Religious Studies | Introduction to Religions in China: Issues South & East Asian Religions
R202 | 32682 | M. Ing

This course will introduce students to religion in pre-modern China.
We will spend much of the semester engaging questions such as, what is
religion and is it universal? How do debates between religious
traditions in pre-modern China challenge our conceptions of religion?
How did adherents of Chinese religious traditions talk about their own
tradition and the traditions of others? What issues did the authors of
Chinese religious texts believe to be at stake in the texts they
After a brief overview of contemporary debates concerning the origin
of the notion of "religion" and its usage in the study of China, we
will explore a series of exchanges between adherents of various
religious traditions. These include early debates between Confucians,
Daoists, and Moists, apologetic literature written by Chinese
Buddhists, syncretic literature written by Confucian-Muslims, and
more. All readings are in English, and no prior knowledge of Chinese
religion is expected.

This course meets second eight weeks only.