Category Archives: Buddhism

On sinicizing Christianity – Ian Johnson

China’s central government has been trying to sinicize religion, and that had especially a major effect on Christianity, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. For the New York Review of Books, he reviews Jesus in Asia by R.S. Sugirtharajah, but starts with a thorough overview of Beijing’s efforts to curtail 

How China’s urbanites create new identities – Ian Johnson

China’s big cities are developing a new city life, including new identities, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the opening chapter of, Shanghai Sacred: The Religious Landscape of a Global City, by photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley, quoted in a review of the photo exhibition in Liverpool at Creative Boom

A realistic view on Tibetan Buddhism – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao reviews a show at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City on Tibetan Buddhism for the NY Review of Books, a must read even when you do not make it to New York. Ian Johnson adds on Facebook: “Probably no faith is more stereotyped than Tibetan Buddhism, which has morphed in the West to a sort of feel-good faith led by a nice guy with a Nobel Peace Prize.”

How prostitution came on my radar – Zhang Lijia

Author Zhang Lijia tells in The Millions how she became interested in prostitution in China, after discovering her grandma was a ‘working girl’. It took years to write her bestselling novel Lotus: A Novel.

Working as a banned journalist, Jiang Xue – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, interviewed extensively Jiang Xue, a 45-year old Chinese writer, for the NY Review of books. She worked for Chinese Business View and Southern Weekend, two papers who suffered from heavy censorship. Jiang Xue is a devout Buddhist and tells in this section on her current life.

The rise of China as a superpower – Ian Johnson

Pulitzer prize winner Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, addresses the change China went through over the past twenty years, beyond the poor cliches we often look at. How the country became more important military, as a consumer heaving, but also developing cultural values that were believed to be missing.

How do you define religion, and other questions for Ian Johnson

Author Ian Johnson got quite some people thinking after his most recent book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao hit the bookshelves. Some of them got stuck with questions and for Oclarim Johnson answers some of them. How does he define religion, and why are the Tibetans and Uighurs not included.

China’s long-standing trouble with Islam – Ian Johnson

China’s recent troubles with Islam and unruly provinces like Xinjiang are not new, nor typically for communist rule, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, for the New York Review of books. “It would be tempting to say that all of this is just typical Communist excess, something in the party’s DNA that forces it to turn to repression and violence to solve problems. But the long history of Islam’s persecution points to older, deeper problems in the Chinese worldview.”

How #MeToo brought down China’s supermonk – Ian Johnson

The Venerable Xuecheng did become the symbol for supercharged Buddhism in China. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, looks for the New York Times at how China’s #MeToo movement brought down this confusing factor in the rising Buddhism.

Religion: back in China’s center of politics and society – Ian Johnson

Most Western media reports focus on the oppression of religion in China, and miss one of the most important developments in the country when it comes to religion, argues journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao in the China Zentrum. “Faith and values are returning to the center of a national discussion over how to organize Chinese life.”