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Anti-religious Discourse and ‘Youth’ around May Fourth

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2016, (34), pp.77-104
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2016..34.004
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Published : November 30, 2016

Hong junhyong 1

1동덕여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The development process of anti-religion discourse covering criticism on Confucianism during the New Culture Movement period and Anti-religion Movement in 1922 reveals that religious discourses have changed ceaselessly according to the changes in social discourses. While anti-religion discourses basically began by denying the usefulness of religion from the perspective of scientism, the religious debates in the Young China Association pointed out the uselessness of religion for social reform as the social trends of China had been radically being changed since the May Fourth Movement. In the meantime, criticism was especially developed against the effect of religion on young people's ideology or ethics. The Anti-religion Movement of 1922, influenced by these trends, was a product of struggle that appeared in front of the hegemony over young students who played principal role in ‘Social Remodeling’ in the radical turmoil of youth discourse following the May Fourth Movement. The progressives took the lead in developing various discourse struggles for anti-religion and antichristianism to remove the influence of Christianity on young people. Meanwhile, they called new subjects of youth represented by progressive youth and strived to go beyond ‘Christian youth’ based on religious humanism and emphasizing the self-discipline of individuals and even the enlightening subject of youth with the spirit of May Fourth Movement represented by ‘new youth’. ‘Class Consciousness’, ‘Hot blood’ and ‘Justice’ were suggested as virtue that progressive youth as new subjects of youth should possess: ‘Class Consciousness’ was intended to awaken and inspire young people with motive for Social reform and remodeling; ‘Hot blood’ and ‘Justice’ were emphasized as emotional attitudes and ethical foundation to be possessed by ‘progressive youth’.

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