1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences


ANTH 3630: Chinese Family and Religion

Analyzes various features of traditional Chinese social organization as it existed in the late imperial period. Includes the late imperial state; Chinese family and marriage; lineages; ancestor worship; popular religion; village social structure; regional systems; and rebellion.

ANTH 3630: Chinese Family and Religion
Ethnography Area Requirement, Beyond the West

Prerequisite: Anthro 101 or equivalent social science or China-related course.  This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional forms of the Chinese family and popular religion, and their modern transformations. Heavy emphasis is on the ethnography from Taiwan where traditional forms have endured and been studied intensively. Topics to be covered include the dynamics of traditional Chinese marriage and domestic life, gender roles, the religious underpinnings of Chinese family life in ancestor worship and the Chinese cult of the dead, marriage rituals, and the cult of filial piety.  The forms of temple worship, the interaction of the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian traditions, and the shamanic tradition will also be covered.  Finally, attention will be paid to the changing role of the family and religion in twentieth century Chinese life.