Routledge

Sample Exam/Review Questions

Essays

Sample essay questions or topics for discussion are available at the end of each of the book’s chapters. There are three questions per chapter, for a total of thirty questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

During the Shang Period, the designation “Shangdi” was applied to the:

  1. Shang prince
  2. Highest deity
  3. Head priest of the state cult
  4. Regal Ancestor

Confucius primarily viewed himself as:

  1. Creator of a new religious system
  2. Restorer and transmitter of traditional wisdom and values
  3. Advocate for institutions introduced by contemporary rulers
  4. Social reformer concerned with new solutions to societal problems

The famous passage in which the author describes dreaming of being a butterfly—and then reflects on his identity, the identity of the butterfly, and the transformation of all things—appears in which text?

  1. Mengzi (Mencius)
  2. Xunzi
  3. Laozi (Daode jing)
  4. Zhuangzi

Which among these distinctive features/ tendencies is not characteristic of Zhuangzi?

  1. Predisposition towards interiorization 
  2. Presentation of positive images of the Perfected (zhenren)
  3. Endorsement of meditation techniques
  4. Praise of governmental service

According to traditional sources, the origin of the Shangqing (Supreme Clarity) texts can be traced to:

  1. Laozi’s revelations to Zhang Daoling
  2. Celestial beings’ revelations to Yang Xi
  3. They were composed by Ge Xuan
  4. They were compiled by Tao Hongqing

What was the broader historical context that influenced the emergence of the Shanqing tradition of Daoism in medieval China?

  1. Political takeover of the South by northerners fleeing the non-Chinese dynasties in the North
  2. Migration of the Celestial Masters tradition back to Sichuan
  3. Southerners’ acceptance of Northerners supremacy and fascination with their religious culture
  4. Weakening of the Lingbao school and decline of Daoist ritual traditions

What is the main focus of the Lingbao (Numinous Treasure) tradition of Daoism?

  1. Performance of ritual
  2. Practice of meditation
  3. Engagement in pious works
  4. Ingestion of drugs and potions

In terms of its social organization, the early Shangqing tradition can best be described as:

  1. New monastic order modeled on the Buddhist Sangha
  2. Popular religious movement diffused among the common people
  3. Grouping of aristocrats with family connections and common religious interests
  4. It completely lacked any form of social organization or religious structure

The notion of patriarchal lineage is most central to which of the following schools of Chinese Buddhism?

  1. Chan
  2. Tiantai
  3. Pure Land
  4. Huayan

Which of the following is not one of the five precepts in Buddhism?

  1. Abstention from stealing
  2. Abstention from gluttony
  3. Abstention from sexual misconduct
  4. Abstention from consuming alcohol

When were the Neo-Confucian teachings formally accepted as official orthodoxy by the Chinese state?

  1. They were never recognized as an official orthodoxy by the Chinese state
  2. With the establishment of Neo-Confucianism as official orthodoxy under the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  3. In 1195, five years before Zhu Xi’s death, when his teachings were honored by the Song court
  4. In 1668, when a Manchu emperor adopted Neo-Confucianism as official ideology of the Qing empire

Which of the following was not one of the Four Books popularized by Zhu Xi?

  1. Analects of Confucius
  2. Mencius
  3. Great Learning
  4. Xunzi

Who were the first Christians to enter China?

  1. Members of an early Christian sect that entered Han China seeking refuge from persecution
  2. Nestorian Christians who arrived at the court of Taizong during the early Tang era
  3. Franciscan friars who came to the Mongol court during the Yuan dynasty
  4. Jesuit missionaries who reached China towards the end of the Ming dynasty

Short Questions                                                                                   

  • List the “five relationships” of Confucianism. 
  • List the “four ethical principles” (or inborn virtues) that are discussed in Menzi and other Confucian texts.
  • “The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao / The name that can be named is not the eternal name / The Nameless is the origin of heaven and Earth / The Named is the mother of all things.” Briefly explain the meaning of these lines from the Laozi, esp. in reference to the text’s conception of the Dao.
  • What are the three main divisions (“three caverns”) in the earliest version of the Daoist canon (Daozang)?
  • Explain who Guanyin is and what is his/her importance and role in Chinese Buddhism.
  • List the titles of the Four Books, canonized by Neo-Confucianism from the late Song period onward.
  • Identify the two main issues that were at the core of the Catholic controversies regarding their missionary strategies in China (17th–18th c.), which pitted the Jesuits against the opponents of acculturation.
  • What is the predominant religion among the Uyghur minority in contemporary China?
  • What happened to Christianity and Daoism during the Cultural Revolution (roughly 1966–1976)?
  • What is the present-day predicament of Falun gong in China and what does that tell us about the Communist government’s policies and attitudes towards religion?
  • What is the most vibrant and popular religious tradition in contemporary Taiwan?

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