China’s big cities are developing a new city life, including new identities, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the opening chapter of, Shanghai Sacred: The Religious Landscape of a Global City, by photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley, quoted in a review of the photo exhibition in Liverpool at Creative BoomRead More →

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao reviews a show at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City on Tibetan Buddhism for the NY Review of Books, a must read even when you do not make it to New York. Ian Johnson adds on Facebook: “Probably no faith is more stereotyped than Tibetan Buddhism, which has morphed in the West to a sort of feel-good faith led by a nice guy with a Nobel Peace Prize.”Read More →

Morality classes are popping up all over the country, teaching past traditional attitudes towards women, warns author Zhang Lijia in an opinion piece in The South China Morning Post who signals a backlash towards banned feudal behavior. The government steps in when those excesses are discovered, but it remains unclear what stays under the radar, Zhang adds.Read More →

Organizing public debate in China is challenging, but former Xi’an professor Chen Hongguo does. Journalist Ian Johnson visited the book club Zhiwuzhi Chen established after he decided to leave university, and discusses how he manages to survive, for the NY Review of Books.Read More →

For the outside world, Xi Jinping looks like the effective authoritarian leader, killing effectively public debate in the country. But journalist Ian Johnson noted over the past few months an amazing growth of opposition inside the Party, he writes in the NY Review of Books.Read More →