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Since 1949, China has been under the control of an atheist government. Nonetheless, religious activity was never fully banned. Though the government was largely indifferent, millions of ordinary people organized themselves into religious groups and became active. Ian Johnson is a highly distinguished and accomplished journalist who has written a book, The Souls of China, that documents these movements and considers their possible futures. He estimates that as many as 1/3 of the Chinese people currently have a religious affiliation. It is our great good fortune that Johnson will join us to discuss his work and experiences with ordinary Chinese believers.  

Johnson is the author of three books and a large number of articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, among others. He received a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his reporting on the treatment of the Falun Gong religious group. He has also received awards from the Overseas Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. Though he lives in Berlin, he has lived and worked in China since 1984. Currently, he teaches at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. 

This event is free and open to the public. The event will be held in The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 4:p.m. Those who arrive at the conference center by car will need to pay a $5 valet parking fee because of construction in the parking area.

The lecture is supported from the Provost’s Office and the John and Mary Franklin Foundation.