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Religion of the Han Empire
October 17, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
***NOTE*** This event takes place in Room S250, CGIS South Building***
An Unknown Chinese religion from the 200s BC to 200s AD has been revealed. Led by Confucian morality, mixed with Huanglao Daoist belief and techniques, the meaning system served as the spiritual support of the Han empire. The underground is another world, with sun, moon and dipper on its sky. In that space, the tomb serves as a “palace for refining the form” after death; the dead in the tomb will undergo a process of “form refining in the grand darkness.” If one behaves according to Confucian teachings in this world, one will gain immortality at the end of this underworld process. Before Buddhism penetrated into the core of the Han tradition, this was the major belief of the Han people and formed the Han traditional spirituality and gave birth to Celestial Master Daoism.
Speaker: Dr. Jiang Sheng 姜生, Changjiang Scholar Professor of Chinese History at Sichuan University, is the leading Chinese historian in the methodological pursuit and practice of religiological historiography, i.e., to understand and interpret ancient history on the basis of religious studies. He is devoted to the study of Han tomb and Han religion — the earlier religious history before Celestial Master’s Daoism; on this topic, his recent publication is a monograph “Heritage of the Han Empire: Ghosts in Han China.” His work includes interdisciplinary study and development of culture, science and technology, esp. the cultural basis of scientific innovation and of national power. He is the PI of China’s national major project “History of Science and Technology in Daoism (Song to Qing);” in this field he has published two big volumes.