You are beautiful, just the way you are. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
This course is a survey of the major historical and contemporary currents of religious thought and
practice in Chinese culture. Our aim will be to gain a richer understanding of some characteristic
Chinese ways of experiencing the self, society, and the world. We will examine the three traditional
"teachings" (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism), as well as "popular religion," and the
contributions of all four to Chinese culture. Specific themes will include ancestor worship, sacrifice
and divination, religious ethics, meditation, longevity techniques, and the close connection between
Chinese religion and ...view middle of the document...
be graded 1 (credit), 2 (good), or 3 (excellent) and will be returned within a week with comments.
The best times to turn these in would be on Mondays, after we have completed a section.
2. Three short quizzes (10% each), consisting of short-answer questions.
3. Two short research papers (20% each), 6-10 pages plus bibliography (following the Paper Format
Guide; see also the Paper criteria). Each paper will make use of at least two books or articles
outside of assigned class readings.
a) Classical Confucianism and/or Daoism due Mon., Sep. 26
or b) Cosmology, Popular Religion, or Daoist religion Mon., Oct. 24
a) Chinese Buddhism and/or Neo-Confucianism Mon., Nov. 14
or b) Western religions or the 20 century Mon., Dec. 12
You must discuss your particular topic with me in advance at least one week in advance of the due
date. There is a list of sample paper topics under Selected handouts/readings.
4. Final exam (15%) during the last scheduled class period (Dec. 9): short-answer questions (like the
quizzes) and one or two short essays (1 hour).
• Personal computers are not allowed in class. Readings that are online must be printed out and
brought to class. The reason for this is that I want you to engage with the readings by marking
them up with notes. Cellphones, of course, must be turned completely off.
• If you have a disability that will affect your work or participation in this class, please contact
Erin Salva, Coordinator of Disability Services, at 427-5453 or via e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and speak to me individually, early in the semester, about the
arrangements you will need. 3
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1 Aug 26-Sep 2 Introduction to the course
Religion in Chinese history
Shang and early Zhou religion
Read: N Adler, Chinese Religious Traditions (CRT), chs. 1-2
N de Bary and Bloom, Sources of Chinese Tradition, pp. 3-40
2 Sep 5-9 Classical Confucianism: The Way of the Sages
The Mandate of Heaven and the Five Classics
Confucius (Kongzi): humanity (ren) and ritual