The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Religious Piety in Ancient China, Egypt and Mesopotamia


 (2014-15 Semester 1)

Course Instructor: Prof. Poo, Mu-chou
Office: Rm 102, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Phone: (852) 3943 7114

Teaching Assistant: Mr. Bi, Yun

Course Period: Wednesdays, 16:30-18:15

Venue: LSK 302

Medium of Instruction: English

This course offers a comparative understanding of the religious systems of ancient China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Students with previous knowledge or have taken courses in one or more of the areas covered by this course are encouraged to attend. Basic to the course is to read and discuss the essential religious documents (in translation) as well as modern studies concerning the nature and content of the religious systems of the three ancient cultures. In order to have a better historical perspective, we shall also deal with the growth and development of each of these cultures, concentrating on their social structures. The focal point of the entire course is to compare the three religious systems: how did they evolve, in what kind of social and political contexts, under the influence of what kind of cosmological thinking, and what similar or different aspects can we discover and explain—both in their terms and in our terms. By seeking an (or multiple) explanation of the nature of the religious piety of these ancient cultures, which had inseparable relationship with the world today, it is expected that we can also gain some insight into later and even contemporary religious life.