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Humanism As A Paradigm Of Creation Myths

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with the Shang oracle bone inscriptions, surveys the records of creation myths in the ancient books from Qin through Han dynasties, and concludes with three archetypes of creation myths originating from agricultural ancient China, followed by a detailed analysis of three types of narratives which author situates in the living creation myth traditions of ethnic groups other than Han. He explores the social context, the psychological drive that compels people to create these archetypes, and the humanism manifested in these paradigms. Through narrative, Chinese creation myths put forward the traditional Chinese concept of "harmony between man and nature" as a characteristic of Chinese people. Ancient Chinese people's interest in the origin and creation of the universe revealed in classics leads to author's assumption that creation myths might have flourished during the cradle time of the civilization of China. The chapter traces the origin of Chinese creation myths.

Keywords: archetypes; China; creation myths; ethnic groups; Han dynasties; humanism; paradigm; Shang oracle bone inscriptions; universe



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