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East Asian Religions and Cultures

East Asian Religions and Cultures

Join us for a new series where we will explore the four main religions of East Asia, looking not only at their teachings but at their broader influence in shaping East Asian cultures, values and aesthetics. From ancient texts to modern poetry, from meditation to tea ceremonies, we will examine some of the most influential movements in human history.

January 25, 2024: Confucianism

Confucius is probably one of the five most influential people to ever live…and yet he died thinking himself a failure. We will explore his teachings which have come to be the biggest and most enduring influence in East Asian culture.

February 1, 2024: Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince but he would forgo his inheritance and wealth because he felt compelled to tackle the problem of suffering he witnessed around him. We will learn about the teachings and influence of the man known as the Awakened One and how the religion he founded has shaped the lives of millions.

February 8, 2024: Daoism

Daoism is the third major religion of China and many neighbouring countries. Daoism runs deep, sometimes partly unnoticed and yet contributing so much to Chinese culture, aesthetics, medicine, and more. All from a religion of simplicity based on understanding the great Dao or Way. We will learn about Daoism’s three main forms, its enormous impact on Chinese thought and practice, and the devastation brought by Communism.

February 15, 2024: Shinto

Shinto or the way of the kami is the indigenous religion of Japan. This ancient island religion combines a reverence for both nature and ancestors. We will learn about a tradition with no founder, no sacred texts, and no clear doctrines and yet that remains the most significant religious influence in the land of the rising sun. 

You are welcome to participate in one or more, or join us for the full series. The 90 minute classes will be held online and will include time for questions and discussion. 

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