Syncretism in Chinese Thought

  1. Union and Disunion of the Chinese Empire
    Discuss the political, social, and geographic factors affecting the repeated union and disunion of China from the Han through the Tang dynasties. Make sure you discuss both the positive and negative aspects of union and disunion, and the impact of the “barbarian” invasions.
  2. Syncretism in Chinese Thought
    Discuss the transformation of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism from the Han through the Tang dynasties. What is the nature of this transformation and the reasons for the integration of these three schools? Why do these schools rise and fall in popularity?
  3. The Chinese Imperial System
    Discuss the development of the imperial bureaucracy and its strengths and weaknesses from the Han through Tang, paying particular attention to the role of the emperor and the imperial family, the scholar-officials, and the military. Why is the imperial system still used during the Six Dynasties era?