'Religious Work' : governing religion in reform-era China

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China's Governmentalities: governing change, changing government, 2009, 1, pp. 125 - 150
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It may not be self-evident that a nation governed by a declaratively atheist political party would engage in 'religious work' (zongjiao gongzuo), but the People's Republic of China (PRC), as numerous official documents state, <has always attached great importance' to it (Gong 2004). This is as true now as in the early period of the regime, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sought to make a New China out of decades ofinvasive and civil war, political instability, and the legacy of two millennia of imperial rule. These factors influenced the nature and scope of the Party's 'religious work' during the 1950s in ways acknowledged in the Party's own analysis, though not always well understood by those who carried out the work or those at whom it was aimed.
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