In reviewing Michael Loewe's Ways to Paradise: The Chinese Quest for Immortality, the author presents, on the basis of recent archeological discoveries at Ma-wang-tui, Ch'angsha, Hunan, and other places, the indigenous Chinese views of afterlife, contrary to the dominant modern theory that there was no “other world” in Chinese thought before the advent of Buddhism. Newly found silk paintings and wooden documents of the early Former Han. period show beyond doubt that the Chinese had long developed their own beliefs in a “Heaven” and an “Underworld” after death. The author also discusses the evolution of the early Chinese conception of souls, such as hun and p'o. The symbolic meanings of silk paintings and other burial-related objects are examined from the anthropological point of view.

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