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Asian Studies: Global Asian Religions

Course Description

This course is an introductory survey of some of the major religious traditions of Asia, focusing on those indigenous to India and China.  We will examine the origins and development of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism, as well as investigate how these religious traditions are impacting certain contemporary issues, such as the relevancy of Gandhian non-violent political activism, the Westernization of Asian traditions in the American cultural marketplace (e.g., yoga and mindfulness meditation in therapeutic medicine), the decline of ritualizing in communal American life compared to Confucian cultures, and the confluence of traditional medicine and global economics (e.g., Chinese medicine and the endangered species black-market). Students will get an overview of the main beliefs, practices, and sacred narratives of these Asian religious traditions, as well as learn about specific concepts such as karma, rebirth, yoga, meditation, nirvana, yin/yang, the Dao, and ancestor veneration.

Exercise: Finding an Article for your project

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Books in Global Asian Religions

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journals

What are "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" articles?

  • Written by scholars or experts on the topic
  • Content has been critically evaluated by other experts
  • Contain citations (footnotes and/or bibliography) documenting sources

For more information, see  the Popular and Scholarly Sources Tutorial.

Evaluating Websites

If you're looking for information in an online search engine like Google or Yahoo, you often find too much information and not all of it is useful (and some of it is just bad). The CRAAP Test involves a series of questions designed to help students evaluate online information to determine if they should use the information for class projects, papers, or presentations. Check the following site for the CRAAP Test:

Feedback Survey

Subject Guide

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Xiaorong Shao

Room 138, Belk Library
(828) 262-7714