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Lecture 14

01:840:211 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Hongaku, Shangdi, Oracle Bone

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Religion in Asia 04/11/17
Confucianism and the Mengzi
→ Penetrate the whole E.Asia
→ Tathagata-Garbha (Buddha Embryo) - Chen/Zen
→ Hongaku: Instant Enlightenment
Understand religions in Politics/ Policies (how to govern)
Does involve sacrifices to other deities - bring out “Divine Order”
- Here and Now (Forms of Government and such)
<Pre-Confucian Religion in China>
Religion during the
Shang () Dynasty
(16th century BCE: c.1550-1040 BCE)
Divination and Oracle bones
→ Texts (questions written) - with fire touch: ash
- Question were written on them (fire touch: fracture)
- Go see a shaman/priests (wealthy ones) → interpret: response from a certain god)
- First written form in China
Worship of a pantheon(nature) influence human destiny and natural events
Belief in an afterlife: worship of and reciprocal exchange with deceased royal ancestors,
and the idea that kings could enter heaven after death
Ritual included animal and human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was also part of the
funerary culture
The highest deity was Di (帝) → Emperor or Lord also called Shangdi (上帝) Highest
emperor, Celestial Emperor
In the early Zhou () Dynasty (c.1040-221 BCE), Di was replaced by Tian(,
Heaven) as the highest deity.
→ Rich evidence of Writing: hundreds and hundreds of texts
→ Rural area (in China): monthly sacrifice to the sky, stars, rivers and such
- Other deities included the Earth, gods associated with the cardinal directions, river and
mountain spirits, and deceased emperors.
find more resources at
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