Karrie Koesel on Religion & Politics in China
Date: June 27th, 2010

Despite being an officially atheist country, China has witnessed an increasing growth in Christianity, Islam and other religions such as Falun Gong.  How have religious groups negotiated their relationship with the state?  Karrie Koesel, assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon, talks about the critical role of church-state relations at the local level in China.  The podcast covers the changing religious landscape in China and what is entailed in becoming an “official” religion.  Despite official policy emanating from Beijing, relations between religious groups and local party officials are much more ambiguous, allowing for more fluid and negotiated relationships.  Koesel shares interesting stories about what local churches must do to avoid harassment from the government and the interesting nexus between churches and private enterprise.  Koesel discusses the prospects for Christianity creating a democratic ethos in the nation.  Recorded: May 6, 2010.


Prof. Karrie Koesel’s website.

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