The Problem of Religious Freedom in China: A Public—Theological Approach
This project studies the problem religious freedom in China from Chinese “theological” perspectives and religious “public” engagement (“public—theological approach”) under collaborative relationship between religion and state (“collaborative public engagement”). This model, which requires theological elaboration, is a realistic and contextual approach with respect to Chinese cultural/religious traditions and political order, in dialogue with an international understanding of religious freedom. It emphasizes social and public space for religious engagement as well as religious contribution to social development, which is operated under the state’s guiding framework of religious activities. It demands the state’s constructive role in regulating social institutions, with its affirmation of religion as societal force and willingness to become more open and allow more space for religious engagement.
Zhibin Xie is a professor of philosophy at Tongji University, Shanghai. He is a research fellow of Institute of Sino-Christian Studies (Hong Kong) and an honorary research associate of Center for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society at Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary and at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His research interests include Christian philosophy and ethics, public theology and its implications in the Chinese context. His major publications include Religious Diversity and Public Religion in China (Ashgate, 2006) and Public Theology and Globalization: A Study in Max Stackhouse's Christian Ethics (in Chinese, Religious Culture Press, 2008).