THL257 Religion in Chinese Culture (8)

This subject is an introduction to religious life in Chinese culture, emphasizing the interaction of religion with culture and society in both historical and contemporary China. The subject covers cultural and religious life in the geographical area of 'Greater China' (the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao), as well as the Chinese diaspora in Asia and beyond. This subject focuses on the historical Chinese religions of Daoism, Buddhism, and Chinese Folk Religion, as well as Confucianism, although the issue of whether Confucianism is a religion or a philosophy is contested by scholars. This subject also includes a focus on other religious communities in China, including: Christianity (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and Indigenous), Islam, and various minority traditions.


Term 1 (75)
On Campus
Ming Hua Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL257. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a broad introductory knowledge of the central themes of religious life in Chinese culture;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in interpreting the relationship between traditional Chinese religion and Christianity;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, religious and social factors in the development of religious life in China, from both historical and contemporary perspectives;
  • be able to articulate an understanding of the insights gained in this subject and their relationship to student experiences of Christianity in present-day Hong Kong; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided and collaborative learning, including sound research, writing and communication skills relevant to history as a discipline.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction: What is Religion? The "Cosmological Gulf" between China and the West
  • Ways of Being Religious in China (I): Introduction to Chinese Folk Religion
  • Ways of Being Religious in China (II): Religion in Ethnic Minority Communities: 5 Modalities of Doing Religion in China
  • Religion, Culture and Society (I): Daoism: Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality
  • Chinese Christianity and Contextualized Christian Music
  • Religion, Culture and Society (II): Confucianism: Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality
  • Religion, Politics and the Economy (I): Buddhism: Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality
  • Religion, Politics and Economy (II): Religion and the Economy / Issues in Religion-State Relations
  • The Globalization of Chinese Religions
  • Chinese Religions and Globalization / The Future of Chinese Religious Life
  • Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese Poetry

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL257 in Term 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Class presentation
Field trip: nan lian garden and chi lin nunnery
Final essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.