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Chinese religion


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  • 1. Do now: 3 minutes Take a notecard from the front. Do all of your DO NOWs on it today for a grade. DO NOW: When you think of Chinese religion(s), what comes to your mind?
  • 2. We will1. Learn how Chinese religion combines animism, Daoism, Confucianism & Buddhism2. Explore historical developments of this syncretic tradition3. Discover ways Chinese govt has tried to regulate religion
  • 3. Difficulties in studying Syncretic  Emperor story  Temples = shared Govt
  • 4. History Earliest history to Shang dynasty (11th century BC) was  polytheistic  ancestor worship Chou dynasty (11th century BC) until common era had  one supreme god above other gods and spirits  focus on morality Lao-Tzu Confucious
  • 5. History, cont CE – 11th century Buddhism & Taoism developed 11th century – present = eclectic synthesis
  • 6. Basic Chinese Religious Concepts Multiple gods & spirits  Focus on gods of heaven & earth  Local deities & spirits
  • 7. Basic concepts Yin Yang Yin Yang Darkness Brightness Coolness Warmth Femaleness Maleness Dampness Dryness Moon Sun
  • 8. Basic concepts Filial Piety & Ancestor Worship  Old & aged = worthy of respect  Life begins at 60  Aged rule the home  Children support elders  Give elders proper burial  Maintain grave sites
  • 9. Basic concepts Ancestor worship  Ancestors can help family after death  Forget ancestors and you may become a homeless ghost  Forget ancestors and you may be afflicted by dangerous spirits  Small shrine in home w/names and deeds of previous generations Offerings of wine & rice Paper money
  • 10. Basic concepts Divination  Unity of universe means future is predictable  One way to tell future by looking at shell of tortoise  I Ching
  • 11. Basic concepts Shang Ti (Supreme God)  Chou dynasty – 11th century BC  Right to rule based on morality and religion  One Supreme God controlled destiny of humankind Responsible for fall of previous dynasty – they were bad  Govt should be based on virtue
  • 12. Decline of feudal system By 3rd century BC, feudal system declining New schools of thought (Confucianism, Taolism, Legalism) to address problems of society
  • 13. Taoism Lao-Tzu (old master)  6th century BC  50 years before Confucius  Left life at royal court to seek nature  Gatekeeper: write Tao Te Ching
  • 14. Tao Te Ching “The Classic of the Way and Its Power and Virtue”  81 chapters of poetry  Debate over author/s  Theme: Folly of human achievement, especially govt
  • 15. Do Now: True or False 2 minutes1. Chinese religion focuses on one supreme god.2. Some Chinese religion focuses on morality and one supreme god.3. Lao-tzu’s nickname meant “Silly old goat”4. Chinese religion generally allows its followers to be Buddhist and Confucius at the same time.5. The govt system in China has affected its religious movements.
  • 16. Do Now: Finish the statement4 minutes1. Lao-tzu __________________________.2. Taoism __________________________.3. _____________ is important to many Chinese religious practices.4. Early ________________, believed _____________________.5. Yin and yang ____________________.
  • 17. Early Taoist Teaching Basic unity of universe is mysterious force called Tao – “The Way” yet impossible to define Life is greatest of all possessions (fame, wealth power will all decay) Life is to be lived simply Pomp & glory are to be despised
  • 18. Later Taoist Developments One group followed teachings of LaoTzu (not popular appeal) Another group looking for very long life  Properly attuned to the Tao = long life  Food, fasting, breath control  Alchemy – preserve life via minerals Persecution between Taoists/Buddhists, then merging to common religion
  • 19. Confucianism Debate about religion Life – 551 BC - 497  Kung  Kung Fu-tzu (Kung the master)  Analects of Confucius Childhood Teens – govt worker Twenties – teacher 50s – prime minister 55 – retired, then wandering teacher
  • 20. Confucian Teaching Focus on social order Religion should not interfere with social duty System of ethics
  • 21. Confucian Teaching Central Themes  Li – properties, rites, ceremonies, courtesy  Five Lis Father to son Elder brother to younger brother Husband to wife Elder to junior Ruler to subject
  • 22. Confucian Teaching  Jen – inward expression of Confucian ideals – love, goodness, human- heartedness  Reciprocity – “Do not do to others what you would not want others to do to you.” Humans are naturally good People need good government so that they can be good Good conduct is its own reward