The Souls of China

  • by Ian Johnson
  • Narrated by Ian Johnson
  • 17 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a revelatory portrait of religion in China today - its history, the spiritual traditions of its Eastern and Western faiths, and the ways in which it is influencing China's future.
The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world's great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent antireligious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques - as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty - over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts.
Ian Johnson first visited China in 1984; in the 1990s he helped run a charity to rebuild Daoist temples, and in 2001 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. While researching this book, he lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists, and Buddhist pilgrims. Along the way he learned esoteric meditation techniques, visited a nonagenarian Confucian sage, and befriended government propagandists as they fashioned a remarkable embrace of traditional values. He has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions, and struggle - a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world's newest superpower.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Engaging and informative

Ian Johnson provides a well laid out overview of the current state of religion in China by following a Daoist, Protestant, and Buddhist group. He did not touch on the state of Islam so much, but maybe he is saving that for another time. I can only hope!
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- John

Important and thorough book on Religion in China

This is a thorough and well written book about how religion have developed in China including Protestantism, Buddhism, Taoism, Traditional Chinese Religion and Catholicism the timespan from 1949?up until 2016. It has high academic standard yet is also very readable or easy to listen to. I recommend it strongly to anyone interested in China and religion. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the author included Taoism and Traditional Religion and both facts and analysis of the situation.
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- Ole Jacob Grønvold

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2017
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC