Video and transcript from "15th Annual Shorenstein Journalism Award Keynote Speech by Ian Johnson: Religion after Mao" on May 1, 2017, with keynote speaker and Shorenstein Journalism Award winner Ian Johnson.
Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches and mosques—as well as cults, sects and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty—over what it means to be Chinese, and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is still searching for new guideposts. Ian Johnson lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists and Buddhist pilgrims. Throughout his career in journalism and in his new book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, Johnson has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions and struggle—a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world’s newest superpower.