This book presents the welfare regime of societies of Chinese heritage as a liminal space where religious and state authorities compete with each other for legitimacy. It offers a path-breaking perspective on relations between religion and state in East Asia, presenting how the governments of industrial societies try to harness the human resources of religious associations to assist in the delivery of social services. The book provides background to the intermingling of Buddhism and the state prior to 1949; and the continuation of that intertwinement in Taiwan and in other societies where live many people of Chinese heritage since then. The main contribution of this work is its detailed account of Buddhist philanthropy as viewed from the perspectives of the state, civil society, and Buddhists. This book will appeal to academics in social sciences and humanities and broader audiences interested by the social role of religions, charity, and NGOs, in social policy implementation. It explores why governments turn to Buddhist followers and their leaders and presents a detailed view of Buddhist philanthropy. This book contributes to our understanding of secularity in non-Western societies, as influenced by religions other than Christianity.
André Laliberté is Professor of comparative politics at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He has co-edited “Buddhism in China after Mao” with Ji Zhe and Gareth Fisher and “The Study of Religion in China” with Stefania Travagnin. In 2019, he was Senior Research Fellow for the Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities" in Leipzig.