Secularization Regimes and Religious Toleration: China’s Multiple Experiments

  • Fenggang YangEmail author


This chapter builds on Peter Berger’s pluralistic theoretical construct of “the many altars of modernity” and specifies the four types of church-state relations. These include religious monopoly, oligopoly, pluralism, and atheist eradication of all religions. The typology is used to describe China’s experiments with various types of church-state relations and secularization regimes. The chapter offers an assessment of the social consequences of various secularization regimes in terms of religious toleration.


Church-state relations China Secularization Regimes of secularization religious toleration Atheism 



I would like to thank Vyacheslav G. Karpov and Chris White for their helpful comments, and to Zhen Wang for his assistance in bibliography.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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