About this course: This course provides an introduction to the study of the history, major teachings, and practices of the major Chinese religions and spiritual practices and is deigned to give conceptual tools to appreciate diverse religious practice in East. It covers the development of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and wide range of popular and local religions. From historical perspective we will also explore the development of key theological, religious and philosophical doctrines as well as associated practices. An effort will be made to spend time on each tradition according to its importance to Asia as a whole. We will explore the role of religions in politics and social relations in East and South, South East Asia and China in particular, and will analyze the origins, central teachings, divisions and branches, rituals and practices, influences on culture, and responses to modern challenges for each tradition. The emphasis throughout the course is on the hermeneutic difficulties attendant upon the study of religion in general, and Asian religions in particular. We will explore new Asian religions as dynamic, ongoing forces in the lives of individuals and in the collective experience of modern societies.