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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Personal Religiosity: A New Observation of Religious Belief in Taiwan

Vol. 18 No. 1   6/1988   


Personal Religiosity: A New Observation of Religious Belief in Taiwan 


Wen-li Soong & Yih-yuan Li 









Key words



     Personal religiosity is a concept for understanding the experiential content of religious belief a psychological perspective. A study applying such point of view in the scientific research of Taiwanese religion is so far only preliminary. 

    Two question raised in the study are: within the context of traditional Chinese culture, do the so called “non-believers” believe in anything religious? And how do different types of people vary in their belief contents? 

    Instruments for exploring content of belief are the self-designed Personal Religiosity Scale (PRS) and the Religious Belief and Behavior Questionnaire, both developed by the authors in previous studies. Subjects were randomly selected from scattered areas of Hsinchu, a mid-sized city on Taiwan. The number of subjects interview is 644. 

    The findings about the non-believers are that most of them are not absolutely without any religious belief, and that their attitudes are in agreement with certain aspects of traditional belief although not to the same degree in all aspect. As to the difference of belief content among types of people, most significant difference was found between “belief types” based on the subjects’ self-classification. “Level of age” is the least significant in terms of indicating difference, while “level of education” falls between the above two indicators.

    Except discussing all findings, the basic conception model of traditional Chinese religious belief was re-examined. The authors also suggested a new direction for further research as regard Chinese religion. 



Author: Wen-li Soong & Yih-yuan Li
Genre: Article
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