101 Questions and Answers on Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto

101 Questions and Answers on Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto

by John Renard


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101 Questions and Answers on Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto by John Renard

In this concise, user-friendly volume, John Renard introduces readers to the major historical, cultural, spiritual, and theological points of interest about Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. This book identifies and explains the religious and sacred elements of these three major traditions, which are indigenous to China and Japan, in addition to exploring their ethical and philosophical dimensions as well as their community structures and impact.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809140916
Publisher: Paulist Press
Publication date: 11/01/2002
Series: Responses to 101 Questions... Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

1Beginnings and Early Sources5
1.Who was Confucius and what do traditional accounts tell us about his life?7
2.What are the origins of "Confucianism"? Who were the Literati?8
3.How is the Chinese Imperial Tradition (CIT) related to "Confucianism"?9
4.What were the earliest Confucian sacred texts? Has Confucian tradition included any other sacred texts in its canon?11
5.Who was Laozi, and what was his connection with the origins of religious Daoism and its scriptures?13
6.What is religious Daoism and how does it differ from "Chinese Community Traditions" (CCT)?14
7.Were there other important Daoist scriptures? And did an official canon of Daoist sacred texts ever develop?16
8.What is Shinto and what are its origins?18
9.What are the earliest important Shinto sacred texts?18
10.Were Shinto's sacred texts ever gathered into a formal scriptural canon?19
11.Are there important "mythic" elements in these traditions?20
12.Who are some of the principal Shinto deities, apart from those mentioned in the primal myth?23
2Development and Spread25
13.If Confucius and Laozi were not considered divine early on, how did they come to assume so lofty a stature?27
14.What chief deities and other important sacred personages eventually came to form the Daoist pantheon?28
15.How have Daoist/CCT history and myth come together in the stories of the Jade Emperor, Guandi, and the Yellow Emperor?30
16.What was the relationship between religious ritual and the power of the Chinese imperial court?32
17.Have the Chinese traditions ever been intimately dentified with specific political regimes, the way Shinto became Japan's "national" creed?34
18.Is there a distinctively Confucian interpretation of history?36
19.Have there been any important Confucian reform movements? What are Neo-Confucianism and Neo-Daoism?37
20.What is the historical importance of the developments known as Dual Shinto and the School of National Learning?39
21.How would you sum up the history of Confucianism?41
22.How would you summarize the history of religious Daoism?42
23.How would you sum up the history of Shinto?43
3Doctrines and Practices45
24.Is creed an important concept in the major Chinese and Japanese traditions?47
25.Are "doctrine" and "dogma" important concepts in Chinese and Japanese religion?48
26.Is the concept of revelation useful in understanding the traditions of China and Japan?50
27.Does belief in an afterlife play an important role in Chinese and Japanese religious thought?52
28.Are salvation or redemption important concepts?54
29.What kind of ritual calendar do these traditions observe?55
30.How important is the concept of "ritual" in Confucianism and the CIT? Could you describe an example of an annual CIT ritual occasion?58
31.What regular or annual observances have been part of Confucian/CIT tradition?59
32.What are the major types of Daoist religious observance?61
33.What are some of the major festivities Shinto practitioners celebrate?64
34.What place does purification occupy in Shinto ritual? And what are the main features of major shrine rituals?66
4Authority, Law, and Ethics71
35.Are there critical concepts about the nature of the human person?73
36.How do Confucians, Daoists, and adherents of Shinto think about the goal of human life?74
37.Is there a distinctive religious or theological "ethic" in these traditions?75
38.What is the principal Confucian virtue? What is meant by "rectification of names"?78
39.What is the basic Confucian concept of appropriate moral leadership? And what is the Mandate of Heaven?79
40.Is there a central teaching authority in any of the major Chinese and Japanese traditions?81
41.Have the Chinese and Japanese evolved discrete systems of religious law?82
42.Are there important hierarchical structures in these religious traditions?84
43.How does the hierarchy among Shinto shrines work?87
44.What are some of the main varieties of officials or ritual specialists?88
45.How are leaders chosen and vested with authority?90
5Spirituality and Popular Piety93
46.What do these traditions say about ultimate spiritual reality?95
47.Are miracles an important element in the spirituality of these traditions?98
48.Are relics significant in these traditions?99
49.Is there such a thing as a saint in Chinese and Japanese religious traditions?100
50.Do these traditions celebrate the birthdays of any religious figures or honor them on "feast days"?104
51.Have there been any Confucian, Daoist, or Shinto mystics?106
52.Has martyrdom ever been important in the history of the Chinese and Japanese traditions?107
53.Do Confucians, Daoists, and adherents of Shinto believe in angels or devils?108
54.Given the ubiquitous presence of spirits, is exorcism an important practice in Chinese or Japanese traditions?111
55.What role do dreams and visions, or other spirit-manifestations, play?113
56.Is the practice of divination prominent in Chinese and Japanese spiritualities?114
57.How do Chinese and Japanese faith traditions deal ritually with death and mourning?116
6Religion and Artistic Expression121
58.Are there any signs or symbols that might identify an individual as an adherent of a particular Chinese or Japanese tradition?123
59.What signs or symbols distinguish ritual specialists in the Chinese and Japanese traditions?124
60.Is there such a thing as Confucian or Shinto art or aesthetics?127
61.Do Confucians mark their sacred spaces with any distinctive signs and symbols?128
62.Are there symbolic dimensions in CIT sacred spaces?129
63.Are Daoist and CCT sacred spaces marked with any distinctive signs and symbols?131
64.Do Shinto practitioners mark their sacred spaces with any distinctive signs and symbols?132
65.Do numbers, colors, or elements of nature have symbolic meaning in the Chinese traditions?134
66.Are statues and other visual imagery important in Daoist and CCT temples?135
67.What is the symbolism of the trigrams and their various permutations called hexagrams? Are there any other common Chinese religious symbols?137
68.What kinds of ritual objects are important in Chinese and Japanese traditions?139
69.How important is music in the Chinese and Japanese traditions?141
70.Is dance also a significant ingredient in these traditions?143
7Internal Diversity and External Relations145
71.Have there been any sub-communities or denominations within Confucianism?147
72.Have there been any important sub-communities or denominations within Daoism?148
73.Are there any sub-communities or denominations within Shinto? Have "orthodoxy" and "heresy" been significant Shinto concepts?150
74.Is the phenomenon of conversion into the traditions of China and Japan important?152
75.Have the Chinese and Japanese religious traditions typically sent out missionaries to convert others?153
76.Do people ever decide they want to depart from Daoism/CCT or Shinto?155
77.How would you sum up Confucianism's historical relationships to other traditions?156
78.How would you describe Daoism's relationships to other traditions?157
79.What issues have characterized Shinto's relationships to other traditions?158
8Women, Family, and Society161
80.What gender-related issues have been important in these traditions? Have women exercised religious leadership and authority?163
81.Who are some important female deities?166
82.Has religiously sponsored education played an important role?168
83.What other religious institutions have supported community life in Chinese and Japanese traditions?170
84.What are the most important gathering places or communal religious venues?172
85.Are there standard forms of group liturgical worship?174
86.What rites do Shinto practitioners perform in their shrines?178
87.What does the Shinto term "matsuri" mean and how does it explain the importance of community?179
88.How about worship at home and through the day, in smaller groupings, when people are not in temples and shrines?180
89.Could you give examples of some important "rites of passage"?181
90.Are there distinctive rituals or beliefs around marriage and family life?183
91.What are the Confucian and Literati views of ancestor veneration? What about Daoism/CCT and Shinto?184
92.Has the practice of religious pilgrimage been an important ingredient in the fostering of religious community in China and Japan?186
9Chinese and Japanese Traditions Here and Now189
93.How have the major Chinese and Japanese traditions spread significantly beyond their lands of origin?191
94.Where do adherents of the great Chinese and Japanese traditions live today? Are any estimates of numbers available?192
95.Are there any historic monuments linking China's present to its imperial religion of old (CIT)?194
96.If I visited a Chinese temple today, what would I see?197
97.If I visited a Shinto shrine today, what would I see?200
98.Do millennialism or messianism have a place in the Chinese and Japanese traditions? Does the sect called Falun Gong have any such associations?201
99.Are there any holy places of contemporary significance?204
100.What do the current practices of taijiquan, divination, fengshui, and accupuncture/accupressure have to do with Chinese religious traditions?206
101.Has the Japanese Emperor remained religiously important even with the Japanese loss of World War II? And were the kamikaze pilots associated with Shinto?209
Varieties, Schools, and Sub-Communities213

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