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On The Relationship Between Man And Nature In China

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Chapter Summary

The relationship between man and nature has in the past inspired a discourse leading to controversies that are still going on. The concept of nature has in China as well as in the West a long history of its own with a great variety of connotations. Whereas this historical relativism is in Europe taken for granted, the concept of nature in China is even by western scholarsoften regarded as unchanging and timeless. In this chapter, the author tries a heuristic method that sheds some light on the discourse with nature in China. In the search for an idyll in China, nature was very early discerned as a metaphor for safeness and regularity, as exemplified in ode 66 of the Classic of Odes. The discourse with nature in China is predominantly an affair of the elite that by diffusion influenced the ways of feeling and thinking of the whole populace.

Keywords: Chinese religious traditions; concept of man; concept of nature



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