Ch 4: Ancient Asian Political and Philosophical Thought

About This Chapter

Use the following video lessons and quizzes to learn about Taoism's ancient texts and the five key relationships of Confucianism. Discuss the development of Hinduism and study Buddhism's Eightfold Path.

Ancient Asian Political and Philosophical Thought - Chapter Summary

Begin your survey of ancient Asian political and philosophical thought with video lessons on legalism and the origins of Taoism. You can explore the impacts of these ancient Chinese philosophies and discover concepts outlined in sacred texts, such as the Tao-Te Ching and the Chuang-Tzu.

When you're ready to move on to the study of Confucianism, you can explore the basic tenets and five key relationships outlined in Master Kung's philosophy. Follow the efforts of his disciple Mencius to spread these teachings, and explore Tung Chung-shu's role in promoting Confucianism in the Han Dynasty. You can also learn how the ritual of filial piety and subject-ruler relationships influenced Korean society and Japanese feudalism.

Other lessons in this chapter cover the development of Hinduism during the Harappan and Vedic periods. Survey the concepts of dharma, karma, atman and moksha, and get a brief description of divinities including Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva.

Wrap up your study of ancient Asian philosophical thought by taking a glimpse at the life of Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as Buddha. Study the significance of meditation and the Eightfold Path, and explore characteristics of Buddhism's three main branches: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. You can also get an idea of how Buddhism spread during the reign of Asoka the Great. Lessons cover the following:

  • Legalism
  • Taoism
  • Confucianism
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism

Videos in this chapter are complemented by transcripts with links to related text lessons. There are also self-assessment quizzes you can use to check your understanding of the main ideas. Each of these resources is helpful for supplementing topics of discussion covered in your own class or preparing for test day.

12 Lessons in Chapter 4: Ancient Asian Political and Philosophical Thought
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Origins of Taoism: History, the Uncarved Block & Tao-Te Ching

1. The Origins of Taoism: History, the Uncarved Block & Tao-Te Ching

This lesson will seek to explain the rather nebulous founding of Taoism. In doing so, it will explore the concepts of the Tao and the Pu, while also highlighting the role Lao-tzu played in the formation of this ancient Eastern philosophy.

The Texts of Taoism: Tao-te Ching, Chuang-tzu & the Taoist Canon

2. The Texts of Taoism: Tao-te Ching, Chuang-tzu & the Taoist Canon

This lesson will explain the ancient philosophy of Taoism and its canon of scripture. In doing so, it will highlight the history and content of the Tao-te Ching and the Chuang-tzu, as well as the role of Lao-tzu.

Korean Taoism: History, Influence & Expansion

3. Korean Taoism: History, Influence & Expansion

This lesson will focus on Taoism's influence in the country of Korea. In doing so, it will highlight its arrival from China and the phases of popularity and decline it went through. It will also discuss the concept of internal alchemy and the Elixir of Immortality.

The Founding of Confucianism: Overview & Influence

4. The Founding of Confucianism: Overview & Influence

This lesson will explain the origins of Confucianism by highlighting the life and times of Master Kung, known today as Confucius. In doing so, it will focus on feudalism in China as well as the principle of jen.

Tung Chung-shu: Confucianism in the Han Dynasty

5. Tung Chung-shu: Confucianism in the Han Dynasty

This lesson will focus on the life of Tung Chung-shu. In doing so, it will explain his role in elevating Confucianism to the forefront of the Han Dynasty. It will also explain the concept of Jen and the emperor as Son of Heaven.

The Confucianism of Japan and Korea

6. The Confucianism of Japan and Korea

This lesson will focus on the Confucianism of Korea and Japan. In doing so, it will highlight the importance of the Five Key Relationships and filial piety. It will also explore the role feudalism played in the development of Japanese Confucianism.

The Origins of Hinduism: the Indus River Valley & the Harappa Culture

7. The Origins of Hinduism: the Indus River Valley & the Harappa Culture

This lesson will seek to explain the origins of Hinduism. Highlighting the Harappa culture and the Vedic period, it will also explore the Hindu beliefs in Moksha and Brahman.

The Hindu Belief System: Dharma, Karma, and Moksha

8. The Hindu Belief System: Dharma, Karma, and Moksha

This lesson will explore the Hindu belief system by explaining the concepts of karma, dharma and moksha. It will also highlight the importance of atman within the Hindu faith.

Hindu Deity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva

9. Hindu Deity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva

This lesson will explore the Hindu system of belief in reference to its deities. It will explain the concept of Brahman, while also explaining the attributes of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Buddhism: The Middle Way to Enlightenment

10. Buddhism: The Middle Way to Enlightenment

This lesson will explore the term 'Middle Way' as an alternate name for Buddhism. In doing so, it will highlight Siddhartha Gautama as the founder of Buddhism, while also detailing his belief in the Eightfold Path.

The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana

11. The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana

This lesson will explore the three main branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. It will also highlight Pure Land and Tantric Buddhism, as well as the belief in nirvana and the bodhisattva.

Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

12. Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

This lesson will highlight the life and accomplishments of Asoka the Great. In doing this, it will explore the historical significance of his Rock Edicts as well as the role he played in spreading Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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