Religious Studies | History of Religion in China
R202 | 080A | Raz

(Joint listed in Religious Studies as REL R202)
3 credits
TR 4:00-5:15pm

This course will examine the history of religious traditions in
China, from the ancient period to the present. Looking at ancient
records on divination bones we will try to understand the beliefs and
practices of the Chinese in the 2nd millennium BCE. Surfing the world-
wide-web we will look at the resurgence of self-cultivation practices
in present day China, and the suppression of the wildly popular
movement of Falun gong. In between we will trace the developments of
traditional Chinese religions. We will examine shamanistic practices,
immortality cults, popular and imperial practices, the development of
Daoism and integration of Buddhism in China.

We will look at how these diverse traditions interacted to produce
the religious practices by which people celebrated their lives and
mourned their dead. Looking at these four millennia of religious
developments and transformations we will see the creative imagination
by which people communicate their ultimate questions. We will also
ponder our own traditions and reflect upon our own ultimate