PRI audio player

May 04, 2017

Soul searching in China

Player utilities

May 04, 2017


Mary Kay Magistad (left),host of the Whose Century Is It? podcast, with Ian Johnson, author of "The Souls of China," and Jennifer Lin, author of "Shanghai Faithful," at The Mechanics Institute in San Francisco.


Lawrence Wilkinson

Stories in this episode


If money can't buy happiness, many Chinese now seek spiritiual meaning

A search for meaning is underway in China, after generations grew up with the Communist Party destroying temples and churches, persecuting the religious, and telling the young that religion was the opiate of the masses, and counter-revolutionary to boot. Now, with many Chinese feeling that a moral and ethical center is missing from their increasingly materially comfortable lives, a growing number are seeking meaning in religion and spiritual practice. Host Mary Kay Magistad explores why, in conversation with fellow former China correspondents Ian Johnson, author of "The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao," and Jennifer Lin, author of "Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family."