Loading...

POLSC322: Asia-Pacific Politics

Unit 1: The Impact of Religion and Philosophy on the Governance of Southeast and Northeast Asia   In this unit, you will review the fundamental tenets of five religions that have influenced Asian philosophy, culture, and politics.  An understanding of these religions is essential to gaining perspective on the issues that have impacted the region in the past and present.  Each of these religions tends to be more collectivist in their approach than the Judeo-Christian tradition, and many political scientists see this as an explanation for the types of governments that have existed in Asia from ancient times to the present. 
           
Confucianism gained adherents primarily in China and the Koreas, giving rise to “Kung Fu.” Shinto was founded in Japan, giving rise to samurai culture and imbuing Japanese emperors and their families with the status of deities for centuries, up to the end of World War II.  Taoism (also called “Daoism,” depending on the system of transliter-ation used) focuses on the interconnectivity of man with one another and with nature; it has some common elements with Buddhism, but is more of a philosophy than what we often think of as an organized religion. Buddhism began in India, and migrated eastward, claiming adherents throughout Asia. Islam began in Saudi Arabia and migrated both East and West, becoming popular throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East, Western and Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.  Presently, Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country in the world.

           
The Western ideals of the individual and the recognition of the necessity of human laws to supplement religious edicts directly conflict with many tenets of Eastern theologies and philosophies.  The importance of the “collective” and “unity” with other lives are foundational elements of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and Islam.  In analyzing current political issues in Asia and determining available options for international relations with the region, one should have a fundamental understanding of the formative religions in order to ascertain feasible options for action and collabor-ation.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 12 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 3 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between religion, culture, and society in Eastern Asia.
  • Identify key principles of Confucianism that have impacted political philosophy and government in Eastern Asia.
  • Identify key principles of Taoism that have impacted political philosophy and government in Eastern Asia.
  • Identify key principles of Shinto that have impacted political philosophy and government in Eastern Asia.
  • Identify key principles of Buddhism that have impacted political philosophy and government in Eastern Asia.
  • Identify key principles of Islam that have impacted political philosophy and government in Eastern Asia.

1.1 Confucianism   - Web Media: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Irene Bloom, “Introduction Confucian Thought” (HTML) Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators:  Irene Bloom, “Introduction Confucian Thought” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read Irene Bloom’s
piece in its entirety.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Columbia University: Irene Bloom and Robert Oxnam’s “The Axial Age in the Ancient World” Link: Columbia University: Irene Bloom and Robert Oxnam’s “The Axial Age in the Ancient World” (HTML, Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page.  Read the information on the page concerning prominent religious and philosophical figures during the Axial Age, then view the short video (2 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Stanford University: Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Confucius” Link: Stanford University: Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy,Confucius”(HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the information about the life of Confucius and his philosophy of society and politics.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 3 Link: University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 3 (PDF)
      
    Instructions: For this reading, please go to the linked page and scroll down to where Part 3, Confucianism, begins.  Please read Dr. Fieser’s summary of Confucianism.  You need not read the other sections of the article at this time.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Massachussetts Institute of Technology: Confucius’ The Doctrine of the Mean Link: Massachussetts Institute of Technology: Confucius’ The Doctrine of the Mean (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read Confucius’ The Doctrine of the Mean, paying particular attention to the latter half of the tract.  This is an excellent example of Confucian writing on society and governance.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: openflows: 3D Dialogue/Dr. Daniel Bell’s “Revival of Confucianism” Link: YouTube: openflows: 3D Dialogue/Dr. Daniel Bell’s “Revival of Confucianism” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and watch the short video (16 minutes) of Dr. Daniel Bell explaining how recent liberalization of laws pertaining to religion in China has led to a revival of Confucian practice.  Dr. Bell also discusses the impact that Confucianism has had on modern Chinese society and government.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.2 Taoism (also called “Daoism,” depending on the system of transliteration used)   - Web Media: YouTube: Misha Goussev: “Taoism and its Applications” Link: YouTube: Misha Goussev: “Taoism and its Applications” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please watch the entire video (4:13).  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Reading: University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 4 Link: University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 4 (HTML)
     
    Instructions: For this reading, please go to the linked page and scroll down to where Part 4, Taoism, begins.  Please read Dr. Fieser’s summary of Taoism.  You do not need to read the other sections of the article at this time.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: The Cato Institute: James A. Dorn’s “China's Legacy: The Thoughts of Lao Tzu” Link: The Cato Institute: James A. Dorn’s “China's Legacy: The Thoughts of Lao Tzu” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read Dr. Dorn’s brief article on the political writings of Lao Tzu.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: RMIT University: “Peter Sheldrake on the Work of Lao Tzu” Link: iTunesU: RMIT University: “Peter Sheldrake on the Work of Lao Tzu” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and view the video numbered 26, Dr. Sheldrake’s lecture on Lao Tzu and Taoism (51 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.3 Shinto   - Web Media: YouTube: Asian Art Museum: “Shinto” Link: YouTube: Asian Art Museum: “Shinto” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please watch the entire video (3:47).  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Reading: BBC: “Religion: Shinto” Link: BBC: “Religion: Shinto” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page.  Click on each “Expand All” to view links to topics and subtopics relating to Shinto.  Read the information linked under each topic and subtopic.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: BBC: “Shinto: Divinity of the Emperor” Link: BBC: “Shinto: Divinity of the Emperor”  (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the short article concerning the relationship between Shinto and the Japanese royal family.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.4 Buddhism   - Web Media: YouTube: Sister Thich Quang-Hamilton: “Introduction to Buddhism” Link: YouTube: Sister Thich Quang-Hamilton: “Introduction to Buddhism” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please watch the entire video (7:03).  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Reading: University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 2 University of Tennessee at Martin: Dr. James Fieser’s “Eastern Philosophy: An Introduction to the Classical Theories of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,” Part 2 (PDF)
     
    Instructions: For this reading, please go to the linked page and scroll down to where Part 2, Buddhism, begins.  Please read Dr. Fieser’s summary of Buddhism.  You do not need to read the other sections of the article at this time.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: International Journal: Laksiri Jayasuriya’s “Buddhism, Politics, and Statecraft” Link: International Journal: Laksiri Jayasuriya’s “Buddhism, Politics, and Statecraft” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article and click on the first link to open the PDF file.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.5 Islam   - Web Media: YouTube: Dr. Sherman Abdal Hakim Jackson: “A Short Introduction to Islam” Link: YouTube: Dr. Sherman Abdal Hakim Jackson: “A Short Introduction to Islam” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please watch the entire video (2:21).  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: Dr. Sherman Abdal Hakim Jackson: “What is Islam?” Link: YouTube: Dr. Sherman Abdal Hakim Jackson: “What is Islam?” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch the entire video (4:48).

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Northern Illinois University: Dr. Susan Russell’s “Islam: A Worldwide Religion and its Impact in Southeast Asia” Link: Northern Illinois University: Dr. Susan Russell’s “Islam: A Worldwide Religion and its Impact in Southeast Asia” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read Dr. Russell’s article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: DTIC Online, Library of Congress: Dr. Bruce Vaughn’s “Islam in South and Southeast Asia” Link: DTIC Online, Library of Congress: Dr. Bruce Vaughn’s “Islam in South and Southeast Asia” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page to download and read Dr. Vaughn’s article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: University of Michigan: Dr. Allen Hicken, Moderator, “Islam, Politics, and the State in Southeast Asia” Link: iTunesU: University of Michigan: Dr. Allen Hicken, Moderator, “Islam, Politics, and the State in Southeast Asia” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and view the panel discussion (96 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.