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Traditional Chinese Religions and Contemporary Society

Tuesday, 3 October, 2017 - 14:30 to Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Building C
Room 5.404
Open Courses

The course is open for undergraduate students, graduate students and everyone else who is interested in Chinese culture. The main purpose of the course is to introduce the forms of Chinese religions and the functions they have in traditional Chinese society. Also the role of religions in their contemporary context are considered. The lecture starts from the introduction of the characteristics of Chinese religions and the basic ideas of 'God' and 'Heaven' in a Chinese context. Then Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and the encounter of Chinese religions with Christianity and the Western belief system are studied from a historical perspective. Moreover, the lecture opens the discussion on the influence of traditional religions on the daily life of Chinese people and the way it helps to face contemporary problems, such as ecological crisis, and cultural differences in a modern multicultural society.

Content of the Open Lectures

  • 03/10: Introduction: the nature of Chinese relgions
  • 10/10: The ancient ideas of 'God' and 'Heaven'
  • 17/10: The debates on the religious status of Confucianism
  • 24/10: The rise of Taoism as a religion
  • 31/10: The contemporary relationship between Confucianism and Taoism
  • 07/11: The characteristics and the main schools of Chinese Buddhism
  • 14/11: The meeting of Chinese religions and Christianity: From the Tang dynasty to the Qing dynasty
  • 21/11: The situation of religion in contemporary Chinese society
  • 28:11: Traditional religions and the daily life of modern Chinese people
  • 5/12: Traditional religions, cultural identity and cultural dialogue
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