Cosmos and Hearth: A Cosmopolite's Viewpoint by Yi-Fu Tuan

By Yi-Fu Tuan

In a quantity that represents the fruits of his life's paintings in contemplating the connection among tradition and panorama, eminent student Yi-Fu Tuan argues that "cosmos" and "hearth" are scales that anchor what it ability to be absolutely and fortunately human. Illustrating this rivalry with examples from either his local China and his domestic of the previous 40 years, the U.S., Tuan proposes a revised belief of tradition, one completely grounded in one's personal society but additionally embracing interest in regards to the international. positive and deeply human, this significant quantity lays out a route to being "at domestic within the cosmos."

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To the Chinese, it was as though the material reality of the city carried little symbolic import. What counted was the form. 7 Rationalist Dispositions I would like to continue with the idea that traditional Chinese culture exhibited, historically, certain rationalist tendencies. As I have already observed, these included a wish to organize space geometrically and a lack of attachment to specific sites. I now add to them a proclivity to favor commonsensical over magical inter- CHINA 21 pretation of events.

On the whole, the two peoples have lived together peacefully. Their respective cultures show differences and similarities. Religion dominates Tibetan life, but sits lightly on the Han. Religion, however, is not a source of friction. Buddhism, which both groups embrace, is not an aggressive and intolerant faith. Moreover, the religions of both the Tibetans and the Han are syncretic. Tibetan Buddhism (or Lamaism) is incongruously mixed with the older animistic religion of fierce gods and demons whose shrines dot the landscape.

Magical and supernatural elements play a more prominent role in village ceremonies and festivals. They are tolerated by local officials, who see a belief in the supernatural and the bizarre as the effect of a lack of Confucian education and enlightenment. Where different customs occur, usually in the less accessible parts of remoter provinces, they suggest incomplete assimilation—that is, the presence of populations, originally non-Han, that became Sinicized but not in all respects. The history of China, like that of many other countries, may be viewed as one of population growth and internal migrations, filling up niches and transforming them.

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