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Chinese Ways

  • Date Submitted: 08/06/2012 02:10 AM
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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 politics. During the last two weeks we will look into some contemporary religious
movements in Taiwan. In each section we will attempt to identify those aspects of Chinese religion
which are inextricable from traditional Chinese culture and those which are capable of crossing cultural
boundaries. Classes are a mixture of lecture, discussion, and films.
Reading:
Available in Bookstore
• Joseph A. Adler, Chinese Religious Traditions
• Wm. Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, 2 ed., vol. 1
nd
• Richard Madsen, Democracy's Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Development in
Taiwan2
Course Requirements and Grading:
1. Participation (15%).   Regular attendance, timely completion of reading assignments, active
participation in class discussions, and one short conference with me in my office no later than
Thursday, September 15.   Grading criteria are as follows:
A: Regular attendance (no more than 3 unexcused absences), regular contribution to
discussion (at least once a week)
B: Regular attendance, occasional contribution
C: Too many absences OR too little contribution
D: Too many absences AND too little contribution
F: Other serious problems
Option:   To supplement the class discussion portion of your participation grade for...

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