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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Ancient Eastern Sages Were Crypto Blackbelts: Chinese Religion in Martial Arts Films
by Irvin, Tyler, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 142; 27957307
Abstract (Summary)

In this thesis, I investigate the relationship between Chinese religious concepts and martial arts films by looking at how Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist concepts appear in six movies Enter the Dragon, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Karate Kid, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, A Touch of Zen and Kung Fu Panda. In the beginning, I outlined that there is a long history between Chinese religions and martial arts dating back to at the very latest 7th century CE. However there is a lot of evidence to indicate that religion and martial arts joined together around 500 BCE. In this thesis, I argue that martial arts films have Chinese religious concepts present in them. To investigate this, I analyzed one religion’s concepts per two martial arts films. Through investigation, I found that wu wei, kong, dao, yin and yang, inner alchemy, ahiṃsā, sudden enlightenment, Buddha nature and mindfulness are just some of the Chinese religious concepts present in martial arts films.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Estrada, Gabriel
Commitee: Lowentrout, Peter, Lam-Easton, Linda
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Religious Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religion, Film studies, Spirituality, Theology, Asian Studies, Asian History
Keywords: Buddhism, Chinese religious concepts, Confucianism, Doaism, Martial arts films, Ancient Eastern sages, Crypto blackbelts, Enter the Dragon, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Karate Kid, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, A Touch of Zen, Kung Fu Panda, Mindfulness practice
Publication Number: 27957307
ISBN: 9798684675317
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