The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Religion and Thought in Modern China: the Song, Jin, and Yuan
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Religion and Thought in Modern China: the Song, Jin, and Yuan

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

5,429 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Prof. John Lagerwey

Instructor: Prof. John Lagerwey


(44 reviews)

28 hours to complete
3 weeks at 9 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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There are 8 modules in this course

This module presents what is unique to the Song dynasty: why it can be called “modern”; how the Three Teachings were transformed and interiorization and rationalization reached new heights; how both Buddhism and Daoism, while continuing to criticize popular religion, also learned to cooperate with it.

What's included

7 videos7 quizzes

This module is about how the state, relying on the Confucian classics, controlled religion and also supported it; how the Northern Song dynasty heavily favoured Daoism, and how this allowed the deification of its ancestors not only but even of the ruling emperor.

What's included

4 videos4 quizzes

This module shows Chinese religion at the village level, how each of the four religions has its own niche, and how the earth god was at the center of the village in the Song period.

What's included

5 videos5 quizzes

This module explains how Heavenly Master Daoism came to the fore and became a collaborator with popular religion; why this meant an increased focus on exorcism; how Daoist self-cultivation became radically dualist.

What's included

5 videos5 quizzes

We are going to learn the two main forms of Buddhism in the Song, the more elite Chan, first to gain state support, and the more popular Tiantai, which created lay associations and rituals for lay persons.

What's included

5 videos5 quizzes

This module describes the emergence of a culture of Buddhist cave worship during the Period of Division. You can learn how cave murals and statues, together with texts for the water-land ritual, made the Pure Land something very concrete and real for Chinese Buddhists.

What's included

6 videos6 quizzes

This module explores the formation of Daoxue’s two strains, the one (Lu Jiuyuan) more inclusive, the other (Zhu Xi) more exclusive how Daoxue became state orthodoxy.

What's included

6 videos6 quizzes

This module illustrates how the dualism of Han and Tang Confucians was overcome by Zhu Xi and how this is related to 1) his creation of the new canon of the Four Books; 2) a positive view of the emotions; and 3) his interest in local social institutions. Understand the special place of academies in the Daoxue landscape.

What's included

5 videos5 quizzes


Instructor ratings
4.8 (5 ratings)
Prof. John Lagerwey
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
4 Courses13,187 learners

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