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Religion and Thought in Modern China: the Song, Jin, and Yuan

The Chinese University of Hong Kong via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Religion
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 8 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

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This sequence of four courses will propose a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Chinese cultural history conceived of as a succession of modes of rationality (philosophical, bureaucratic, and economic). The focus will be on the moments of paradigm shift from one mode of rationality to another. For each of these moments, cultural facts and artifacts—thought, literature, ritual—will be examined in relationship to changing social, political, and economic systems.

The first two courses will cover the periods of the Warring States (481-256 BCE) and the Period of Division (220-589 CE), with a brief excursion into the Han (206 BCE-220 CE). The Warring States laid the social and cultural foundations for the emergence of the imperial mode of rationality; the Period of Division saw the Buddhist “conquest” of China and the emergence of a rationality defined by the opposition of the Three Teachings to shamanism, that is, of a clear contrast between elite and popular culture.

The third and fourth courses will focus on the emergence of modern China in the Song-Yuan (960-1368) and of today’s China 1850 to the present. We will see how the modern attack on religion, redefined as "superstition", led not only to religious reform movements but also to a society in which science and the nation became the primary value systems promoted by the state.

The courses are listed below:

A Critical Cultural History of China - Early China I: Intellectual Change in the Warring States and Han (481 BCE-220 CE)
A Critical Cultural History of China - Early China II: Religious Transformation in the Period of Division (220-589 CE)
A Critical Cultural History of China - Modern China I: Religion and Thought in the Song, Jin, and Yuan (960-1368)
A Critical Cultural History of China - Modern China II: Structuring Values (1850-2015)

Syllabus

  1. Module 13 Modern China
  2. Module 14 State Religion
  3. Module 15 Local Society
  4. Module 16 Daoism in the Song and Jin
  5. Module 17 Buddhism in the Song
  6. Module 18 Dunhuang
  7. Module 19 Confucianism in the Song 1
  8. Module 20 Confucianism in the Song 2

 

 

Taught by

Prof. John Lagerwey

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