Pre axial ancient indigenous chinese religion slide 1

  • Saint Leo University
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Pre-Axial Ancient Indigenous Chinese ReligionSlide 1Welcome to the AVP on pre-Axial Ancient Indigenous Chinese ReligionSlide 2Slide title:TheAxial AgeSlide content:No textImage: the earth surrounded by numerous religious symbolsNarrator: Scholars call the period when the world religions were taking shape the “Axial Age,” whichlasted roughly from 600 BC to AD 200. In the early Axial Age, the major religions of China took shape,including Confucianism and Daoism. Later in the Axial Age, Buddhism came to China. In this presentationwe explore some aspects of pre-Axial Age Chinese religion that influenced all the later major religioustraditions.Slide 3 Slide title:Pre-literate Tribal ReligionSlide content:Text: “Religion changed in significant ways with the move from pre-literate tribal societiesto the civilizations in the ancient world.”Image: cross section of a buried skeletonNarrator: Tribal hunter-gatherer societies existed before civilization. Tribal religions shared commonfeatures. There was no sharp distinction between the natural and the supernatural. There were no sharp
World Religions Notesboundaries between humanity and nature. All of nature—living and non-living—was seen as an organicwhole, and as sacred. Ultimate reality was everything. There was no “creator” outside of nature.When civilizations appeared in India and Greece, a dualism between the physical and the spiritualemerged. The goodness of nature and the unity of the natural and spiritual, however, endured inChinese thought after the dawn of civilization. In fact, these Chinese beliefs were obstacles for the firstBuddhist missionaries to China. The Chinese could not view all life as suffering.Slide 4 Slide title:Animism and ShamansSlide content:No textImage: cave paintings of people throwing spears at each otherNarrator: Tribal religion was also characterized by animism, the belief in spirits everywhere to explain theunexplainable. Not understanding the workings of nature, people attributed things like storms and fruiton trees to spirits.The religious leader was the shaman. The word “shaman” comes from his role in ancient China. Shamansdeal with the spirits. In China, shamans were mediums for the manifestation and communication ofspirits. Shamans practiced primitive medicine also. Because people did not understand its natural causes,illness was also attributed to spirits. Shamans performed exorcisms to cast out evil spirits in attempts toheal the sick.Slide 5 Slide title:Ancestor WorshipSlide content:No textImage: tribal Asian family in traditional costumesNarrator: Tribal cultures also saw communities as more real and important than the individual. The deadwere still a part of society, either reincarnated or inhabiting a spiritual world that the living could access.

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