Some Basic Conceptions and Their Traditional Relationship to Society

Marjorie Topley

Edited by Jean DeBernardi

in Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888028146
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206663 | DOI:
Some Basic Conceptions and Their Traditional Relationship to Society

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This chapter consideris the Yin and the Yang and related notions: how they come to form the basis for many kinds of action, and who traditionally in the population of China was involved in their use. It then examines ideas about gods and demons from a similar point of view, at the same time examining the relationship the two sets of notions have to each other and the question of natural and supernatural in all this. Finally, the chapter considers briefly and generally the question of use of these ideas in Hong Kong and what they might mean for the people. The concepts of Yin and Yang, Five Elements, Heaven and Earth, and so on, are in fact systematically related one to another within a total framework of cosmological ideas. They relate, that is to say, to a total theory about the workings of the universe.

Keywords: Yin; Yang; China; gods; demons; Hong Kong; Five Elements; Heaven; Earth; universe

Chapter.  6116 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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