'Self-power' and 'other power' in Chinese spirituality

Yao, Xinzhong (2005) 'Self-power' and 'other power' in Chinese spirituality. Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre. ISBN 9780906165584

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What is Chinese spirituality? There is no ready answer for us to give. The difficulty of defining Chinese spirituality is threefold. Firstly, the diversity of religion in China is much greater than in many other cultures, which manifests itself in several religious traditions such as Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and folk religion. This phenomenon of a single environment, locality and culture encompassing a number of diverse spiritual beliefs and practices has added enormous difficulties to the formation of a single form of spirituality. Secondly, to each tradition many streams are attached that develop in different directions. Although sharing the basic principles, these streams or strings do not always converge towards one set of spiritual pursuits, which have placed more weight on divergence rather than convergence. Thirdly, since the very beginning there have been two layers of religious life in China, one at the level of the intellectuals or upper classes, and the other of ordinary people. People living at these two levels do not always think in the same way in terms of religious faiths and practices. What appeals to ordinary peasants, manual workers and artisans would probably have been simply brushed aside as superstitions or ignorant beliefs by the educated. Fully aware of the problems in defining Chinese spirituality precisely, this paper attempts to examine the most representative aspects of religious practices concerning the approaches that have been taken in Chinese religions in order to attain the spiritual goal and the implications that each of these approaches would have for religious followers.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Series: RERC Second Series Occasional Papers;43.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experience (Religion), China, Spirituality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre > Second Series of Occasional Papers
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Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2014 09:23
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2016 15:30
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/456

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