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Religion Library: Chinese Religion

Historical Perspectives

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Western scholarship on Chinese religions began with Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century, who found the Confucian beliefs of court officials compatible in many ways with their own. Both were disdainful of Chinese popular religions, deemed superstitious and degenerate. Since the mid-20th century this attitude has shifted, and objective scholarship on Taoism and folk religion has increased.

 

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