“Religious Diversity in Chinese Thought”

Symposium at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”


Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel

© upm/Sauer

Over the past three decades, the question of religious diversity – in particular the question of how the different religious traditions relate to the fact of religious diversity – has attracted enormous attention and advanced to one of the central issues within the global discussion in academic areas as theology and religious studies. So far, however, the experience of religious diversity and the discourse about it in pre-modern, modern and contemporary China has not been taken adequately into consideration. This will be the topic of a symposium of internationally renowned specialists, which has been jointly organized by Prof. Joachim Gentz, University of Edinburgh, and Prof. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, University of Münster.
Conference Fees: 50,- Euros (reduced students’ rate: 35,-)
Fees do not include accommodation or meals. Hotels need to be booked privately. The keynote lecture (27. Oct, 18.15-19.45) is public and free of charge.

Registration: There are only a limited number of spaces available. Registration via e-mail to Mrs. Claudia Ruediger.

Symposium on Religious Diversity in Chinese Thought

Conference venue: Liudgerhaus, Überwasserkirchplatz 3, 48143 Münster


Thursday, 27/10/2011
Introduction to the Conference Theme
Perry Schmidt-Leukel, University of Münster
Public Keynote Lecture: Why Chinese Thought on Religious Diversity Matters
Judith A. Berling, Graduate Theological Union Berkeley, Respondent: Gregor Paul, University of Karlsruhe, German China Association

Friday, 28/10/2011, Section I: Perspectives from Premodern China
Daoist Approaches to Religious Diversity
Livia Kohn, University of Boston
Confucian Approaches to Religious Diversity
Yao Xinzhong, King's College London
Buddhist Approaches to Religious Diversity in China
Shi Zhiru, Pomona College, Claremont
Diversity in Three-Teachings (sanjiao) Discourses
Joachim Gentz, University of Edinburgh
Muslim Approaches to Religious Diversity in China
Murata Sachiko, State University of New York
Nestorian Approaches to Religious Diversity in China
Matteo Nicolini-Zani, Bose Monastery, Italy

Saturday, 29/10/2011, Section II: Transformations in Modernity
Early Sino-European Contacts and the Birth of the Modern Concept of Religion
Nicolas Standaert, University of Leuven
The Transformation of the Concept of Religion in Chinese Modernity
Rebecca Nedostup, Boston College
Chinese Communist/Maoist Thought on Religious Diversity
Robert Weller, Boston University
Cultural Program

Sunday, 30/10/2011, Section III: Contemporary Perspectives
Do Chinese Religions Need a Pluralist Theory of Religion?
Wang Zhicheng, Zhejiang University Hangzhou
Contemporary Chinese Religions and the Challenge of Religious Diversity
Philip Clart, University of Leipzig
Christian Discourses on Religious Diversity in Contemporary China
Lai Pan-chiu, The Chinese University of Hongkong
The Politics of Religion in Contemporary China
Liu Peng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing
New Religious Movements and the Issue of Religious Liberty
Barend ter Haar, University of Leiden
Concluding Discussion