Religion is one of the most important constitutes of any culture. The coexistence of many beliefs generates interest, and China is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. The book by Yang sheds light on various aspects of religion in the country and explains the present-day situation (180). Chapter 8 and Chapter 12 help not only advance one’s knowledge of historical facts but also learn the essence of the processes, and, from my perspective, this approach makes the book valuable.
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First and foremost, the depth of exploration and conclusiveness are the advantages of the chapters. I should mention that the author does an excellent and professional job of presenting the cultural heritage and its relevance to the modern era. Multiple works by other scholars and researchers are used, and their reliability is beyond doubt. Because the author manages to cover a wide range of topics, a reader has the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the subject and orientate themselves in the history of the country.
For me, the most important facts and details are connected with the relationships between the secular authorities and different religions. This information agreed with my prior knowledge and substantially extended it: for instance, I was aware of the role of monarchs in China, but the actual mechanisms of their power and control over religious issues, such as monitoring the temples construction or the monopoly on the worship of Heaven, were unknown (Yang 183). I found the data useful and thought-provoking: reading the text, I was recalling China and trying to apply the material to the modern state of affairs.
Although the chapters were enlightening, I experienced some difficulties in perceiving the information when there were no examples following a statement. However, further reading helped me: as I obtained more information, the ideas were clear.
I suppose that the chapters can be of great help to prepare for communication with Chinese people. Cooperating and interacting with them, it is necessary to understand the roots of their behavior and the preferred strategies. The core values, such as hierarchy, group orientation, and respect for the elderly and traditions, may serve as examples of how Confucianism made an impact on the society (Yang 182). I am sure it will be necessary to apply this knowledge to practice. Thus, the information presented in the chapters is useful in terms of theoretical training and real-world challenges.
Overall, the chapters under discussion contain the user data and facts that can serve as an integral part of studying the history and the culture of China. Besides, the opportunity to connect the country’s background and the modern situation is advantageous. These facts give ground to appreciate this source of information, and I find it excellent despite some difficulties pertaining to the presence of examples.
Yang, Chuan-Kwang. Religion in Chinese Society: A Study of Contemporary Social Functions of Religion and Some of Their Historical Factors. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961. Print.
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