Politics and religion from ancient China
Politics and religion from ancient China
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics and religion from ancient China
Politics and religion from China
Author: Paulo Arieu
I – Politic:
In China's current politics, there are three main structures: Communist Party, People of
liberation and State Army. Actually, the head of State is the President of the Republic of China
Hu Jintao (García-Purriños, 2012). But, according to tradition, there were five dynasties, being
the first Chinese dynasty inherited, the tradition of the Xia (1994-1766 B.C.), but the Shang were
the first dynasty with historical evidence (Mauro, 11-25-2008). Instable politic period was the
characteristic of that political stage.
a. Shang’s Dinasty (1766 a 1027 a. C.)
He ruled in the territory of the current provinces of Henan, Hubei, Shandong and northern part of
Anhui, in Central and North China (Mauro, 11-25-2008).Surely, it was a high civilization!
b. Zhou’s Dinasty (1122 a 256 a. C.)
The Zhou has exercised direct control over the region of the Valley of the river Yang-tse-Kiang.
They delegated authority to vassals (Mauro, 11-25-2008). This dynasty has the power in the
ancient China for approximated a millennium,
The Zhou of the east:
They maintained control over their domains until the 770 B.C., when some States rebelled and
expelled the Zhou. In this dynasty, China entered the iron age (Mauro, 11-25-2008). The event
that marks the beginning of the Eastern Zhou period was that they moved the capital to Luoyang.
c. The Qin dynasty (221-206 a C.):
In 221 BC, the King of Qin proclaimed himself Qin Shi Huangdi, or the first emperor of the Qin
dynasty. The word "China" is derived from this dynasty (Mauro, 11-25-2008). In this period, the
Qin has wished to create an imperial state that it will be political unified and able to support to
the military power.
d. The Han’s dynasty (206 a. C. a 9 d. C.):
Liu Bang, a leader of humble origin, eliminated the other pretenders to the throne and
proclaimed himself emperor (206 A.C). This dynasty would be the most lasting of the Imperial
Era. In this dynasty Confucianism was set as official ideology (Mauro, 11-25-2008). That four
centuries segment period of the Han Dynasty was a golden age in Chinese history
II. Religion and philosophy
The first religion of China was the worship towards the unknown and strength that man may
have natural phenomena. The Chinese, they related the conduct by the individual with the
phenomena of the universe. Currently, religion in China is polythe istic and syncretic and
dominates Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity (Mauro, 11-25-2008). Although officially the
freedom of religion is a constitutional right of every Chinese citizen, certain current reports
speak of a strong intolerance toward Christianity (Llera Vazques, n.d.). Three major religious
systems stand out in ancient China: Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism:
a) Confucius: Confucius was Kong Qiu, or Kong Zhongni (551 BC - 479 BC). He was a wise
thinker, politician and educator of his time. In his old age, wrote the book annals of spring and
autumn and revised Li and Le, classics of China. After his death, his disciples collected his
sayings in the Analects book (Mauro, 11-25-2008). He was a great teacher, editor, politician and
philosopher of great spring and autumn period in Chinese history. He was famous about the early
gold rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
b) Taoism and Confucianism: Confucius was Kong Qiu, or Kong Zhongni (551 BC - 479 BC).
After his death, his disciples collected his sayings in the Analects book. The second religion in
China was that of Lao-Tse is the reason founded in the rationalist doctrines of Tao (Mauro, 11-
25-2008). It’s interesting to know, that the expression “Tao” means "way", "path" or "principle"
and it can be founded in other philosophies or other religions than Taoism.
c) Buddhism: It is the philosophy adopted by Siddhartha Gautama (ca. 566-486 BC) in Nepal. It
is based on the four Buddha’s visions: a) a sick man, b) an old man, c) a dead man and d) a
roving ascetic (Ramos, n.d.). It appeared in China for the first time during the Han dynasty,
having entered China from India (Tudiscovery, n.d.). The Buddhists don’t revere a man as God
or worship at a god, but follow a system of thought, meditation and exercises based on the
teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha, the Enlightened One) spirit. Buddha wasn’t a god; he
was only a good oriental philosopher. So, Buddhism is the only major religion that not theorizes
about a Creator God or a cult addressed to it
García-Purriños, Tomás V. Sistema Político en China. (2012) Recover from
Llera Vázquez, Pedro L. Persecuciones. (n.d.). Catholic.net. Recover from
Mauro. China Antigua. (11-25-2008). Recover from
Ramos, Marcos Antonio. Nuevo Diccionario de Religiones, Denominaciones y Sectas. (n.d.)
Tudiscovery. China Antigua. (n.d.) Recover from