Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Heaven’

Until his overthrow in 1911, the emperor in China carried “the mandate of heaven.”  He was believed to be a god descended to earth for the purpose of ruling China.

Even though religious practice was outlawed in the early decades of the Communist Party’s rule, and most people I meet in today’s China embrace a kind of agnostic-but-curious approach to faith, the threads of this dynastic heaven concept are still shot through modern culture.  For example, according to a very interesting 2012 article about “leftover women” (China’ official term for single ladies over 30), the party-sponsored All China Women’s Federation recently applied this “mandate of heaven” to urge marriage upon all women.  In a published party document on the subject, the Women’s Federation cautioned that even a very successful career woman “is flawed in thinking she is higher than the mandate of heaven,” which is understood to be marriage for all. (more…)


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