ART and RELIGION in CHINA

 

Prof. Paola Demattè

email: pdematte@risd.edu

phone: 454 6267

Office hrs: Carr House 207, Tu. 10-11,   2-4 pm or by appointment.

 

 

This course will introduce students to the study of the arts of China through the lens of native and imported religious and philosophical traditions, exploring both elite and folk approaches to representation and belief.   After an introduction to the anthropological study of religion, we will cover four main periods: the pre-historic (Paleolithic - Neolithic), the early dynastic (ca. 2000 - 221 BCE), the imperial (221 BCE - 1911), and the modern-contemporary (post 1911). The religious and philosophical topics to be examined include: early ancestral and agrarian cults, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism (in its many varieties), Christianity, and Communist personality cult.

 

Requirements :

1 - Timely class attendance, participation, and leadership 30%

2 - Weekly page of issues on readings to be discussed in class with class leaders (selected weekly) to be emailed by everybody in the class to the instructor (pdematte@risd.edu) at least 1 hour prior to class meeting (by 12:00 noon) 15%

3 - Weekly presentations by selected student (one presentation required of all students) 15%

4 - Quizzes 20%

5 - Bibliographic research assignment 5%

6 - 5-page paper 15%

 

Assignment

Bibliographic research on a topic of your interest (select a topic and discuss it with the instructor; list bibliography; browse the material; briefly evaluate the sources; be prepared to read them for your paper; 1-3 pages max.).

 

Exams and Paper

-Four in-class quizzes

- One bibliographic research (1-2 typed pages)

- One paper based on bibliographic research with small visual project, 5-10 typed pages max + images, grad students 10-15 pages) (due last day of class).

 

Grading

Class attendance and participation 20%

Quizzes: 4, 15% each, total 60%

Bibliographic assignment and Paper 20%

 

Required Readings:

- SOMMER D. Chinese Religion. An anthology of sources.   Oxford University Press 1995

- SULLIVAN M. The Arts of China.  4th edition, University  of California Press 1999/2000

- select articles TBA

N.B. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT READINGS ARE WEEKLY REQUIREMENTS, AND THAT EACH WEEK YOU MUST ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THEIR DISCUSSION WITH YOUR SET OF ISSUES.

 


TOPICS

SEPT. 10, 2002

1. Introduction: Theories of Religion.

Animism, shamanism, ancestor cults

 

 

SEPT. 17, 2002

2. The pre-historic religion and art: Neolithic cultures

Yangshao, Hongshan, Liangzhu, Dawenkou cultures

Readings: TBA; SULLIVAN pp. 1-12

 

 

SEPT. 24, 2002

3. Ancestor Worship and Shang Elite Arts

Shang Di, oracle bone inscriptions, Anyang ritual center

Readings: TBA; SOMMER pp. 1-12; SULLIVAN pp. 13-32

 

 

OCT. 1, 2002   (QUIZ).

4. Western Zhou Religion and Feudalism

Ritual vessels, bronze inscriptions

Readings: TBA; SOMMER pp. 13-39; SULLIVAN pp. 33-42

 

 

OCT. 8, 2002

5. Philosophy and Religion in the Arts of the Eastern Zhou

Confucianism (Ruism), Taoism, Mohism, Yin-Yang 5 phases, Chu "shamanism"

Readings: SOMMER pp. 41-98; SULLIVAN pp. 43-59

 

 

OCT. 15, 2002

6. Immortality and the Early Empire: the Qin & Han dynasties

Legalism, new forms of Confucianism (Dong Zhongshu) and Taoism

Readings: SOMMER pp. 99-116; SULLIVAN pp. 60-91

 

 

OCT. 22, 2002   (QUIZ).

7. Early Buddhist & Taoist Art: the Northern & Southern Dynasties

Introduction of Buddhism, development of Taoist Church

Readings: SOMMER pp. 117-151; SULLIVAN pp. 92-121

 

 

OCT. 29, 2002

8. Later Buddhist Art: Sui & Tang Dynasties

Apogee of Buddhism in China, Manicheaism, Nestorianism

Readings: SOMMER pp. 153-180; SULLIVAN pp. 122-151

 

 

NOV. 5, 2002

9. Neo-Confucian Painting: Song & Yuan Dynasty.

Neo-Confucianism (Zhu Xi), Later Taoism

Readings: SOMMER pp. 181-223; SULLIVAN pp. 152-213

 

 

NOV. 12, 2002   (QUIZ)

10. The Ming Dynasty (BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE).

Imperial Cult

Readings: SOMMER pp. 225-246; SULLIVAN pp. 214-244

 

 

NOV. 19, 2002

11. The Qing Dynasty (+ Museum visit 2).

Later Buddhism (Lamaism), introduction of Christianity

Readings: SOMMER pp. 247-278; SULLIVAN pp. 245-273

 

 

THANKSGIVING

 

DEC. 3, 2002

12. Modern & Contemporary Periods (Final Quiz)

Conclusions, Communism and the Cult of Mao, Popular Religion

Readings: SOMMER pp. 279-342; SULLIVAN pp. 274-299