RELIGIOUS STUDIES 101B Lecture Notes March 14
HAN DYNASTY: 202BCE - 220CE. some books say 206BCE
- compilation of five classics (they existed before, but the
canonization only happened under the han dynasty)
- confucius discussed the shang dynasty, a mythic one that came
before th QIN, a golden age. for Han to take up Confucianism as
official state policy by Emperor Wu, the han could say they are
the return of the golden age:
● the Mandate of Heaven
● state religion
● government jobs went to those studied in confucianism
(civil service exams)
HAN dynasty is the golden years for confucianism
PICKING UP FROM LAST CLASS
FOUR BOOKS COLLECTED BY ZHU XI
2. THE GREAT LEARNING: a larger discussion of the character and
influence of the noble person.
3. THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN: a book about the notion of
equilibrium or balance. similar to daoist texts. Possibly
reflects a mystical side.
4. THE MENCIUS: a collection of Mencius' teachings, who lived
centuries after mencius.
ZHU XI then looked at the teaching in these four books and came to this conclusion:
QI & LI
qi is the energy in the body (daoist tai chi). but zhu said this
is the energy in ALL THINGS
li is the organizing rational principle in all things.
LI is the principle force, the underlying reality in all thigns,
the element that unites in all creation.
QI can vary in things, since there are different levels of
energy in each thing.
these work together.
LI (force) organizes the QI (energy)
you are to meditate on all things in the world till you find the
LI in each thing, the underlying principle.
when you have found the LI in everything, you have found the
ULTIMATE ORDER of the UNIVERSE
LI no longer means just propriety, but now it is the ULTIMATE
ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE.
ANY EMPLOYMENT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE MEANT EDUCATION IN THE
WANG YANGMING (1473-1529)
took elements from CHAN BUDDHISM (zhu xi took from daoism)
- we are inately good
- we need to follow the instincts of our original mind
- confucianism proved to be flexible
- not enough to just do good deeds, you should do them for the right reasons with the right heart.
- ability of confucianism to adapt with changing times as dao
and buddha get popular has always resurfaced.
REACTION OF CONFUCIANISM TO THE WEST
there was not always a "bad" reaction to the west as is often
KANG YOUWEI is a reformer who promoted the advantages of
preserving China's cultural heritage along with the
incorporation of some "western" components, like prosperity,
envisioned grand commonality where boundaries are abolished to
make a grand common confucionism for everyone.
after the fall of the empire and the establishment of the
Republic of China in 1911, confucianism was disestablished and
something calle NEO-CONFUCIANISM came to be which recognized
other groups as important for chinese cullture.
engaged the west as a syncretic religion.
the fortunes of Confucianism have varied in modern society, for
decades the communists were very antagonistic, till after 1980
when the govt would introduce ideals like care and virtue.
++++++++++++++++++++ Good example of how approaches to tradition chain over time.
moved from elite philosophy to popular vulgar tradition.
- new texts have been discovered.
- our knowledge of classical daoism improves as these texts are
DAOISM IS GENERALLY DIVIDED INTO TWO AREAS
1. PHILOSOPHICAL DAOISM (DAO-CHIA OR JIA)
2. RELIGIOUS DAOISM (DAO-CHIAO OR JIAO)
when it first started it was DAO-CHIA or JIA
later it became more ritualistic and folk religion like. this
was called DAO-CHIAO or JIAO.
the dating is not clear cut. some have argued that the
philosophy comes first, some say religious, some say both at
once. for the purposes of this class: PHILOSO