Topics in Asian Studies

SAME AS HIST-UA 565.

This course will survey aspects of popular religion in East Asia from a sociological perspective. We will begin by examining the roots of China's best-known native religion, Daoism, its connections with pre-existing popular beliefs, and its role in the social upheavals of the late Han Dynasty and early medieval period. Our attention will then turn to the arrival of Buddhism in China and the complex process of cross-fertilization that informed developments in both Buddhist and Daoist circles. Concrete evidence from the spectacular medieval library discovered at Dunhuang will provide material for case studies in religious practice, and theme-based approaches to ritual, magical medicine, and the art of prophecy will highlight the diversity of functions played by religion in society. With some sense of the medieval Chinese context, we will then proceed to consider the case of early Japan by looking at the role of religion in international relations and the development of popular religious movements in Japan. All course readings will be in English.

Topics vary from semester to semester. A recent topic was postwar Japanese literature.

Term

Section

Instructor

Schedule

Location

Fall 2018

1
Ethan Harkness
MW: 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM 7E12 134
1
June Hee Kwon
M: 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM; TR: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 7E12 134
1
Xudong Zhang
R: 12:30 PM - 3:15 PM 19UP 229