Revisiting religious higher education in China: Comparative analysis of Furen University narratives

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Abstract

Established in the 1920s, Furen University was a private Catholic university in China. Just as in the case of other Christian colleges in modern China, Furen was taken over by the communist government soon after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 and incorporated into the new state-controlled higher education system. Since the beginning of China’s reform and opening up, Chinese scholars have shown growing interest in exploring the religious history of the country’s pioneering higher education institutions. Focusing on Furen University, this study draws data from various sources to examine critically some popular Furen University narratives proposed by contemporary Chinese scholars in China. These narratives suggest that this Western Catholic university underwent substantial changes during its decades-long operation in Chinese society, becoming more Sinicized, secular, and patriotic. However, our analysis indicates that Furen University’s history in modern China might be more complex than these narratives suggest. Copyright © 2020 Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-638
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Volume21
Issue number4
Early online date19 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Citation

Zhao, Z., & Sun, Y. (2020). Revisiting religious higher education in China: Comparative analysis of Furen University narratives. Asia Pacific Education Review, 21(4), 629-638. doi: 10.1007/s12564-020-09645-x

Keywords

  • Cultural politics
  • Religion
  • History
  • China

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