Daoism, Shamanism and Shinto: Indigenous Religions of East Asia
This course introduces religious traditions originated and developed in China, Korea and Japan. We will first study Daoist and Confucian scriptures of Daodejing, Zhuangzi, Analects and Mencius, followed by an examination of their religious history and practices. We will explore the traditions of Korean Shamanism and Japanese Shinto next, paying close attention to their legends, worldview, ritual practices and the role of women. We will also study "New Religions" common to all three countries from the 19th century onward. Lastly, the course will investigate how "imported" religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Communism were reshaped by the indigenous religions, and vice versa.