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The Cosmology of The Great One Birthed Water

  • Zhongjiang Wang

Abstract

Within the early records of human thought, one tends to find three major cosmogonic models. The first is the “mythological” model that imagines heroic figures who create Heaven and Earth and all the creatures therein. 1 The second is the “religious” model that envisions a supreme deity who makes the cosmos and humanity. The last is the “philosophical” approach, which asserts the world emerged from some foundational principle or substance. These three divergent cosmogonic modes of thought all appear to some degree within the traditions of early China. However, the historical relationship of these different perspectives remains extremely difficult to unravel.

Keywords

Mutual Assistance Ritual Activity Ritual Propriety Natural Principle Spiritual Power 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    It has been generally understood that China’s “mythological thought” is comparatively underdeveloped, and that all major mythological records appear fairly late. However, following the discovery of the Warring States silk manuscripts at Changsha’s Chanziku, we now know that mythological creation narratives appeared much earlier. See Sarah Allen, The Way of Water and Sprouts of Virtue (Albany: SUNY Press, 1997).Google Scholar
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  • Zhongjiang Wang

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