Intellectual Change in Early China: Warring States and Han

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  • MODULE 00: A Critical Cultural History of China - Introduction
    • This module introduces the key concepts that will be used throughout the course and the basic outlines of Chinese cultural history, starting with the Warring States (481-256 BCE).
  • MODULE 01: Attack on Shamanism
    • This module explains why the intellectual elite attacked traditional religious practices like divination and shamanism.
  • MODULE 02: The Emergence of Self-Cultivation Practice
    • This module presents two forms of self-cultivation—Confucian and Daoist—that emerged during the Warring States.
  • MODULE 03: The Philosophical Preparation of Political Unity
    • We are going to learn about the meaning of “transcendence” as seen in the sacrifice to Heaven of the “Son of Heaven” (the king and later the emperor) and in the new cosmology of the Dao (Way) and Qi (vital energy).
  • MODULE 04: Han Religion
    • This module is about local and imperial religion in the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 BC).
  • MODULE 05: Changing Theories of Illness
    • This module states how new theories of healing based on the cosmology of Dao and Qi, in the face of the political and social crisis of the second century CE, made way for a return of ideas of demon-caused illness.