The 2018 CESNUR Conference Co-organized by: Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) Weixin College, Nantou County, Taiwan Taiwan WeiXin World Peace Promotion Association, Nantou County, Taiwan International Society for the Study of New Religions (ISSNR)


Weixin College,
Nantou County, Taiwan
17-23 June 2018


CESNUR 2018 will be organized at Weixin College, an accredited university in Taiwan, in cooperation with Taiwan WeiXin World Peace Promotion Association, an organization specialized in hosting academic conferences. The dates have been set to allow participants to attend a significant religious festival in Taiwan, centered on the unveiling of a 25-meters high golden statue of Guiguzi (the largest statue of Guiguzi in the world) by the Taiwanese new religion Weixin Shengjiao, the parent organization of Weixin College. Guiguzi was a Chinese sage who, according to the tradition, during the Warring States period in China operated the first school of military strategy and diplomacy in world history. As happened for other figures in Chinese history, he was divinized after his death and is regarded by Weixin Shengjiao as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva Wang Chan Lao Zu. The cult of Guiguzi is largely spread in both Mainland China and Taiwan, and it is expected that the unveiling of the statue on June 18 will be attended by thousands of members of many different religions, including Christians, who obviously do not regard Guiguzi as a divinity but respect his historical role as a promoter of peace through diplomacy. These different religions will participate, some presenting their own rituals, in what promises to be a truly spectacular event. The fees of local transportation, meal, and accommodation on June 18th will be sponsored by Weixin Shengjiao.

Participants to the conference are expected to arrive in Taipei airport on June 17, from where buses will take them to Taichung. On June 18, they will attend the festival centered on the unveiling of Guiguzi’s statue in Nantou County. Conference sessions at Weixin college will be on June 19, 20, and in the morning of 21. A field trip will explore different new religions of Taiwan on June 21 (afternoon), 22, and 23, concluding in Taipei, from where they will be able to fly back home on the late evening of June 23 or on June 24. We will post soon offers and costs for packages including all hotels and meals.

We welcome papers on this year’s theme: “Tradition and Innovation in Religious Movements: East Asia, the West and Beyond.” More specifically we welcome lectures that examine perceptions and practices related to orthodoxy, tradition, and innovation in religious movements. In addition, we welcome specific examinations of the religious relations between East Asia and the rest of the world, of the inculturation of Western religions and movements in East Asia, and the globalization of movements origination in East Asia. We would also like to discuss the relations between esotericism, orthodoxy, and innovation, and the multiple meanings of “tradition/s.”

Papers and session proposals should be submitted by E-mail before the close of business on Monday, January 8th, 2018 to, accompanied by an abstract of no more than 300 words and a CV of no more than 200 words. PhD students should attach a letter of support from their advisor.


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