Enlightened Martyrdom

The Hidden Side of Falun Gong

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Editor(s): 
Huang Chao, James R. Lewis
  • Sheffield, UK: 
    Equinox
    , February
     2019.
     256 pages.
     $34.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781781794999.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

When it became evident that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was on the verge of banning the Falun Gong movement, Li Hongzhi, the movement’s founder, and his family escaped China, relocating permanently in the United States. Subsequently, the dramatic crackdown on Falun Gong in 1999 made international headlines. From the safety of his new home, Master Li encouraged his followers left behind in the PRC to vigorously demonstrate against the Chinese government, even if it meant imprisonment or even death.

Further, Master Li actively discourages his followers from telling outsiders about his esoteric teachings; rather, he explicitly directs them to say that Falun Gong is just a peaceful spiritual exercise group being persecuted by the PRC. Not only has Falun Gong succeeded in propagating their side of the story in the media but the group will vigorously protest any news story that disagrees with their point of view. In more recent years, Falun Gong has attempted to silence critical scholars, including two of the contributors to the present volume.

Enlightened Martyrdom: The Hidden Side of Falun Gong provides a comprehensive overview of Falun Gong: the movement’s background, history, beliefs and practices. But whereas prior treatments have generally tended to downplay Falun Gong’s ‘dark side,’ in Enlightened Martyrdom, we have made an effort to include treatments of the less palatable aspects of this movement.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

James R. Lewis is professor of philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University. He is well-published in the field of new religious movements. His publications and edited volumes include The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Controversial New Religions (with Jesper Petersen), Scientology, Children of Jesus and Mary (with Nicholas Levine), and, most recently, Violence and New Religious Movements.

Huang Chao is an associate professor in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University and executive director of Research Center for International New Religions and Cults at Wuhan University.

Keywords: 

Comments

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.