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The Chinese dragon and its influence on Christianity in China - Essay Example
This paper espouses on how the dragon has influenced Christianity in China and explores two contrasting representations of the dragon; the biblical representation of the dragon that considers the dragon as the devil-an ancient serpent meant to lead the world astray…
Generally, dragons have held positive connotations in culture of the Chinese since the time of the Song dynasty, in AD 960-1279. The Chinese made prayers to the dragon for rain. In Chinese culture, the dragon has been used as a symbol of imperial power; in fact, the emperor wore a dragon robe, reigned from a dragon throne and was thought to be a dragon incarnation (Yang 28-29). After several centuries, the dragon was chosen by the then Chinese Emperor Qing, to represent the Chinese nation. The dragon is apparently, today the most favourable of zodiac animals in china; the dragons perform dances often clad in red, during the Chinese New Year.
Since the time that Christianity made its way into China, most Christian believers have held the view that the Biblical and the Chinese dragons are very distinct creatures and have ultimately accepted them; however, there are other shunned Chinese dragons, arguing that they are demonic, just as the biblical one. This paper shows that the dragon-Chinese dragon has become an important but yet controversial symbol in China, greatly influencing the interpretations of Christianity by Chinese people. A closer look at the dragon throughout the history of Chinese Christianity shows greater influence and a process of both enculturation and indigenization with regards to how the dragon is conceived in both traditional Chinese and Christian Chinese (Yang and An 48).
The difference and or equivalence between the biblical dragon and the Chinese dragon drawn in the mid-19th century by Chinese individuals as well as by religious figure from the west that brought Christianity. ...