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Religion in China and the United States

Leader: Thomas Banchoff

China and the United States are leading global powers with very different constellations of religion, society, and politics. Knowledge of those differences, their origins, and their contemporary implications remains weak in both countries. From 2006 to 2018 the Religion in China and the United States project sought to promote dialogue, improve understanding, and inform better policy on key issues in U.S.-China relations, including religious freedom and the changing role of religion in world affairs.

The project had several interrelated parts.

High-level dialogue: From 2008 to 2011, Georgetown and the Berkley Center held three annual dialogue meetings with the Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) of the People's Republic of China. Topics included international religious freedom; Christianity, Confucianism, and political culture; religion and economic and social development; religious pluralism; and the intersection of religion, society, and the state. In July 2011 the Berkley Center also arranged a short course for officials from SARA, who visited Washington, D.C., New York, Houston, and Los Angeles to learn about the social engagement of religious communities in the United States.

Postdoctoral fellow: With the support of the Walton Family Foundation, from 2006 to 2018 the center held an annual competition for a young Chinese scholar of religious studies to serve as a postdoctoral fellow.

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Project Leader

Thomas Banchoff headshot

Thomas Banchoff

Department of Government and Walsh School of Foreign Service, Vice President for Global Engagement


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Postdoctoral Fellows

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