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Family SacrificesThe Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans$
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Russell M. Jeung, Seanan S. Fong, and Helen Jin Kim

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190875923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190875923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

Ancestral Roots

Ancestral Roots

Ancestral Roots: Chinese American Nonreligiousness and Familism

(p.27) Chapter 2 Ancestral Roots
Family Sacrifices

Russell M. Jeung

Seanan S. Fong

Helen Jin Kim

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 offers a genealogical exploration of how Chinese traditions have shaped Chinese American religious affiliations and familism. Chinese adopt a plurality of beliefs for utilitarian purposes through their religious repertoire based in Chinese Popular Religion. Given their mixture of beliefs and practices that have no names, Chinese tend to identify as “nothing in particular.” Another factor contributing to the high rates of Chinese American religious nones is Confucian thought, which oriented Chinese society toward religious skepticism and an agnostic, symbolic interpretation of religious rituals. These twin approaches toward religion are the roots of modern-day Chinese atheism and agnosticism. Both reinforce the primacy of familial relations. These two traditions have undergone changes through modernization, migration, and the religious context in which they take root. The chapter ends with a survey of how these traditions have been transformed by Chinese state modernization, acculturation to the American context, and racialization.

Keywords:   Chinese Popular Religion, Confucianism, Wong Ching Foo, religious pluralism, heathen, migration, American religious marketplace

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