Religion in Contemporary China: Practice and Belief

Date: 5th – 7th December 2017

Venue: Room 318, Education 2 (ED2), La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, VIC

Enrolment is capped at a maximum of twelve participants.

Cost:  Free

La Trobe University’s China Studies Research Centre will provide travel subventions for eligible interstate PhD participants. Please see “Financial Subvention” below for more information.

Applications will close on Tuesday 31 October 2017.

Class Brief

This Masterclass will provide an opportunity for PhD scholars and early career researchers to develop informed, critical perspectives on social change and cultural identity in rural and urban China today, as revealed through the study of religious practices and beliefs. The Masterclass will be led by two international authorities, through focused discussions and selected readings over three days, 1:00-4:00pm each day.

Buddhism and Christianity: Professor Thierry Meynard, S.J. 梅谦立

Professor Thierry Meynard will lead discussions on issues related to Christianity and Buddhism in China today. An authority on the modern New Confucian, Liang Shuming, and on the Jesuits’ role in interpreting China for European intellectuals, his most recent monograph is The Jesuit Reading of Confucius: the First Complete Translation of the Lunyu Published in the West (Brill, 2015). Professor Meynard is professor of philosophy and religious studies at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou.

Daoism, Popular Religions and New Religions: Dr Benjamin Penny 裴凝

Dr Benjamin Penny will lead discussions on issues related to Daoism and popular religion in China today. A specialist of religious and spiritual movements in modern and contemporary China, he is the author of The Religion of the Falun Gong (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). Dr Penny is Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU.

About Participating in the Masterclass

The China Studies Research Centre will distribute a set of readings to successful applicants in early November. Participants are expected to read the materials before the commencement date.


  • Current PhD students
  • Early career researchers who have finished their research degree in the past 3 years.

Financial Subvention

The Centre will provide interstate PhD participants travel subventions as follows:



New South Wales and ACT


Northern Territory




South Australia






Western Australia


Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation and meals. The CSRC will provide information about on-campus and off-campus accommodation options when successful applicants are notified in early November.


To apply you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Application form
  • Supporting letter from supervisor (not required for early career researchers)


China Studies Research Centre
Phone: +3 9479 3889