God through the Book of Poetry: The Ancient Chinese and Their Loss of Theistic Faith
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Looking at modern-day China, it can be hard to comprehend that theistic faith was ever widespread among her people. Yet, it was once an integral part of Chinese culture, as evidenced by writings such as the Book of Poetry. In this paper, I seek to explain the ancient Chinese belief in God and why that same belief led to the decline of theistic faith. Selections from the Book of Poetry are translated and used to elaborate on the various aspects of early dynastic religion. The historical and social contexts are also discussed alongside the poems to reveal why belief in God had waned by the end of the Western Zhou dynasty.