will be a 5-page (1500 word minimum) essay for each of the three main
traditions covered in the course: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.
Please note that you
are required to use a minimum of five “academic” (i.e. peer-reviewed)
and must provide appropriate citations for both direct and indirect
using “Chicago Style” footnotes and bibliography. If you have any doubts regarding what does or
does not constitute plagiarism, please refer to the college’s plagiarism policy.
Essays that contain significant instances of plagiarism will receive a 0 and be
reported to the Office of Academic Affairs.|
The Unity/Diversity of Daoism
1 For a summary of the debate, see Mario Poceski, Introducing Chinese Religions (London: Routledge, 2009), 61-3. For the individual positions listed above, see Herlee G. Creel, What is Taoism? And Other Studies in Chinese Cultural History (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970), 1-24; Russell Kirkland, Taoism: The Enduring Tradition (New York: Routledge, 2004), 172-210; Ronnie Littlejohn, Daoism: An Introduction (London: I. B. Tauris, 2009), 1-5; and Isabelle Robinet, Taoism: Growth of a Religion, trans. Phyllis Brooks (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997), 1-23.
Self Power/Other Power in Chinese Buddhism
Although numerous schools of Chinese Buddhism had developed by the end of the Tang dynasty (618-907), most sects were seriously weakened by the collapse of the Tang … with the exception of the Chan and Pure Land traditions, which gradually merged into a generic form of Buddhism that continues to represent mainstream Chinese Buddhism to this day. Ironically, Chan emphasizes “self power” (attaining awakening through one’s own efforts), whereas Pure Land advocates “other power” (attaining awakening through the power of buddhas and bodhisattvas) — two approaches that would appear to be mutually exclusive. Discuss the relationship between “self power” and “other power” in Chinese Buddhism and explain why these two paths can — or cannot — be harmoniously integrated into a coherent and comprehensive approach to Buddhism that is consistent with the teachings of the historical Buddha. Please note that your paper must include references to both Footprints in the Snow (the autobiography of Chan Master Sheng Yen) and your experience at Foguangshan (or another Chinese Buddhist temple).
Is Confucianism a Religion or a Philosophy?
1 Mario Poceski, Introducing Chinese Religions (London/New York: Routledge, 2009), 35-6.