SemesterFall Semester, 2023
DepartmentMA Program of Institute of Religious Studies, First Year PhD Program of Institute of Religious Studies,First Year MA Program of Institute of Religious Studies, Second Year PhD Program of Institute of Religious Studies,Second Year
Course NameReligion and Globalization
InstructorWU HSIN-FANG
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Students will be expected to complete assigned readings (50-60 pages per week) before the class and be ready to discuss them.

9/11 W1 Introduction: Does Religion Go Global?

  • Ivan Strenski, "The Religion in Globalization," Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 72:3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 631-652.

9/18 W2 Fo Guang Shan in LA

  • 2-1 Jens Reinke, "Mapping Modern Mahayana," and "The Many Transnationalisms of Renjian Buddhism" in Mapping Modern Mahayana: Chinese Buddhism and Migration in the Age of Global Modernity (2021), 1-43.

  • 2-2 Sandy Boucher, “Conspiracy of Silence: The Problem of the Male Teacher,” Turning the Wheel: American Women Creating the New Buddhism (1993), pp. 210-258.

9/25 W3 I: Catholicism in Taiwan; II Catholicism and Islam in France and Algeria

  • 3-1 Chiao-li Wang, "Wanjin's Basilica: Church Evangelization Encountering Government's Tourism," in The Catholic Church in Taiwan: Birth, Growth, and Development, edited by Francis K.H. So, Beatrice K.F. Leung, and Ellen Mary Mylod, 201-231.

  • 3-2 Joseph W. Peterson, "Introduction," and "ch.3 White unto Harvest: Religion, Race, and the Jesuit Mission Arabe at Constantine " in Sacred Rivals: Catholic Missions and the Making of Islam in Nineteenth-Century France and Algeria (2022), 1-14, 66-88.

10/2 W4 Online Book Talk 2-4 p.m. (Guest Speaker: Dr. Joseph W. Peterson)

  • Title: Sacred Rivals: Catholic Missions and the Making of Islam in Nineteenth-Century France and Algeria

10/9 W5 Pre-National Day Holiday, No-class

10/16 W6 Global Dao (Guest Speaker: Dr. Florian C. Reiter)

  • 6-1 John Lagerwey, "How Daoism Changed My Understanding of Religion," 1-22.

  • Talk Title: Exorcism in Daoism: the Meaning of Amulets- Some approaches to Daoist Studies

10/23 W7 Fa Lung Gong+ Elevator Pitch (your research project)

  • 7-1 Benjamin Penny, "Ch.1 What is Falun Gong," in The Religion of Falun Gong (The University of Chicago Press, 2012), 1-35.

  • 7-2 Weishan Huang, “Globalization as a Tactic – Legal Campaigns of the Falun Gong Diaspora,” Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions, vol. III Key Concepts in Practice, edited by Paul R. Katz and Stefania Travagnin (2019), 233-255

10/30 W8 Yiguandao (Guest Speaker: Dr. Ching-Chih Lin)

  • 8-1 Hung-jen Yang, “Between Cultural Reproduction and Cultural Translation: A Case Study of Yiguandao in London and Manchester,” in Nanlai Cao, Giuseppe Giordan and Fenggang Yang ed., Chinese Religions Going Global (2021), pp. 157-173.

  • 8-2 Nikolas Broy, “Global Dao: The Making of Translational Yiguandao,” in Chinese Religions Going Global, pp.174-193.

11/6 W9+W10 World religions in Taipei: field trip I (TBA)

  • Jeffrey D. Schwartz Jewish Community Center of Taiwan;

  • Holy Family Catholic Church in Taipei;

  • Taipei Grand Mosque

11/13 W10 no in-person class

  • Submit an abstract of your final project (at least 250 words) and a bibliography of relevant primary and secondary materials. (at least 10 entries, Chicago manual of style, 17th edition, author-date system). 5% 

11/20 W11 no in-person class

  • Submit an outline of the research paper (at least 500 words, you can include the abstract.)

11/27 W12 individual meeting week (TBA)

12/4 W13 Media + the field trip II to the Bangka Qingsha Temple (W11 class)

  • 13-1 Weishan Huang, “WeChat Together about Buddha: The Construction of Sacred Space and Religious Community in Shanghai through Social Media,” in Religion and Media in China: Insights and Case Studies from the Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, edited by Stefania Travagnin (2016),

  • 13-2 Jennifer N. Sime, Materializing Nostalgia: Feet, Youtube, and the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief 19:1 (2023), pp. 34-54.

  • The Bangka Qingsha Temple: midnight patrol and pilgrimage (Dec.4 Monday evening)

12/11 W14 Weekend Field Trip (Dec.9-10) to Wanjin, Pingtung: Madonna Procession (TBA )

12/18 W15 World Politics

  1. 15-1 Carolyn M. Warner and Stephen G. Walker. “Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy: A Framework for Analysis.” Foreign Policy Analysis. (2011) 7: 113-135.

  2. 15-2 Thomas, Scott. 2010. “A Globalized God: Religion’s Growing Influence in International Politics,” Foreign Affairs.

12/25 W16 Final Project Presentation

1/1 W17 New Year

1/8 W18 Paper Submission


Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

  1. Reading presentation: 20%

    The presenter will make the oral presentation on the assigned reading of 15-20 minutes at the beginning of class. The presentation should introduce the author and an overview of the reading, summarize the main points of that day’s reading, situate it in the historical context, and raise some questions to get the discussion started. We will select readings during week 1, so please think in advance about your preferences

  2. Class participation: 20%

    Class participation is an essential component of this class. Students should be prepared, ask and answer questions, and listen to classmates. Students who do not do presentations should prepare two questions/ideas about the readings (at least 200 words) they could pose to the class during the discussion. These will be uploaded to the Moodle before the beginning of the class. Those students with excused absences (illnesses, family emergencies, or planned school activities) need to contact the instructor before the beginning of that day’s class (or in advance if possible). Unexcused absences will result in a lowering of the class participation grade.

  3. Field trip report 20% (TBA)

  4. Final project 40% (oral presentation 5%, written paper 35% [5% W10 abstract+bibliography]))

    Students choose to write a 12-15 page paper.


Textbook & Reference
Urls about Course