Folklore | EAST ASIAN POPULAR RELIGION
F305 | 2231 | R. Janelli
This course has two objectives. The first is to acquaint students with the
range of popular religions that can be found in contemporary China, Japan,
and Korea. Topics include: Korean shamanism, Chinese divinities, and
Japanese Shint? rituals. As part of a liberal arts curriculum, the course
has a second objective of helping students to enhance their skills in
interpreting cultures and thereby develop more informed understandings of
the various ways of life found throughout the world.
The two objectives are pursued through assigned readings, lectures, videos,
slides, class discussions, and individual reflection. The topics of the
readings and audiovisual material are varied and deal with diverse topics,
but all are devoted to viewing popular religion in relation to local culture
Grading Policies. Grades are determined as follows:
(a) Three examinations each contribute 25% of the grade for the course.
(b) Students are asked to prepare before several classes a one-page,
double-spaced (i.e., about 250-300 word) synopsis of reading
including the reading assigned for the day the synopsis is due, and
question for class discussion. The question should be suitable for
class discussion on the basis of the readings. These synopses are
typed or computer-printed and submitted at the beginning of class.
will be graded and will contribute 20% of the semester's
(c) The remaining 5% of each person's grade is determined by oral
contributions to class discussions.
(d) Points may be added to the semester's average for optional book
reviews (see below).
Optional Book Reviews. Each student has the option of writing one, two, or
three book reviews to earn points that can be added to her/his semester
average. Each review should be approximately five pages in length and
points will be graded according to the following scale: 3-very good,
2-average, 1-weak, 0-inadequate.
A book review should not only describe the contents of a book but also
identify the author's main points and show how well the information
presented in the book support these points. It should also discuss the
relationship between the book to the topics and issues pursued in the class
readings, lectures, audio-visual material, and discussions.
1. Laurel Kendall, The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman: Of Tales and
the Telling of Tales. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press,
1988. Paperback: ISBN 0-8248-1145-3
2. John K. Nelson, A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine. Seattle:
University of Washington, 1996. Paperback ISBN: 0-295-07500-8
3. Meir Shahar and Robert P. Weller, eds., Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society
in China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1996. ISBN:
Three articles are also part of the required readings for the course.
Multiple photocopies of each are available in File A and File B of the
Fulfills a COAS Arts and Humanities, Traditions and Ideas distribution
requirement and is on List A of the COAS Culture Studies requirement.