"The nation-state is for the most part the product of a European mentalité. What happens when it is exported, along with colonialism, to other parts of the world? What happens in China when it encounters--either through force or by willing appropriation--European categories of nation and state, along with their attendant formulations concerning science, rationality, politics, and economics, and their accompanying categories such as religion, the secular, the sacred, human rights, and freedom? How does an imperium become a nation? The central tenet of this book is that nation-states are the results of mythos and sanctified violence. Using government texts including China's constitution (which describes its sovereign domain as "sacred territory") and focusing on citizenship, religion, and territory, Walsh argues that the state sacralizes the nation and that it is this notion of the sacred, the inviolate, that frames and sustains nation-state building. It is used to justify territorial integrity and state sovereignty; with its deep religious underpinnings it shapes citizens of the state and makes them members of the nation. Sacrality, therefore, is a constitutive part of modern China, manifested in its constitution and how it engages the world"--
New York :
Columbia University Press,
Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-221) and index.