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China’s New Civil Religion:
A Challenge and Opportunity for Engagement

Presented by: Ian Johnson 

Journalist, Author, Professor

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This event is part of

Exploring Christianity and Culture in China:

Today and Yesterday


A collaborative public lecture series sponsored by

the US-China Catholic Association, ChinaSource, and the China Academic Consortium


This event is hosted by Fordham University, where the event will take place.

Wednesday, january 25 @ 6:30 PM


Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus

McNally Amphitheater
140 W 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023



When outsiders think of religion in China, they tend to focus on persecution--for example Muslims in Xinjiang or Christians in many big Chinese cities. While that is true for some faiths, China is also in the midst of a religious boom, which the government is trying to use to further its grip on power. That includes rebuilding ancient temples, subsidizing pilgrimages to holy mountains, and endorsing Confucian philosophers.  But can authoritarianism and religious life coexist? What are the risks as the government in Beijing embraces some religions while opposing others? .

Ian Johnson is Stephen A. Schwarzman senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist who lived in China for more than 20 years. A regular contributor to the New York Times, he is the author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China (Pantheon, 2004) and The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao (Vintage, 2017), as well as numerous other publications.

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about ian johnson

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Reception to follow. All are welcome.
Please register for our count. Thank you!



For more information, contact Mr. Bernard Ciernick at


Guest Respondent: Kin Sheung Chiaretto Yan (甄健湘) 

Chiaretto Yan lives in Shanghai. He holds a doctorate in Missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome). His primary area of research is interdisciplinary approaches to the religions and cultures of Asia. He is the author of numerous articles and books including, Evangelization in China: Challenges and Prospects (Orbis 2014) and Season for Relationships: Youth in China and the Mission of the Church (Claretian Publications 2018). He will join via Zoom from China.

Information to Join via Zoom:

People who register to participate online will be emailed a Zoom link the morning of the event. Please register using the email address of the Zoom account you will use to participate. Each person who would like to participate should register separately. You will be sent a link unique to you.

Mass Transit

The nearest MTA Subway stations are at 66 St-Lincoln Center on the #1 and the 59 St-Columbus Circle (on the #1, the A, the B, the C, and the D train lines) .

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A. Regent Garage 
45 West 61st Street 

    o 12-hour special: everyday (enter after 10am, exit by 11pm)       
    o $24.00     
    o Possible special rate with Fordham University stamp

B. SP Parking
345 West 58th Street 

     o Approximately $24.00-$27.00

C. Alfred Car Park, LLC. 
161 West 61st Street 

     o Approximately $25.00     
     o Possible special rate with Fordham University stamp

D. World Parking Garage
One Central Park West     

     o Approximately $30.00
     o At Broadway. Enter West 61st Street

Parking Options

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The Venue


On the campus, the talk will take place at the Gabelli Business School in the McNally Amphitheater. The entrance is at 140 W. 62nd Street.

When you enter the lobby of the business school you will see signs directing you forward, then down a corridor to the left. Toward the end of the corridor is an opening into the foyer leading to the McNally Amphitheater. Registrants will be able to pick up a name tag at the welcome table in the foyer.

Immediately following the talk there will be a wine and cheese reception in Platt Court right outside the amphitheater. All attendees are welcome to stay for the reception for further conversation and companionship.

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