The 1st paper: Chinese religion and its social utility
The documentary, “The Principle and Practice of Zen,” gives you the basics of Zen Buddhism. Eastman’s article, “Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors: The Popular Religion,” (see in attachment) sums up the basic characteristics of Chinese popular religion, its practice, its clergy, as well as its social utility. Using lecture notes as a guide, your paper should sum up the essence of Buddhism and Chinese popular religion as Eastman depicted it, and use examples from Spence’s book, such as magistrate’s way to dissuade people from suicide, and his pray to the city god, to illustrate your point of view. You do not need any other sources, other than Eastman’s article, the Zen film, and Spence’s book.
The Death of Woman Wang is an insightful look into the culture and civilization of 17th Century China, specifically, the region of T’an-ch’eng. The role of a woman in China has historically been one of repression. While women are not seen as equals in T’an-ch’eng society, they held a place of esteem as long as they adhered to the strict moral code of the day. Social codes governed the actions of women and men along with the teaching of Confucius. The laws of the land and fear of shame in society dictated that men were allowed to rule over their household as the Emperor ruled over his subjects. In the stories of P’u, women are portrayed as complex characters who hold important roles in the family with almost mystical powers of will, However, they cannot rise above the feudal power given to husbands in the 17th Century. Jonathon Spence, in the Death of Woman Wang, tells the story of P’u and how he came to record the history of 17th Century culture in community of T’an-ch’eng through his own interpretations of stories and events. P’u also contributed original works during this time period on the role of men and women. P’u reflects heavily in the beginning of the book on the economic and social conditions that plagued...
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