Gods, Devils and Ancestral Fathers in Chinese Religion
This course will examine different aspects of the belief in the main objects of worship in Chinese popular religion. Special attention will be given to examine the role played by gods, ghosts and ancestors in Chinese religion as well as the cultural and social background that shaped their characteristics.
During the course we will discuss issues such as: What is the role or the status ascribed to these beings in the world or the cosmic order? What role do they play in the lives of the worshippers? What is their status in relation to the believers and to other beings? What characterizes the rituals performed on their behalf? In what way and to what extent were they incorporated into Chinese Buddhism and the Daoist Religion? In what spheres are they believed to be most efficacious? Why?