So Long A Letter Essay

867 words - 4 pages

Daniel Overmyer’s, Religions of China, discusses the historical developments of the different religions of China. It also addresses the impact religion has on the daily life of the Chinese in the past and present. Overmyer introduces the Chinese living system with his knowledge of Feng-shui, and how everything is connected by shared rhythms. “These rhythms are discussed as the cold, dark forces of yin and the hot, bright forces of yang; together with the five powers of metal, plant, life, water, fire and earth; these forces are modes of qi, “vital substance”. Their interaction produces all things” (12).
The author does an excellent job in his approach to teaching Chinese religions ...view middle of the document...

The next chapter gives a brief overview of the historical developments of the different religions; Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Popular Religion, and Foreign Religion. The proceeding chapters include the traditions and practices in their religious life and also the community’s intervention with the spiritual life; i.e. The Spring Festival, Exorcism and the Buddhist Enlightenment. The last chapter, Chinese Religions Today, emphasizes on present day religion in Taiwan and China mainland.
Overmyer is very knowledgeable in the subject matter, he was taught by his mother during his first 5 years living in China. He obviously has had first hand accounts with the traditions of China and understands the country’s basic ideas and structures. However, with his vast knowledge on the subject matter he remains unbiased in his teaching methods. He tries to incorporate our western civilization with that of China by listing examples to help the audience relate more to a country they may know nothing about. He helps the reader first understand its concepts and ideology then allows them create their own point of view. This is very important because his main focus is to create a better awareness towards the different religions of China, not to negate the teachings of the other worldly religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism).
Two important topics that prove this is Overmyer’s approaches to the theory of superhuman power and the Buddhist enlightenment. When he deals with the symbols of superhuman power he discusses the various cosmic gods/goddesses of Daoism. He...

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