This course serves as an introduction to the religious beliefs and practices of East Asia. The course proceeds in chronological order, but it will also focus on broader themes of East Asian religions. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity and unity of religious expressions in China, Korea, and Japan, with readings drawn from a wide-range of texts: religious scriptures, philosophical texts, popular literature, and ethnographic studies. Special attention will be given to those forms of religion common to both the elite and popular culture: cosmology, afterlife, morality, and mythology. The course also raises more general questions concerning gender, class, political patronage, and differing concepts of religion.
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