This course focuses on the history and role of religion in the Chinese cultural sphere (Mainland China, Taiwan, and the Diaspora) from the mid-19th century to the present day, focusing on the relationship between religious institutions and the state during the imperial, republican, and communist regimes. We will learn about the impact of religious ideas, practices, and organizations on social, political and economic processes and inspect the role of religion in the consolidation of individual, communal, and national identity. Adopting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will attempt to ascertain the impact of the various Chinese religious traditions: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and the popular sects, as well as global religions such as Islam and Christianity, on the internal sociopolitical structure of the Chinese state and their role in shaping power relations on a transregional, national, and local level. Special emphasis will be given to the role and use of the grand narratives of secularism and modernity in the shaping of the Chinese nation- state, as well as the value of using these frameworks in the study of modern China. The class is discussion-based, supplemented by lectures, student presentations, and documentary films. No knowledge of Chinese is presumed. Allreadings will be in English.
Section 401 - LEC
M 0500PM-0800PM