Religion has always been an ongoing issue for human society. For centuries people have been trying to define the role it plays in their lives and the extent to which this phenomenon impacts their being. Yet, the attitude to religion in Eastern and Western societies differed greatly. Yang states that the perspective on this social institution and its status was determined by the current attitude of a ruler or some other authorities in China (181).
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
In ancient times the monarch was able to promote and demote the ranks of various gods and spirits in a way that could be advantageous for him (Yang 183). The tendency towards the state control preserved and the functioning of various temples was monitored by governments. In this regard, support to Confucianism as the main religion in the state was provided in terms of the establishment of a certain socioeconomic order.
For this reason, the power of this institution in China was weak if to compare it with that one in Western states. This pattern conditioned the appearance of diffused and institutional religions in China. Institutional religions in the country are represented by Buddhism and Taoism (Yang 297) while numerous cults and societies could be considered diffused ones.
Analyzing this approach, one should say that it contributed to the preservation of the stability of various social institutions that impacted the functioning of a state. Being deprived of real power. religion did not initiate significant civil conflicts and always supported the dominant regime. In other words, it was a powerful remedy to monitor the state of society and prevent the growth of peoples dissatisfaction with the current situation. The given unique status preconditioned evolution of religion in its unique way that could be nowadays evidenced by the existence of numerous institutional and diffused religions.
Yang, Ching Kun. Religion in Chinese Society: A Study of Contemporary Social Functions of Religion and Some of Their Historical Factors, Long Grove, IL: Waveland Pr Inc, 1991. Print.