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In Search of Personal Welfare: A View of Ancient Chinese Religion (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy & Culture) (Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture) Paperback – January 29, 1998


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In Search of Personal Welfare: A View of Ancient Chinese Religion (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy & Culture) (Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture) + Ancestral Landscape: Time, Space, and Community in Late Shang China, Ca. 1200-1045 B.C (China Research Monograph 53) + Zhouyi: A New Translation with Commentary of the Book of Changes (Durham East Asia Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (January 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791436306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791436301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,318,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mu-chou Poo is Research Fellow and Professor at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He is the author of several works, including Wine and Wine Offering in the Religion of Ancient Egypt; Literature by the Nile: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Literature; and Burial Styles and Ideas of Life and Death.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written and contains great snippets of primary sources to back up the points being made by the author. When writing my paper I found myself reading this book cover to cover rather than just skimming the sections I needed for my research because it provided a through overview on Chinese religion that was easy to follow.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bao Pu on April 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. It is hard to find books on ancient Chinese religion. This book is a must for students of ancient Chinese culture.

from the back cover:
This book is the first reassesment of ancient Chinese religion to appear in recent years. It provides a historical investigation of broadly shared religious beliefs and goals in ancient China from the earliest period to the end of the Han dynasty. The author makes use of recently acquired archaeological data, traditional texts, and modern scholarly work from China, Japan, and the west. The overall concern of this book is to reach the religious mentality of the ancient Chinese in the context of personal and daily experiences. Poo deals with such problems as the definition of religion, the popular/elite controversy in methodology, and the use of "elite" documents in the study of ordinary life.

from the conclusion:

"... the central theme of the religious beliefs of the ancient Chinese was the search for personal welfare, or, to use a common saying, to seek for happiness and to avoid misfortune ... It seems clear that ordinary people had similar ideas about what constituted a happy life: to keep away from sickness, fear, and hunger. This is reflected in the common saying: "Happiness is to have no misfortunes and illnesses." ... except for perhaps a few, happiness was expected to be found not in heaven but on earth."
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