Religion and Democracy in Taiwan

By Cheng-tian Kuo

Subjects: Religion And Politics, Asian Religion And Philosophy, Asian Studies
Paperback : 9780791474464, 171 pages, January 2009
Hardcover : 9780791474457, 171 pages, May 2008

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1. Introduction
Theories of Religion and Democracy
Research Methodology
Changing Political and Religious Environment
2. Taiwanese Buddhism
General Description
The Buddha Light Mountain
Buddhist Compassion Relief Ciji Foundation
The Dharma Drum Mountain
The Zhongtai Zen Monastery
Other Buddhists
3. Christianity
General Description
The Presbyterians
The Baptists
The Local Church
Other Denominations
4. Daoism and Folk Religions
The Mazu Belief
5. Statistical Analysis (with Kuan Ping-yin)
Taiwan’s Religious Profile
Religion and Party Preference
Religion and Democratic Values
Religion and Democratic Behavior
Comparison of Taiwanese Believers
Comparing Taiwanese and Korean Believers
6. Conclusion
Summary and Comparison
Methodological, Theoretical, and Practical Implications

A meticulous study of various Taiwanese religions and their relationships with democratic values and behaviors.


In Religion and Democracy in Taiwan, Cheng-tian Kuo meticulously explores various Taiwanese religions in order to observe their relationships with democracy. Kuo analyzes these relationships by examining the democratic theology and ecclesiology of these religions, as well as their interaction with Taiwan. Unlike most of the current literature, which is characterized by a lack of comparative studies, the book compares nearly all of the major religions and religious groups in Taiwan. Both case studies and statistical methods are utilized to provide new insights and to correct misperceptions in the current literature. The book concludes by highlighting the importance of breaking down the concepts of both religion and democracy in order to accurately address their complicated relationships and to provide pragmatic democratic reform proposals within religions.

Cheng-tian Kuo is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He is the author of Global Competitiveness and Industrial Growth in Taiwan and the Philippines and Economic Regimes and National Performance in the World Economy: Taiwan and the Philippines.


"…convincingly argues that religions do matter, but their actual roles depend on their beliefs, organizations, and interaction with state … raise[s] important questions pertaining to our understanding of religious traditions in China today, as well as their role in China's modernization during the Republican era." — China Quarterly

"…an important and timely contribution not only to the study of politics in Taiwan but to comparative politics in general … the author gives an excellent overview of the religious scene in Taiwan." — Journal of Chinese Religions

"This is a timely and important addition to the existing scholarship on religion, democracy, and Asian politics." — Dennis Van Vranken Hickey, author of Foreign Policy Making in Taiwan: From Principle to Pragmatism