The connection between India and China tracks back to between 50 B.C. and A.D. 100. Religion and culture are connected as they are symbolic systems (Jackson, 2013). In religion, the gods or the ancestors are the primary symbols while in culture, similar symbols are justice, freedom and the public good.
All great civilization in south-east Asia shared a universal religion, that is, Buddhism (Ngeow, 2016). However, some had two types of religions, for example the Maurya, who practiced both Hinduism and Buddhism. Another common factor was they all practiced economic activities, which were meant to maintain the dynasty in shape. There was the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism as their religious activities after their arrival during the 3rd Century BC and the 6th Century BC respectively. Geographical factors, such as the topography played a role in enhancing the spread of these religious activities, as the civilizations engaged in activities, such as trading and colonization.
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The Shang dynasty ruled the yellow river valley approximately 1766 to 1122 BC. It succeeded the Xia dynasty, and later on, it was overthrown by the Zhou dynasty. Shang practices religious rituals that involved divination and sacrifice. They practiced divination to seek approval of their actions from their ancestors (Seligman, 2014). This practice shows a connection between religion and culture because ancestors are among the symbol systems of culture whereas divination is a religious activity. The Zhou dynasty attacked the Shang dynasty at around 1150-1050BCE. According to the Zhou conquerors, they attacked Shang dynasty because heavens did not want the then king of Shang dynasty to rule. The king of Shang dynasty also engaged in immoral behaviors, which also contributed to the fall of the Shang Dynasty.
- Jackson, R. (2013). Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality: Issues in Diversity and Pedagogy. London Taylor and Francis Ann Arbor, Michigan ProQuest.
- Ngeow, C. (2016). On China by India: From Civilization to Nation-State. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 46(4), 740-742.
- Seligman, A. B. (2014). Religious education and the challenge of pluralism. New York: Oxford University Press.