Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (CUP 2011) by Thomas David DuBois (National University of Singapore) looks like a wonderful book about religion’s contributions to the history, politics, and law of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other East Asian nations. The publisher’s description follows. — MOD
Religious ideas and actors have shaped Asian cultural practices for millennia, and have played a decisive role in charting the course of its history. In this engaging and informative book, Thomas David DuBois sets out to explain how religion has influenced the political, social, and economic transformation of Asia from the fourteenth century to the present day. Crossing a broad terrain from Tokyo to Tibet, the book highlights long-term trends and key moments, such as the expulsion of Catholic missionaries from Japan, or the Taiping Rebellion in China, when religion dramatically transformed the political fate of a nation. Contemporary chapters reflect on the wartime deification of the Japanese emperor, Marxism as religion, the persecution of the Dalai Lama, and the fate of Asian religion in a globalized world.