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Son of Heaven and Son of God: Interactions among Ancient Asiatic Cultures regarding Sacral Kingship and Theophoric Names

  • Sanping Chen
Abstract

This article examines the interrelationship and interactions between the notions of Son of Heaven and Son of God with respect to sacral kingship in Inner and East Asia by first uncovering a previously unnoticed synthesis of the two in ancient Inner Asia. The author argues that the Chinese belief of “heaven” and related political and religious concepts may share a common origin with parallel notions in Altaic cultures, possibly intertwined with Indo-European elements. Nevertheless, by studying theophoric names, which existed in all major Old World civilizations except early China, he demonstrates the distinctness of Chinese civilization, as well as the extensive pre-Islamic Iranic influences in East Asia.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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