Popular Religions in China
Recent researches on Chinese religion show that the term “three religions” or sanjiao monastic Buddhism, priestly Daoism, and Confucian philosophy - is not adequate to describe Chinese religiosity. To subsume several thousand years of Chinese religious experience under the term of “three religions”, in effect, is to exclude the vast majority of Chinese religious behaviour. In reality, only a few elite orient their lifestyles to the Buddhist or Taoist concepts of transcendence. Over emphasis on the intellectual and spiritual world of the scholarly official, the gentry and the literate elite, overlooks religious practices and beliefs of ordinary people, the peasants and the labourers who are the majority of the Chinese population. This course studies Chinese religion from the perspective of local society in South China. By making use of recent ethnographical studies on China, we examine Chinese religion from a holistic approach involving the analysis of lineage.
Old Course Code (2009-10 and before) : RST5121