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Ancient Chinese Religion The Shang and Zhou Dynasties 商 - 周.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Chinese Religion The Shang and Zhou Dynasties 商 - 周."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Ancient Chinese Religion The Shang and Zhou Dynasties 商 - 周

3 Ancient Chinese Civilization Prehistory Yang-shao ( BCE) 仰韶 Long-shan ( BCE) 龍山 Mythic Period 三皇五帝 (“dated” BCE) “Tang Dynasty” “Yü Dynasty” “Xia Dynasty” Fuxi ( 伏羲 ) Nüwa ( 女媧 ) Shennong ( 神農 ) Huang-di ( 黄帝 ) Zhuanxu ( 顓頊 ) Emperor Ku ( 帝嚳 ) Emperor Yao ( 堯 ) Emperor Shun ( 舜 ) Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Shang Beginning of Recorded History: The Oracle Bones Classical Period Zhou Dynasty ( BCE) Western Zhou Eastern Zhou Spring & Autumn Period Warring States Period Kongzi (6 th c BCE) Mengzi (4 th c BCE) Xunzi (3 rd c BCE) Laozi (? - ? BCE) Zhuangzi (4 th c BCE) Mozi (5 th c BCE) Qin Qin ( BCE)"Burning of the books"

4 Shang and Zhou Religion A. Ancient Chinese Civilization ( BCE) The Pre-Historic Period B. The Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Shang Foundations of Modern Chinese Religion C. The Zhou Dynasty ( BCE)

5 A. Ancient Chinese Civilization ( BCE) The Pre-Historic Period B. The Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Shang Foundations of Modern Chinese Religion C. The Zhou Dynasty ( BCE)

6 Archeological discoveries 周口店 Zhoukoudian (500,000 BCE) 仰韶 Yangshao ( BCE) 龍山 Longshan ( BCE)

7 周口店

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9 半坡 仰韶文化

10 Yang-shao ( BCE) Settlement around rivers “Flash and burn” agriculture Domesticated dogs, pigs, goats, silkworms Supplemented diet with hunting & gathering Stone implements Grain storage pits within the houses Painted pottery Few weapons found Houses of wood, straw, and mud, sometimes semi- subterranean – doors facing south Burial grounds separated from the village, some including more than one village, suggesting regional kinship relations No signs of social stratification in houses and graves Burial of deer with humans, pottery and implements 半坡, 4500 BCE (excavated ) 仰韶

11 龍山文化

12 Long-shan ( BCE) Permanently settled villages Rammed earth walls Irrigation Rice, peaches, melons, peanuts, beans Cattle, sheep, pigs, water buffalo Wheel-made pottery Weapons and fortified villages Evidence of bone and shell divination Developing social stratification More elaborate burials 龍山

13 Yangshao and Longshan Cultural Contrasts (from K.C. Chang, Archeology of Ancient China) Yangshao ( ) Shifting settlements Domesticated pigs & dogs Geographically confined Game-hunting tools Handmade pottery No defensive works Burial practice indicating age and sex differentiation Evidence of “fertility cult” Longshan ( ) Permanent settlements Domesticated cattle & sheep Far-reaching expansions Harvesting tools Wheel-spun pottery Defensive walls & weapons Burial practice indicating social stratification Evidence of “ancestral cult”

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15 Evidence of Pre-historic Religion (multiple Neolithic cultures) 1. Tomb offerings: 2. Placement of graves 3. Deer burial 4. Divination tools pottery jade

16 The Prehistoric Period in Chinese Myth The “Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors” 三皇五帝 Dating to the Han Dynasty (2 nd c. BCE), but purporting to describe events ca BCE

17 三皇五帝 Fuxi ( 伏羲 ) Nüwa ( 女媧 ) Shennong ( 神農 ) Huang-di ( 黄帝 ) Zhuanxu ( 顓頊 ) Emperor Ku ( 帝嚳 ) Emperor Yao ( 堯 ) Emperor Shun ( 舜 )

18 Legends of Fu-xi 伏羲 China’s “First Emperor” First of the 三皇 “Mythical Emperors” Survivor of the great flood -- “inventor” of fishing, trapping, writing, civilized domestic life With sister Nű-wa ( 女媧 – second of the 三皇 ), procreator of humankind, making companions of clay

19 “ 伏羲坐像 ” 馬麟 (13 th c.) In the beginning there was as yet no moral or social order. Men knew their mothers only, not their fathers. When hungry, they searched for food; when satisfied, they threw away the remnants. They devoured their food hide and hair, drank the blood, and clad themselves in skins and rushes. Then came Fu Xi 伏羲 and looked upward and contemplated the images in the heavens, and looked downward and contemplated the occurrences on earth. He united man and wife, regulated the five stages of change, and laid down the laws of humanity. He devised the eight trigrams, in order to gain mastery over the world. Ban Gu, Baihu tongyi ( 白虎通義 ), Han Dynasty (trans. by Richard Wilhelm) Legends of Fu Xi Perhaps corresponding to what period?

20 Legends of Shen-nong 神農 “The ancient people ate meat of animals and birds. [When] there were so many people that the animals and birds became inadequate for the people’s needs, Shen-nong taught the people to cultivate. “There was a red bird holding in its mouth a cereal stalk with nine ears. Some of the grains fell to the ground. Millet rained from heaven. Shen-nong picked them up and cultivated them in the field. Those who ate the grains lived long and did not die. “Shen-nong invented wooden agricultural implements and taught the whole world his inventions. He instituted the market held at noon. He administered all the peoples of the world and gathered their produce in the markets. After exchanging their goods, the people went back to their homes and rested contented” Translated by K.C. Chang, The Archaeology of Ancient China (1963) Shu-jing 書經 (Western Han) Perhaps corresponding to what period? -- third of the 三皇

21 The Divine Farmer‘s Herb-Root Classic ( 神農本草經 ) Dating to Western Han (2 nd c. BCE) but attributed to Shennong A Taoist foreshadowing? Place in the Taoist Canon

22 A. Ancient Chinese Civilization ( BCE) The Pre-Historic Period B. The Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Shang Foundations of Modern Chinese Religion C. The Zhou Dynasty ( BCE)

23 Ancient Chinese Civilization Mythic Period 三皇五帝 (“dated” BCE) “Tang Dynasty” “Yü Dynasty” “Xia Dynasty” Fuxi ( 伏羲 ) Nüwa ( 女媧 ) Shennong ( 神農 ) Huang-di ( 黄帝 ) Zhuanxu ( 顓頊 ) Emperor Ku ( 帝嚳 ) Emperor Yao ( 堯 ) Emperor Shun ( 舜 ) Shang Beginning of Recorded History: The Oracle Bones Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Classical Period Zhou Dynasty ( BCE) Western Zhou Eastern Zhou Spring & Autumn Period Warring States Period Kongzi (6 th c BCE) Mengzi (4 th c BCE) Xunzi (3 rd c BCE) Laozi (? - ? BCE) Zhuangzi (4 th c BCE) Mozi (5 th c BCE) Qin ( BCE)"Burning of the books"

24 The Shang 商 Dynasty ( BCE) 1. Hereditary kings 2. Large landholdings 3. Armed warfare 4. Human sacrifice 5. Earliest writing 6. Bronze casting

25 Shang Dynasty Religion Shangdi 上帝 Royal Ancestors Nature Spirits

26 Interaction with Deities Sacrifices Divination

27 Oracle Bones 1. Materials 2. Inscriptions 3. Procedure 4. Contents 5. Values and themes

28 Takashima Kenichi Plastron shell 1

29 Oracle-bone Inscriptions 1. Preface/postface: time, diviner, place 2. Questions: prayers, predictions, or plans 3. The prognostication: interpretation of the cracks by the king 4. Verification: confirming accuracy Ox scapula 2

30 On the day gui-hai (60 th day), the king made cracks and divined: “In the next 10 days there will be no disasters.” The king read the cracks and said: “Auspicious.” On the day gui-zhou (50 th day), the king made cracks and divined: “In the next 10 days there will be deer [from the hunt].” The king read the cracks and said: “Auspicious.” Preface prognostication verification 3

31 Guess the Glyph*! Let’s play *A sculptured mark or symbol (Oxford English Dictionary)

32 Shang Inscriptions 甲骨文 jiǎgǔwén

33 Shang Inscriptions 甲骨 jiǎgǔ 文

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35 Contents of Oracle-bone inscriptions sacrifices military campaigns hunting expeditions excursions the coming ten-day week the coming night or day the weather agriculture sickness childbirth distress and trouble dreams settlement building orders tribute payments divine assistance or approval requests addressed to ancestral or nature powers 4

36 Values and themes 1. Whenever possible, cracks were interpreted auspiciously 2. Only verifications were recorded, never errors, emphasizing the power and accuracy of the king 3. Complementarity: reality as a series of balanced dualisms 4. Use of writing as a religio-political tool 5

37 Abiding features of Shang religion Centrality of ancestor worship / spirits of the dead Bureaucratization of the afterworld Offerings of meat, grain, and wine Ritualization of nature Continuum of heaven and earth, dead and living (the cosmos as an inter-related whole) Reciprocity, mutuality Priestly / magical power over the spirit world

38 A. Ancient Chinese Civilization ( BCE) The Pre-Historic Period B. The Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Shang Foundations of Modern Chinese Religion C. The Zhou Dynasty ( BCE)

39 Ancient Chinese Civilization Mythic Period 三皇五帝 (“dated” BCE) “Tang Dynasty” “Yü Dynasty” “Xia Dynasty” Fuxi ( 伏羲 ) Nüwa ( 女媧 ) Shennong ( 神農 ) Huang-di ( 黄帝 ) Zhuanxu ( 顓頊 ) Emperor Ku ( 帝嚳 ) Emperor Yao ( 堯 ) Emperor Shun ( 舜 ) Shang Beginning of Recorded History: The Oracle Bones Shang Dynasty ( BCE) Classical Period Zhou Dynasty ( BCE) Western Zhou Eastern Zhou Spring & Autumn Period Warring States Period Kongzi (6 th c BCE) Mengzi (4 th c BCE) Xunzi (3 rd c BCE) Laozi (? - ? BCE) Zhuangzi (4 th c BCE) Mozi (5 th c BCE) Qin ( BCE)"Burning of the books"

40 Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE – 256 BCE) BCE (capitals: various) BCE (capital: Luoyang)

41 Dating All dates B.C.E. 商 朝 Shang Dynasty 西 周 Western Zhou (Chou) Dynasty 東 周 Eastern Zhou (Chou) Dynasty 春 秋 Spring & Autumn Period 戰 國 Warring States Period Shang W. Zhou E. Zhou Spring & Autumn Warring States

42 Zhou Dynasty Religion Heaven ( 天 Tian) : the Zhou high god, increasingly “depersonalized” Ancestor worship (spirits of the dead) The cult of the Earth (“nature” spirits)

43 The Mandate of Heaven 天命 Shang overthrow (1066 BCE) Religious justification: “For his many crimes, the King of Shang has been punished by Heaven. Heaven is going by means of me to rule the people.” ( 史記 Shi ji – Book of History) Divine/Moral right to rule

44 Speaking to the Shang nobles, the Duke of Zhou explained: King Wu of Zhou possessed a mandate which said, ‘Destroy the Shang Dynasty.’ Because our actions did not go contrary to Heaven’s course of action, your Royal House has come under our control. I will explain it to you. Your ruler was greatly lawless. Our house did not originate this movement against your house. It came from your own court. When I reflect that Heaven has applied such great severity to the Shang ruler, it shows that he was not upright.” From the 書經 Shu jing (Book of Documents) See Ivanhoe and Van Norden, pp. xiii-xiv 天命

45 Popular deities of the Eastern Zhou God of the hearth Deities of city gates and city walls, roads Deities of stars and constellations, sun, moon Deities of mountains and rivers, wind and rain

46 Religious specialists of the Eastern Zhou Diviners Dream-interpreters Interpreters of extraordinary phenomena Exorcists Shamans

47 Dating All dates B.C.E. 商 朝 Shang Dynasty 西 周 Western Zhou Dynasty 東 周 Eastern Zhou Dynasty 春 秋 Spring & Autumn Period 戰 國 Warring States Period Shang W. Zhou E. Zhou Spring & Autumn Warring States

48 The Warring States Period ( )

49 Religious Decline of the Warring States Period Decline of royal ancestral rites Decline in power of the royal ancestors Use of religion for political purposes Idea of “individual mandates” Strengthening of the “Six Schools” Growing allegiance to nature deities of localities Growing religious skepticism

50 Religious Decline of the Warring States Period Shi jing 204 Shi jing 272 詩經

51 Growing religious skepticism: Heaven is violent and terrifying. He does not foresee, He does not calculate the future. He pardons those who have committed crimes. Even those who have already expiated their sins as well as those who have committed no crimes at all are [still] made to suffer. Heaven is not just. He sends down these great quarrels. Heaven is not kind. He sends down these great oppressions. Heaven is not just. From the 詩經 Shi jing (Book of Poetry) -- trans. by Homer Dubs

52 The Birth of Philosophy in the Warring States Period ( BCE) 1. Ru 儒 家 Confucians (known as “Ritualists” or “Scholars,” “Erudites”): dedicated to the restoration of political and social conditions established by the Duke of Zhou centuries earlier (Kongzi, Mengzi, Xunzi) 2. Mo 墨 家 Mo-ists: followers of the philosopher Mozi who taught the doctrines of radical pacificism and “universal love” (Mozi) 3. Fa 法 家 Realists (or “Legalists”): dedicated to a Real-politik of political power, social control, and law and order (Han Feizi) 4. Dao 道 家 Dao-ists: recluses who rejected shi status, “civil” society and its values (“Laozi,” Zhuangzi) 5. Ming 名家 School of Names (or “Dialecticians,” “Logicians,” “Sophists”): dedicated to the study of language and logic, perhaps as a rejection of political engagement (Gongsun Longzi, Huizi) 6. Fang-shi 方 士 Yin-yang Cosmologists: dedicated to the study of the cosmos and its interrelations (many)

53 The Qin Dynasty ( BCE)

54 焚書坑儒 Fénshū Kēngrú " 相李斯曰:「臣請史官非秦記皆燒之。非博士官所職,天下敢有 D 詩、書、百家語者 ,悉詣守、尉雜燒之。有敢偶語詩書者棄市。以古非今者族。吏見知不舉者與同罪。 令下三十日不燒,黥為城旦。所不去者,醫藥卜筮種樹之書。若欲有学法令,以吏为 师」 ", from Shiji Chapter 6. “The Basic Annals of the First Emperor of Qin,” thirty fourth year (213 BC). Chancellor Li Si Said: "I, your servant, propose that all historian's records other than those of Qin's be burned. With the exception of the academics whose duty includes possessing books, if anyone under heaven has copies of the Shi Jing, the Classic of History, or the writings of the hundred schools of philosophy, they shall deliver them (the books) to the governor or the commandant for burning. Anyone who dares to discuss the Shi Jing or the Classic of History shall be publicly executed. Anyone who uses history to criticize the present shall have his family executed. Any official who sees the violations but fails to report them is equally guilty. Anyone who has failed to burn the books after thirty days of this announcement shall be subjected to tattooing and be sent to build the Great Wall. The books that have exemption are those on medicine, divination, agriculture and forestry. Those who have interest in laws shall instead study from officials. " 於是使御史悉案問諸生,諸生傳相告引,乃自除。 1 犯禁者四百六十餘人,皆阬之咸陽 ,使天下知之,以懲後。益發謫徙邊。始皇長子扶蘇諫曰:「天下初定,遠方黔首未 集,諸生皆誦法孔子,今上皆重法繩之,臣恐天下不安。唯上察之。」 ", from Shiji chapter 6. The first emperor therefore directed the imperial censor to investigate the scholars one by one. The scholars accused each other, and so the emperor personally determined their fate. More than 460 of them were buried alive at Xianyang, and the event is announced to all under heaven for warning followers. More people were internally exiled to border regions. Fusu, the eldest son of the emperor, counselled: "The empire just achieved peace, and the barbarians in distant areas have not surrendered. The scholars all venerate Confucius and take him as a role model. Your servant fears if Your Majesty punish them so severely, it may cause unrest in the empire. Please observe this, Your Majesty." ( 1 Punctuation and therefore translation is ambiguous here. Punctuation given here reflects the 1959 Zhonghua Shuju ( 中華書局 ) edition.)

55 Review Earliest archeological evidence suggests religious beliefs and practices surrounding death and afterlife (“ancestor worship”) Pre-historical religion suggests social stratification Han Dynasty myths of the “Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors” recall Neolithic features of hunting-and-gathering and early-settlement societies Writing appears in the Shang Dynasty in oracle bone inscriptions The oracle bones indicate the religious power of the king, emphasis on divination, and dualistic conceptualization of reality The Zhou overthrow is justified by appeal to the “Mandate of Heaven” The “birth of philosophy” is tied to the Six Schools of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty The Warring States Period (later Eastern Zhou) witnesses religious decline and the depersonalization of Heaven Few philosophical-religious movements are spared the “burning of the books” of the First Emperor of Qin


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