The three cities included in the course, each unique, will provide students with a broad range of experience and practice as cultural translators. Xi’an, capital of China for over a millennium, hosted a wide variety of religions, some indigenous, others immigrant. These include various sorts of ancestor, worship of local gods, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Islam. Some of these have only left traces, while others, such as the vibrant Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, keep their more obviously religious character. Near Xi’an is the sacred mountain of Hua Shah, site of many Daoist temples, now available on an amazing gondola ride.
Macau was settled by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and served as a major trading hub for centuries, leaving a mixture of Chinese, Portuguese and African cultures. Christian, Buddhist, A-ma, an indigenous goddess, and other shrines appear throughout Macau, mixed with colonial Portuguese style architecture. It has also become the world’s largest gambling destination, surpassing Las Vegas.
Hong Kong provides a modern-day look at eastern and western cultures, including lived religious cultures. Numerous indigenous temples, family shrines, and the tiny offerings placed outside numerous businesses on Hong Kong streets, all show the importance of local religions. Among the most famous sites is the Big Buddha at the Po Lin monastery. Far less commercial is the Chi Lin Buddhist nunnery in Kowloon, an oasis of quiet beauty with skyscrapers easily visible on its skyline. Last time we visited the Kowloon Mosque, the Ohel Synagogue, the Baha’i Centre, St. John’s Anglican Cathedral and heard a lecture on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A deposit will be due in September, 2017. Please contact Prof. Utterback for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholarships are available for all UW student participants with a minimum 3.0 GPA and sophomore standing; some additional funding from Religious Studies available.
Approx. Dates: January 3 - 17
Approx. Program Cost: $1900
(Includes lodging, in-country travel, tours, and most meals)
Airfare: Approx. $1700
Program cost does not include UW tuition, China visa, any required vaccinations, the $140 study abroad fee, or student travel insurance.