The first Summer Institute for the Social Scientific Study of Religion was held on July12-25, 2004 at Renmin University of China, Beijing. More than 70 faculty members and graduate students from over 20 provinces participated in it, and 61 people received certificates for fully participating in all the lectures and completing fieldwork practices.
The major lectures were two international renowned scholars: Professor Eileen Barker of The London School of Economics (first week) and Professor Dean Hoge of The Catholic University of America (second week).
In addition, the following scholars gave lectures at the Institute. Professor Joseph Tamney of Ball State University, Professor Patricia Wittberg of the Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, Professor Peter Ng of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Zhuo Xinping, Director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute for the Study of World Religions (CASS ISWR), Professor Gao Shining of CASS ISWR, Professor Gong Zhebing of Wuhan University, Professors He Guanghu and Fang Litian of Renmin University and Professor Fenggang Yang of Purdue University.