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Realignments in religion and tensions over identity: Yiguan dao, an example of a “New Religion”

Abstract : The restructuring of religious beliefs and practices, and among them, those of “new religions” (xinxing zongjiao) are analysed in terms of tensions over identity in the Taiwanese context. This will be done mainly on the basis of the example of Yiguan dao movement in a comparative perspective, utilising the examples of Tiandi jiao and Xuanyuan jiao. Among the “new religions”, the Yiguan dao (Path of Unity) offers a three-fold interest: firstly, its success—the number of members and sympathisers in Taiwan and overseas; secondly, in its role as an index of the problems of identity in Taiwanese society; and thirdly, in its relation to of the political stakes, which shows how the movement both reveals and actively contribute to the changing political stakes. These religious facts throw light on aspects of social change: the new religious schemas, resulting from transformations in practices and representations, are an expression of modernity in Taiwanese society. Therefore, the “new religions”, which were originally traditionalist forces persecuted by the state, have become conservative Confucian religions based on the development of the middle classes. Moreover, the proselytising activities and the ambitions of the Yiguan dao are contributing to the formation of international networks that can be compared to the economic and social relations of the Chinese “diaspora” with regard to their coherence and mode of operation.
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Contributor : Evelyne Micollier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 4:04:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 3:15:44 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, June 18, 2010 - 1:20:45 AM


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Evelyne Micollier. Realignments in religion and tensions over identity: Yiguan dao, an example of a “New Religion”. China perspectives, 1998, 19, pp.37-43. ⟨ird-00449887⟩



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