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Open AccessArticle

Looking Beyond the Social: Religion as a Solution to Alienation in Xu Dishan’s, Bing Xin’s, and Su Xuelin’s Republican Era Literature

Department of Arts, Humanities, Communication, and Design, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33332, USA
Religions 2019, 10(12), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10120664
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Chinese Literature)
I argue that by participating in religious cultural phenomena, the protagonists of Xu Dishan’s and Su Xuelin’s fiction cultivate values that allow them to overcome their sense of social alienation by making them feel more confident about their ability to strengthen their relationships with others. These values include selflessness in the literature of both authors, as well as compassion in Su Xuelin’s literature. I further argue that these two authors’ literary narratives use the category of religion to label these values as existing outside of the space of human social interactions. This then allows protagonists to view the cultivation of these values as an ostensibly perfected resolution to their feeling of social alienation, which in the first place is caused by the imperfect sphere of human social interactions. The two case studies upon which this study draws to exemplify the argument include Yuguan from Xu Dishan’s Yuguan and Xingqiu from Su Xuelin’s Thorny Heart. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; Republican Era literature; Xu Dishan; Su Xuelin; modernization; social alienation; individual subjectivity religion; Republican Era literature; Xu Dishan; Su Xuelin; modernization; social alienation; individual subjectivity
MDPI and ACS Style

Elia, G. Looking Beyond the Social: Religion as a Solution to Alienation in Xu Dishan’s, Bing Xin’s, and Su Xuelin’s Republican Era Literature. Religions 2019, 10, 664.

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