Course Code


Course Name

Cultural History of China


Tuesday 10:30am - 1:15pm


CYT 214


Dr So Wai Ling Fion

Teaching Assistant

Ka Wai Wu

Course Description

This course will focus on the transformational change in Chinese cultural history with strong focus on the religious development during the four periods of the Warring States (481-221 BCE); the Period of Division (220-589 CE); Song-Yuan (960-1368); modern China (1850-present). The key discussion topics include the emergence of the bureaucratic empire; the emergence of elite-led popular religion/culture; Three Teachings—Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism versus Shamanism and Chinese modernity in religion. This course will conclude with discussions on the Sino-barbarian dichotomy in situating the concept of “Chineseness” in the Cultural History of China.

Course Outline

Week 1. The Attack on Shamanism (Tuesday, 9th January 2024)

Week 2. Self-Cultivation Practice (Tuesday, 16th January 2024)


Week 3. The Philosophical Preparation of Political Unity (Tuesday, 23rd January 2024)


Week 4. Religious Transformation: State versus “Zongjiao” (Tuesday, 30th January 2024)

Week 5. State Religion and Caesaropapism (Tuesday, 6th February 2024)


Week 6. Daoism in the Song and Jin (Tuesday, 20th February 2024)


Week 7. Buddhist Rituals in the Song (Tuesday, 27th February 2024)


Reading Week (4 – 9 March 2024)

Week 8. Confucianism in the Song (Tuesday, 12th March 2024)


Week 9. Presentation Week (Tuesday, 19th March 2024)


Week 10. Shamanism from the Yuan through the Qing (Tuesday, 26th March 2024)


Week 11. Science (Tuesday, 2nd April 2024)


Week 12. Womanhood and Religion (Tuesday, 9th April 2024)


Week 13. Sino–barbarian dichotomy in “Chinese” Religions (Tuesday, 16th April 2024)

Assessment & Assignments

Attendance    10%

Presentation on Research Paper Proposal   20%

Mid-term Essay (Not more than 2,000 Words)   30%

Research Paper   40%


Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.