The Religion of The Chinese

The Religion of The Chinese

by J.J.M. de Groot

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Overview

J. J. M. (Jan Jakob Maria) de Groot, Ph.D., (1854-1921) was a Dutch Sinologist and historian of religion. In this scholarly book published in 1910, he details the history, rituals, and beliefs of the major traditional religions of China: universal animism, polydemonism, specters, ancestral worship, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He thought that one spiritual essence could be detected beneath a great variety of religious, philosophical, and even political expressions in China, and his lifework was the discovery and exposition of that essence.

The reader should be mindful that this was written while China was still under its imperial system of government with an emperor at its head, prior to the revolutions which established a republic and later a communist system that eschewed any state religion. Currently China is officially an atheist country. The CIA World Factbook reports China's religions as "Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%". ( on Feb 4, 2013), therefore although this eBook is over 100 years old, it is still relevant to modern China's culture and traditions.

The cover image is "Confucius presenting the young Gautama Buddha to Laozi," a painting from the Qing Dynasty. This is a new cover for the eBook, not the original cover of the published book.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149066872
Publisher: Tower Publishing
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 635 KB

About the Author

Jan Jakob Maria de Groot (18 February 1854, Schiedam - 24 September 1921, Berlin) was a Dutch Sinologist and historian of religion. He taught at Leiden and later in Berlin, and is chiefly remembered for his monumental work, The Religious System of China, Its Ancient Forms, Evolution, History and Present Aspect, Manners, Customs and Social Institutions Connected Therewith. The two "books" of this detailed and well-illustrated treatise appeared in six volumes — and, according to the preface in the first volume, the System was originally meant to include several more "books". Like many then and since, he thought that one spiritual essence could be detected beneath a great variety of religious, philosophical, and even political expressions in China, and his lifework was the discovery and exposition of that essence. At the end of the 19th century, he and Schlegel were the chief ornaments of Sinology at Leiden. de Groot in 1902 moved to Berlin. (Biography from Wikipedia and the Sinology Project at University of Massachusetts in Amhurst, .)

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