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Conversion to ChristianityHistorical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation$
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Robert Hefner

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520078352

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520078352.001.0001

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The Glyphomancy Factor: Observations on Chinese Conversion

The Glyphomancy Factor: Observations on Chinese Conversion

Chapter:
(p.285) Chapter Ten The Glyphomancy Factor: Observations on Chinese Conversion
Source:
Conversion to Christianity
Author(s):

Robert W. Hefner

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520078352.003.0010

This chapter reports that religious conversion is a matter of belief and social structure, of faith and affiliation. It is also about voluntary religious conversion as it is occurred among Chinese in Taiwan. It specifically addresses the glyphomancy factor. Three characteristic (but not exclusive) features of Chinese conversion are explored: conditionality of belief upon other beliefs, the additive character of conversion, and the tendency to equate new beliefs isomorphically with earlier ones (pantheon interchangeability). Some aspects of traditional religion had been displaced by Catholicism. China has tamed conversion. Conversion is then seen as a shift from “traditionalism” to “rationalism” or the like.

Keywords:   religious conversion, glyphomancy factor, Chinese conversion, Taiwan, Catholicism, China

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