Spring 2020 - HUM 331 D100
Special Topics in Asian Religious Traditions (4)
Class Number: 5463
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Fr 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
HCC 1415, Vancouver
Exam Times + Location:
Apr 20, 2020
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby
1 778 782-3406
Studies a specific Asian religious tradition through the cultural and historical contexts that structure religious meaning. Students may repeat this course once for further credit under a different topic. Breadth-Humanities.
The ideas associated with Confucius (Kōngzi 孔子), known misleadingly as “Confucianism” outside East Asia, are identified more helpfully with the Rú 儒 or literati of ancient through early modern China, and later, Korea and Japan. Helpfully, because Rú 儒 designates a social group and as social values, power dynamics, and politics evolve so do social groups reflected both in their composition and relationship to power. The essentialist European construction represented by “Confucianism,” assumes a fixed teaching stuck in the past with outdated views ill-positioned to address contemporary issues of, for example, constitutional governance and civic virtue, property rights, social welfare, mediation, and justice. Further, the “Confucian” edifice has been viewed as either irrelevant or positively harmful in the search for new ways of understanding gender and advancing the position of women in society.
We will commence with a reading of two foundational classics compiled and composed during the Warring States period of Chinese history (475-221): Analects of Confucius (Lúnyǔ 論語) and the Mencius (Mèngzi 孟子). With a basic understanding of these texts, and the ideas they contain, we will move on to two collections of essays that situate those ideas in relation to feminist critique and social, political, economic, ecological, and educational concerns in contemporary East Asia.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
- Enhance skills in critically assessing complex arguments in academic articles.
- Develop skills in organizing an extended paper, using sources effectively, linking claims to evidence, and forming clear logically consistent arguments.
- Gain and demonstrate familiarity with classical Confucian views concerning political and social order, personal cultivation, and the function of ritual structures applied to human life.
- Become familiar with some basic ideas concerning democracy, ethics, and feminist perspectives originating out of cultural insights of both East Asian and European heritage.
- Develop an appreciation for the complexities involved in intercultural dialogue.
- Participation & Attendance 10%
- Paper Proposal (300-500 words plus an annotated bibliography) 15%
- Term Paper (4,000 - 5,000 words) 30%
- Seminar Discussion 15%
- Final Examination 30%
*** A penalty of 2% per day is applied to late assignments. Please check assignment details on the course Canvas site.
Ames, Roger T. and Henry Rosemont Jr., trans. The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1998.
Lau, D.C., trans. Mencius. London: Penguin Books, (1970) reprint 2003.
Bell, Daniel A., Hahm Chaibong, eds. Confucianism for the Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. (Available online at SFU Library)
Li, Chenyang, ed. The Sage and the Second Sex: Confucianism, Ethics, and Gender. Chicago and La Salle: Open Court, 2000.
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