Critical Concepts and Methods for the Study of Religion in Modern China
Bram Colijn is a PhD student at Vrije University Amsterdam, Faculty of Theology. He has degrees in History (BA, Utrecht University) and Contemporary Asian Studies (MSc, University of Amsterdam). He studies rituals in settings of religious diversity in contemporary China. Currently he is on a twenty-month fieldwork period for an anthropological study of multi-religious households. His upcoming publications are about Protestant funerals and multi-religious weddings in Xiamen, Southern Fujian. Contact: h.a.colijn vu.nl
Christopher A. Daily is currently Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Regent’s University, London and a Research Associate at the University of London. He completed an M.A. and Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and subsequently held a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. He also held an Asia-Pacific Leadership Fellowship at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. He publishes on Christianity in East and Southeast Asia, especially China, and is the author of Robert Morrison and the Protestant Plan for China (Hong Kong University Press, 2013). He is currently completing his second monograph, which is a study on the earliest Protestant theological library imported into China via Malacca during the nineteenth century. Contact: cd8 soas.ac.uk
Paul Farrelly is a PhD candidate in the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University. His doctoral dissertation is a cultural history of New Age religion in Taiwan, as understood through the writings and translations of C.C. Wang and Terry Hu. This project developed out of his interest in new religious movements and similar types of religious and spiritual innovation in Taiwan and China. With regard to this field, Paul's research is focussed on the texts and other objects produced by religious groups and how these are used to construct and disseminate meaning. In his 2008 MA dissertation, Paul examined the New Testament Church and its sacred mountain, Mount Zion, in southern Taiwan. A chapter drawing on this work was published in Flows of Faith: Religious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific (2012). He is a contributing editor to The China Story Journal. Contact: paul.farrelly anu.edu.au
Erik Hammerstrom is Assistant Professor of East Asian and Comparative Religion at Pacific Lutheran University. He specializes in the intellectual and institutional history of Chinese Buddhism during the modern period. His work has appeared in the Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal, Journal of Chinese Religion, Nova Religio, and Theology and Science. He is currently completing his first book, under contract with Columbia University Press, in which he documents and analyzes the development of Chinese Buddhist discourses about science in the first half of the twentieth century. With Gregory Adam Scott he helped establish the Database of Modern Chinese Buddhism, which he continues to co-edit. He has also begun work on a “biography” of the Huáyán華嚴school of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth century. He has been a Fulbright Junior Scholar in Taiwan, and a Mellon Research Fellow at the Needham Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. Contact: hammerej plu.edu
Ho Wai-Yip is currently the Assistant Professor of Department of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is the author of Islam and China’s Hong Kong: Ethnic Identity, Muslim Networks and the New Silk Road (Routledge: London, 2013). He was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at Zentrum Moderner Orient at Berlin (2013), Visiting Scholar, Oxford Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies (2011, 2012), Endeavour Research Fellow, Australian National University (2009-10), a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at Center of Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, University of Wollongong (2007, 2009), Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen (2008), Junior Fellow, Das Kulturwissenschaftliche Institut in Essen (KWI) (2006). He has been the Sir Edward Youde Fellow and was the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (2001-2002). Being a Christian sociologist in Islamic Studies, his research and teaching interests include China’s Christian-Muslim relations, China-Gulf Relations, new media and Islam, madrasah education in China, Islamic finance in Chinese context as well as contemporary youths. His work also appear in Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Asian Ethnicity, Contemporary Islam, Asian Profile, Comparative Islamic Studies, The Maghreb Review, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Journal of Comparative Asian Development, Youth and Society, etc. Contact: howaiyip ied.edu.hk
Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Grinnell College. She holds a PhD in the cultural and religious history of Tibet, China and the Himalayas from Australian National University (2008), and is the author of The Social Life of Tibetan Biography: Textuality, Community and Authority in the Lineage of Tokden Shakya Shri(Lexington, 2014). Her research explores forms of Buddhist community, networks of cultural production and interpersonal relationships in the transnational border regions of China, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Northeast India and Ladakh, as well as other communities in the East and South Asian Himalayas through the methodological perspectives of history, religion, gender, literature, the comparative study of empire, material culture and media. She is currently working on several projects broadly related to local and translocal experiences and definitions of modernity, including a critical history of Tibetan-language public spheres, an exploration of women in global Buddhist modernist movements, and a survey of Bhutia language literature in Sikkim. She is also a member of the Eastern Himalaya Research Network, a group that aims to acknowledge the Eastern Himalayas as a key site in intersections of imperial modernity. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weishan Huang is a fellow from the University of Göttingen.
Rongdao Lai is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California. She received her PhD in Religious Studies from McGill University in 2013. She specializes in modern Chinese Religions, focusing especially on the changing landscape in modern Chinese Buddhism and identity production. She is guest-editor for the Eastern Buddhist feature on Socially Engaged Buddhism (2013). She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her doctoral dissertation on modern Buddhist education and citizenship in China. Her other on-going project focuses on the networks and transnational movements of Chinese Buddhists in the twentieth century. Contact: rongdao.lai usc.edu
André Laliberté has lived in T aiwan for four years while researching and writing his PhD dissertation on the political behaviour of Buddhist organizations. He regularly goes to China and to Taiwan to examine the complex web of relations between religious institutions, civil society associations, epistemic communities, government, and party officials in relation to the making of social policy in the context of dramatic demographic changes. He holds funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a research program on secularism with Chinese characteristics in a comparative perspective; as a co-investigator leading a team looking at the impact of cultural values on the political economy of care and cross-Pacific migration; and as a collaborator, using a comparative approach, in a research team on religion and diversity in Canada. He is also a research fellow at the Centre on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University and member of a research team funded by the City of Paris looking at Buddhism in post-Mao China. Between January and June 2014, he heads the Program on Buddhism and contemporary society at the Institute for Asia Research at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Contact: Andre.Laliberte uottawa.ca
Brian J. Nichols is an assistant professor of religious studies in the department of humanities at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He holds degrees in philosophy, literature, and history from Duke University and a Ph.D. in religious studies with a concentration in Buddhism from Rice University in Houston. He taught at Central Michigan University and the University of Houston before joining the department of Humanities at Mount Royal University in 2012. His most recent researchcombines ethnography with archival researchto examine Buddhism in modern and contemporary China. His focus has been on the responses of monks to changing conditions in twentieth and twenty-first century China; aspects he investigates include the establishment of charitable enterprises, the development of transnational networks, and the role of material culture and the state in contemporary religious tourism. Nichols has conducted research in China from 2005 to 2012 supported in part by a Fulbright fellowship and a grant from theAsian Cultural Council. Contact: bnichols mtroyal.ca
Scott Pacey is a lecturer in the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. He wrote his doctoral thesis at the Australian National University on the monastic Taixu (1890-1947), and the monastics he influenced in China and Taiwan. His present research continues to focus on modern Chinese Buddhism. He has recently written on Yogācāra and science in the late Qing and early Republic, as well as Buddhism and atheism in 1980s China. His main research project is concerned with inter-religious dialogue among Buddhists and Christians in Taiwan in the 1950s and 1960s. Contact: scott.pacey nottingham.ac.uk
Justin R. Ritzinger is assistant professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami. He earned his PhD at Harvard with a focus on Chinese Buddhism. His research explores the reimagining of values and ethics in modern Chinese Buddhism inspired by engagement with new ideas and ideologies, especially from the West. He is currently working on a manuscript, entitled “Anarchy in the Pure Land: Tradition, Modernity and the Reinvention of the Cult of Maitreya in Twentieth-Century China,” that investigates the incorporation of novel values derived from Western radicalism into Chinese Buddhist moral frameworks. Over the last few years, he has also written on a cluster of related issues in modern Chinese Buddhism, including eschatology and views of time, conceptions of social contingency, and responses to Darwinism. Contact: j.ritzinger miami.edu
Erik Schicketanz is currently a postdoctoral fellow under the auspices of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in the Department of Asian History at The University of Tokyo. He received his doctoral degree from the Department of Religious Studies at The University of Tokyo in 2012. In his doctoral dissertation, he investigated the intellectual exchange between Chinese and Japanese Buddhism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is currently working on a book manuscript in Japanese examining the impact of Japanese scholarship on the historical imagination of modern Chinese Buddhists. His most recent research project deals with the relationship between religion and pro-Japanese collaboration during the Sino-Japanese War. Contact: pavelsiktons1555 gmail.com
Gregory Scott is a historian of religion whose work focuses on late nineteenth-century and early twentieth century East Asia, particularly Buddhism in the Republic of China (1912-1949.) He received his Ph.D. in May 2013 from the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His doctoral dissertation, “Conversion by the Book: Buddhist Print Culture in Early Republican China,” examined the history of publishing and print culture among Buddhists in China from the late Qing through to the end of the 1920s. He has also developed digital resources for the study of Chinese Buddhism, including "The Digital Catalogue of Chinese Buddhism”, now being further expanded as part of his work as a Digital Humanities fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. He is co-editor with Philip Clart of a forthcoming collected volume, Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012, and is currently developing his dissertation into a historical monograph, Sea of Scriptures: Print Culture and the Making of Modern Chinese Buddhism. Contact: gas2122 columbia.edu
Elena Valussi received an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Venice, and an MA and Ph.D. in Chinese History and Religious Studies, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Prof. Valussi’s research has looked at the intersection of gender, religion and body practices in Late Imperial Daoism, and she has published a number of scholarly articles and book chapters in peer reviewed journals on this topic.Her more recent research focuses on Daoist intellectual History and printing in the late Qing and Republican periods. She is the co-chair of the Daoist Studies Group at the American Academy of Religions and a member of the editorial group for the International Daozang Jiyao Project.Prof. Valussi is a full time faculty member of the History Department at Loyola University, Chicago, where she teaches courses on East Asian History and Gender in East Asia. Contact: evalussi luc.edu
Andrew Wormald (PhD Bristol 2015) is a Chiang Ching-kuo Postdoctoral Research Fellow working in the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia at the University of Groningen. His PhD thesis, entitled ‘Voices of Experience: Modernity and Buddhist Meditation in Republican-era China,’ examined the place of meditation discourse within Chinese Buddhism’s response to the intellectual and political reconstructions taking place at the beginning of the twentieth century. Andrew is currently investigating the reception of Tiantai meditation manuals during the Republican era, and is working on a monograph which will address his research into these topics.
Yang Der-Ruey is a fellow from Nanjing University.
Li Gang obtained a degree of Master in law (jurisprudence) at Xinjiang University, P.R. China, with a thesis on “The Deconstruction of the Post-modern Theory to Gendered Law: from the perspective of the development of the concept of gender in feminist jurisprudence”, which investigated the historical development of the relationship between gender and law since the emergence of feminist jurisprudence and then further, by challenging the male patriarchy coherent to rationalism, see how the concept of gender from a post-modern perspective could shed light on the justice and equal treatment of law. He got his second MA in Studies on European Union and Central Asia in the International System at Centre International de Formation Europeenne, Institut für Europäische Politik in Germany, with a thesis on “A Constitutional Approach of the Building of European Identity: On Habermas’ post-national collective identity building theory” which dealt with Habermas’ collective identity building theory in the politically as well as a culturally diversified EU context. He is currently doing a double-PhD with the University of Groningen and Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, focusing on the issue of the relationship between Islamic law as living law with state/official law in China both in the historical and contemporary context to see how Islam represented by its norms (Shari’a) has been interacting with Chinese state/official law and how these interactions influence and contribute to the constructing of Chinese tradition which is the precondition of future building of the rule of law and democracy in China. Contact emails: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Carsten Vala is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland. He specializes in the politics of religion in contemporary China and his book, The Politics of Protestant Churches in China, God Above Party, will be published by Routledge in 2017. He first lived in China in 1989, and has since returned multiple times to do grassroots fieldwork interviews across the country. Contact: cvala loyola.edu.
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