On April 23, 2008, the opening symposium was held at Purdue University to celebrate the establishment of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society (CRCS). More than 60 people attended the symposium. In addition to professors, students and staff of different departments at Purdue University, a few scholars came from Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis and Los Angeles.
The Dean of College of Liberal Arts John Contreni and the Head of Sociology-Anthropology Department Viktor Gecas gave opening remarks.
Keynote speaker Robert Weller, Professor of Anthropology at Boston University, gave a talk on "Religion and the Public Good in the Chinese World." Weller discussed findings on the ways that religious institutions are meeting broad social needs in mainland China, Taiwan and among Chinese in Malaysia,
Other presenters were three visiting scholars from China. GUO Qingxiang, Professor of Philosophy at Renmin University, talked about “The Revivals of Confucianism in China Today”.
WU Xiaoqun, Professor of Folkloric at Henan University, gave a talk on “Traditional Folk Religion and the Emerging Civil Society in China”.
LIANG Liping, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Shanxi University discussed the “Secularization or Institutionalization? Religious Change amid China’s Social Transition”.
Dr. Fenggang Yang, director of CRCS was interviewed by Purdue News and Journal & Courier regarding the establishment of CRCS.
Scholars from universities and research institutes around China sent their congratulatory letters on the establishment of CRCS.