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Art, Ritual and Religion: An Introduction

October 5 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A Professional Development Program for K-12 Educators

How do we, as humans, deal with life and death?

Throughout the history of the world, humans have searched for and have developed ways to address the challenges of living, define one’s place in the universe, and find meaning through rituals, ceremonies, beliefs structures and religious practices. Today, our understanding of ancient beliefs and practices comes largely through the archaeological record left behind.

The small window a few archeological objects, in general considered to be art today, opens to a vast world that leads us to further ponder this question. The Chinese civilization, as early as Shang Dynasty from almost 5,000 years ago, provides us a unique perspective and evidence to look into these questions. In the end, our shared human history is a history evolving around responses to these questions situated in different cultural, historical and natural contexts. By examining the early history of Chinese civilization, we hope we open the possibility for our participants not only to learn some fascinating facts of ancient Chinese civilization, but to reflect and relate to what we are encountering today. After all, all humans have to deal with life and death.

While this introductory session provides an overview, the following five programs will explore the objects, motifs, architecture, and tomb décor that expressed such beliefs from the Bronze Age of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties through to the establishment of Confucianism and Daoism and emergence of Buddhism during the empire of the Han Dynasty.

The 6-session series will deepen our understanding of how art, bronze vessels, and Buddhist imagery express meaning and lend structure to ritual and to religious practices. At the same time, these programs will address the shared human commonalities of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.

Educators and CI Members: $30 / Session
General Public: $40 / Session
(Enjoy 50% group discount when you refer one or more fellow educators. Please contact us for details.)

Limited full scholarship is available for NYS public school teachers to attend the entire series.

Apply for Scholarship

Register Here

New York University Project Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT)
NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) at NYU
Contact: Yongqiang Lin, [email protected]

Designed for K-12 educator participants, discussion section at the end of each session will draw attention to new vocabularies and enduring questions to be learnt and asked in K-12 classrooms, as well as resources to enrich the teaching and learning of teachers and students of open mind and curiosity.

In partnership with New York University Project Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT) and NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) at NYU, 12 hours of CTLE credits are offered for New York State teachers attending this program. Limited scholarship is available for NYS public school teachers to attend the entire series.

This program is part of a 6-session series, “Art, Ritual and Religion: Bronzes Vessels to Buddha Images, The Bridge Between the Living and the Dead”:

  1. October 5: Art, Ritual and Religion: An Introduction
  2. October 19: Taoties, Dragons, and Ancestors: Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BCE)
  3. November 2: Birds, Nomads, Continuity and Change: Western Zhou Dynasty (1050-771 BCE)
  4. November 16: Innovation, Chaos, and Luxury: Eastern Zhou Dynasty (771-256 BCE)
  5. November 30: Age of Empire and the Afterlife: Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE)
  6. December 14: Opening of the Lotus: Emergence of Buddhism (25-420 CE)

All sessions are open to general public


Professor Annette Juliano began her academic career at Vassar College, followed by Brooklyn College of the City of New York, then Rutgers University-Newark Campus, and finally at ISAW the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. Her interests have been focused on early Chinese art from the Neolithic through the Tang Dynasty (ca. 5,000 BCE through 906 CE); Her particular focus has been on Art from the Silk Road and Buddhist and Tomb sculpture and painting from the years known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, 4-7th centuries. At the Clarke Art Museum, Williamstown, MA, she organized and curated Unearthed. Perhaps her best-known exhibition remains Monks and Merchants, at Asia Society, NYC.

This series is made possible through the support of the Chinese International Education Foundation, and generous supporters of China Institute.


October 5
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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