Religiosity and citizenship values in Chinese language textbooks

Zhenzhou ZHAO, Gregory Paul FAIRBROTHER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have seen an increase in the number of studies of the impact of religious faiths on citizens’ values in several Chinese societies, but little is known about the position and role schooling has had in relation to the rise of religious activity, especially in Mainland China. Drawing on data from Chinese language textbooks at both the primary and secondary level, this study examines the intersection of religiosities and state-prescribed values in the national curriculum in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The wide coverage of different themes related to social life in the Chinese language curriculum may present different understandings of religiosities than the Marxist interpretation of religious phenomenon in other social studies subjects in China. This study’s research findings suggest that representations of religious traditions are integral to depictions of the Chinese nation, including interpretations of the nation’s cultural traditions, architecture, history and literature. Moreover, the religious narratives identified in the textbooks tend to be more associated with the transmission of positive values, for example dedication, love, caring for nature, and a respect for diversity. Copyright © 2018 Intellect Ltd Article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-239
JournalCitizenship Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


Zhao, Z., & Fairbrother, G. P. (2018). Religiosity and citizenship values in Chinese language textbooks. Citizenship Teaching & Learning, 13(2), 227-239. doi: 10.1386/ctl.13.2.227_1


  • Citizenship values
  • Religion
  • Patriotism
  • Curriculum
  • Textbooks
  • Morality


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