china3 - Treyton Moy Asian 212 Week 3: Question 2 Section...

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Treyton Moy Section 17 Asian 212 2/7/08 Week 3: Question 2 The excerpt from the Book of Documents reveals a great deal about common beliefs during the Zhou period specifically concerning Heaven, ancestors, government, and the weather. First, Heaven is not described as a place, but rather a force or will and desire of the spiritual world. According to the Duke of Zhou, Heaven has granted the three ancestor kings the power of responsibility over the living and current King Wu. Both Heaven and ancestors are intertwined as the Duke of Zhou pleads to his ancestors to confirm its will and the mandate of Heaven. The duke prays to the ancestors that they would help spare the King and if necessary take the duke in his stead. He mentions that Heaven has conferred the precious mandate on the ruling king, and desires for the ancestors to not let the mandate fail, so that King Wu can prosper the legacy and lineage of the ancestor kings. Clearly, politics or the government is deeply intertwined with the concepts of ancestor worship and Heaven.
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