The self-proclaimed atheistic Chinese state does not necessarily suppress religion; instead, local government officials might choose to support the rebuilding of religious venues for pragmatic purposes, thus unintentionally promoting a religious renaissance. This project is a reflection of religious revival in contemporary China and argues that in some cases revived religion often tends to be secularized. Shrouded in the sacred halo of the Communist revolution, secularized religion can be utilized to provide the Communist Party regime with legitimacy. These case studies illustrate the mutual transformation of the sacred and the secular in today’s China, a process in which concepts of the sacred and the secular have been endowed with new theoretical meanings in the Chinese context.
Case A: Miaofalin (Sublime Dharma Forest) Temple, Xiamen
Case B: People’s Liberation Army Temple, Huian