party’s ideological reconstruction.” This compilation represents a very useful collection of texts, regardless of one’s personal views on the matter, because it reveals that officials’ policies are informed by the work of social scientists, and even though Marxism remains an important source in the thinking of many, the interpretation of that authoritative source varies considerably , even while other perspectives—from the West, but also from China— contend with the official ideology. 210 REVIEWS This book is not about the CCP policies on religion, nor an account of relations between religions and the Chinese government. It rather presents to us the evolution of the official thinking on religion by the Party and by some prominent experts in religious studies whom state officials consult. One central issue that most of the essays discuss is that Marxism was misunderstood in China. These essays, however, do not offer a unified corrective to these previous misinterpretations and do not provide clear criteria on how to properly read Marx. Some of the voices express personal views, others enunciate the position of state officials. Some them go to great pain to adapt Marx to the conditions of China. For example, Zhuo Xinping 卓新平, the director of the Institute of World Religions at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, writes that many Chinese aware of Karl Marx’s statement that “religion is the opiate of the masses” read that statement through the lens of the painful historical memory of the Opium Wars’ defeat and the humiliation that followed, therefore intensifying their hostility to religion. Zhuo Xinping...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2050-8999
Print ISSN
0737-769X
Pages
pp. 210-214
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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