Next Article in Journal
Challenging Moderate Muslims: Indonesia’s Muslim Schools in the Midst of Religious Conservatism
Next Article in Special Issue
Expansion of Religious Pluralism in Korean Civil Society: A Case Study of Conscientious Objection in South Korea
Previous Article in Journal
“Korea National Prayer Breakfast” and Protestant Leaders’ Prophetic Consciousness during the Period of Military Dictatorship (1962–1987)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Religion in the Global East: Challenges and Opportunities for the Social Scientific Study of Religion
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(10), 309;

Shaping the Religiosity of Chinese University Students: Science Education and Political Indoctrination

Department of Sociology, Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Department of Sociology and Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Department of Sociology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religiosity, Secularity and Pluralism in the Global East)
Full-Text   |   PDF [315 KB, uploaded 11 October 2018]


Our study examined the respective relationships between two components of higher education in mainland China—science education and political indoctrination—and the religiosity of university students. Using a cross-sectional, representative sample of about 1700 college students in Beijing, we found first that students studying natural/applied sciences were less likely to perceive Protestantism, Catholicism, and Islam as plausible and less likely to have supernatural belief, relative to students in humanities/social sciences. In addition, the more students positively evaluated the political education courses—which indicates students’ acceptance of political indoctrination—the less likely they reported Protestantism and Catholicism as being plausible. Nevertheless, neither science education nor political indoctrination was associated with the perceived plausibility of Buddhism and Daoism or the worshipping behavior of students. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of the secularization debate and the research on education, religion, and state atheism. View Full-Text
Keywords: higher education; religiosity; science education; political indoctrination; atheism higher education; religiosity; science education; political indoctrination; atheism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Li, M.; Lu, Y.; Yang, F. Shaping the Religiosity of Chinese University Students: Science Education and Political Indoctrination. Religions 2018, 9, 309.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top