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Man here is an inclusive term taken to mean the human being or humankind in general. This article treats of man (1) in the Bible, (2) in philosophy, and (3) in theology.


The Bible views man existentially, not essentially. In the Bible there is no dichotomy of body and soul. The man is the "I" who receives, feels, thinks, and loves. Thus, such concepts as soul [see soul (in the bible)], spirit [see spirit (in the bible)], heart [see heart (in the bible)], flesh are all designations of the "I" under different aspects. The Bible teaches that man is the highest creature and the center of the visible universe. In the Old Testament, until late, man's destination is sheol (see afterlife, 2). In the New Testament man's end is eternal happiness or sorrow.

The Old Testament concept of man may be considered under two headings: that of Gn ch. 13, and the idea as found in the rest of the Old Testament. In Gn 1.12.4a

man is the epitome of creation. He comes at the end of creation. Introduced by God's deliberation"let us make" (Gn 1.26)man names the animals, a manifestation of his mastery. Man alone is made to the image of god (Gn 1.2627). In the anthropomorphic account of Gn 2.4b3.24, man is the center of creation around whom all other creatures revolve. All things are made for man. Raised to friendship with God [see grace (in the bible)], man disobeyed and was punished. Thus, Genesis ch. 13 teaches man's excellence, friendship with God, his fall, and the divine promise of help.

The rest of the Old Testament considers man's destiny, his maker, and his holiness in the sight of God. Both good and bad are destined for Sheol, a place where all go after death. The notion of an afterlife of happiness or punishment is not found in revelation until c. 160 b.c. in the books of Wisdom, Daniel, and Maccabees. Reward in the Old Testament came in the form of God's blessings here on earth; the divine blessing guaranteed a long life, prosperity, property, and progeny. Responsibility was corporate as well as individual [see responsibility (in the bible)].

Man's maker was ultimately God. The conception of man was considered a marvelous event [see Jb 10.812; Ps 118 (119).73]. The conservation of man depended on Almighty God.

After the Fall, man was inwardly renewed and spiritually transformed by the grace of God and faith [Gn 15.6; Ps 23 (24).34]: "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy" (Lv 19.2; 11.44; 20.26). He is a jealous God who demands holiness of His people (Jos 24.19) and punishes those who violate His holiness (1 Sm 6.20; 2 Sm6.612). In messianic times, according to Deutero-Isaiah, man's spiritual renewal would be mediated by the Servant of the Lord (Is 41.14; 43.3, 14; 47.4; see suffering servant, songs of). God's people were obliged to be holy because they were closely bound to Him by the covenant. This collective holiness (Lv 20.26; Dt 7.6; 26.19; Is 63.18; Jer 2.3) presupposed individual holiness, for the pious are called holy by reason of the holiness of their personal lives [Ps 15 (16).3; 33 (34).10; Is 4.3; 6.13; Dt7.18, 27]. [see faith, 1; holiness (in the bible); holiness, law of.]

In the New Testament many of the terms and expressions regarding man were borrowed from the Old Testament. However, such concepts as immortality, a deeper and wider revelation about the supernatural life, and heaven [see heaven (in the bible)] and hell [see hell (in the bible)] were more developed in the New Testament.

Paul moreover distinguishes the "old man" and the "new man," the "outer man" and the "inner man," and lastly the "first Adam" and the "last Adam." According to St. Paul, the old man was fallen human nature; the new man was a new creation that was effected by Baptism. By this Sacrament man was gifted with the Holy Spirit and was already risen with Christ. In sum, the old manthat is, fallen human naturewas recreated into Christ (Rom6.6; Eph 4.22; Col 3.9). Again, according to St. Paul, the outer man designates man's tendency to sin; the inner man his tendency to virtue. There is a struggle between the outer man and the inner man, that is, between the two tendencies in man. The struggle, when victorious, will complete the new creation so that a person will live in holiness and justice toward God (2 Cor 4.16; Rom 7.22; Eph3.16). Paul uses the terms "first Adam" and "last Adam." The first Adam was earthly and actually sinful; the second Adam is the heavenly Christ and sinless. The first Adam brought sin into the world. The second or last Adam reverses what the first Adam had done and achieves justification and glorification for those who accept Him (1 Cor 15.45, 47; Rom 5.12, 18; 8.139).

Thus, man in the Bible is the total existing being. With the fullness of Christ's revelation, man knows his final dwelling is not Sheol but heaven or hell. Raised after the first man's fall, he is aided against the tendency to sin by God's grace. His struggle is not without assurance of victory since he is risen (1 Cor ch. 15) with "The Man, Jesus Christ" (1 Tm 2.5).

Bibliography: Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. and adap. by l. hartman (New York 1963), from a. van den born, Bijbels Woordenboek 142629. j. schmid, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 7:284287. a. s. kapelrud and n. a. dahl, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 4:861867. w. eichrodt, Man in the Old Testament, tr.K. and r. gregor smith (Chicago 1951); Theology of the Old Testament, tr. j. a. baker (Philadelphia 1961). r. bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, tr. k. grobel, 2 v. (New York 195155) 1:190259. m. baily, "Biblical Man and Some Formulae of Christian Teaching," The Irish Theological Quarterly 27 (1960) 173200. e. hill, Being Human: A Biblical Perspective (London 1984). u. schnelle, The Human Condition: Anthropology in the Teachings of Jesus, Paul, and John, tr. o. c. dean, jr. (Minneapolis 1996).

[w. e. lynch]


The term man seems to be derived from a Sanskrit root meaning to think. Should this etymology be correct, it gives an indication that thought was early considered a distinctive characteristic of man. For the Greek νθρωπος no convincing etymological explanation is given. Some consider it to signify "the one that looks up (i.e., to the gods) from below"; if so, this would express both a distinction and a certain kinship between man and God. The etymology of the Latin homo is more certain: it is derived

from humus meaning earth or soil. The meaning seems to be either genetic, that man had his origin from the earth or was made out of earth; or more general, that man by his very nature is akin to earth. The same etymological connection and derivation is found in the Hebrew: Adam-adama. [see adam]

From such indications one learns that on the one hand man has an essential relation to earth, that he belongs to the earthly sphere below, and on the other that he is a thinking being, and so has contact with the gods, although he is different from them. This shows that man is something of a paradoxhe is bound to earth by his nature, and yet transcends earth by his mind. This kind of dualism, more explicitly expressed as that between mind and body or between soul and body, constitutes one of the most difficult and constant problems in a philosophical understanding of man. (see soul-body relationship.)

Similarly, reflection about himself shows man that he has something in common with other realities: he is a body, a living being, an animal, akin to the transcendent world of divinityin a word, he is a microcosm, containing all things within himself. On the other hand, he is aware of his unique nature and searches for proper characteristics that distinguish himself from other beings. Such reflection gives further indication of a duality in man's nature.

Early Greek Thought. The Greek conception of man is derived from two distinct sources: one, mythology, explains man's origin, nature, and condition as the result of the activity of the gods; the other, cosmology (partly dependent upon mythology and partly opposed to it, but becoming increasingly independent), offers a profane, realistic, and rational consideration of man. This awakening philosophical reflection was focused on the phenomenal world and thus studied man in the context of a philosophy of nature.

Although somewhat opposed, both the religious-mythological and the rational-naturalistic approaches led to a cosmic conception of man. In this context various anthropina or human characteristics, later useful for an accurate determination of man's nature, were developed in a half-mythological, half-philosophical way. Protagoras (5th century b.c.) stressed how animals are well equipped to defend themselves against enemies, are protected from cold by their furs, and have food available for them, whereas man lacks all these natural advantages. Instead he possesses wisdom, and this enables him to provide, by art and industry, what nature had not provided (see Plato, Prot. 321). Similar considerations are to be found, for example, in Diogenes of Appolonia (5th century b.c.). This author describes man as privileged by the gods, both in bodily equipment and in mental capacity. His upright position is superior to that of other animals, his vision is freed and broadened, his hands enable him to make tools and useful or beautiful objects, and his mouth and tongue are so disposed as to give the capacity for speech. More important still are the endowments of his mind: man has received a soul and is able to know the gods, to find remedies against illness, to acquire new knowledge, and to build human society. All of this makes man, although an earthly being, akin to the gods.

Aristotelian View. These ideas greatly influenced the further elaboration of a philosophical notion of man, particularly by Aristotle. Applying his hylomorphic and teleological conceptions to these and other data, Aristotle regarded man as the supreme being on earth, primarily spirit and capable of intellectual knowledge, but with a bodily constitution adapted to, and informed by, the spiritual soul in a type of matter-form composition (see matter and form). Since form (here the human soul) is the dominant and determining factor from which every disposition and activity of matter flows, all features stressed by his predecessors, including those of the body, became so many manifestations of the spiritual nature of man.

Although he continued the cosmological tradition, regarding the study of man as part of the Physics, Aristotle stressed man's spiritual nature as transcending material conditions. He even considered the Nous as immaterial, as belonging to a nonbodily or spiritual realm, as coming from without, and as not mixed with the body. If such notions do not seem to fit into his hylomorphic doctrine, it should be noted that Aristotle not only discusses man in natural philosophy, but also treats of him in his Ethics and Politics; in the latter works, he develops more spiritual conceptions, defining man, for example, as ζ[symbol omitted]ον πολιτικόν. Difficulties of interpretation notwithstanding, one finds in Aristotle's works a highly technical, complex, and well-balanced conception of man that has had an immense influence on Western philosophy. The Stoa continued this Aristotelian line of development, stressing the logos as the most important element in man; their classical definition of the human being was ζ[symbol omitted]ον λογικόν.

Platonic Conceptions. The view of man offered by Plato, while not ignoring bodily aspects, had insisted more on man's spiritual nature and had tended to depreciate his body. This explains why the Platonic view appealed more than that of Aristotle to thinkers with a spiritualist orientation, particularly among the early Christians. In an oversimplified, almost Manichean way, the body was often considered as the enemy of the spiritual soul, and sexual pleasure in its human formpraised by Diogenes of Apollonia as one of man's privileges began to be viewed as contrary to human dignity. St. gregory of nyssa, for example, taught that man originally had neither body nor sex and that both are due to sin. In St. Augustine and his school one finds similar exaggerations, overemphasizing the spirit and usually underestimating the role of the body in human nature.

Thomistic Synthesis. With the development of scholastic philosophy and the reintroduction of Aristotle in the West, a more classical view of man gradually reasserted itself. This conception found its most adequate expression in the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas. Guided by the light of Christian revelation, Aquinas worked out a synthetic conception of man that was fundamentally Aristotelian, but also assimilated spiritualist notions that had not been completely integrated into the original Aristotelian position.

Substantial Unity. The body is an essential part of man, and has a positive value. Yet the body exists, not in its own right, but by virtue of the spiritual soul, which is a form in the most real sense and the unique substantial form of the body. This implies a type of dualism in the ontological structure of man that at the same time does not destroy his substantial unity. Since the body is only human through the soul, and the soul in turn determines the body, the body-soul union is not a mere juxtaposition of parts but rather the unity of a complex being. Notwithstanding its ontological function as a substantial form that is essentially related to the body, the human soul transcends the material world by its spirituality, and has in itself the adequate reason for its own existence. In this way the absolute primacy of spirit in man is safeguarded, without neglecting the essential role of the body. Such ontological transcendence of the human soul explains its immortality, notwithstanding its essential union with a mortal body. Again, despite a bodily conditioned earthly existence, man is called to an eternal destiny; and this is not only a tenet of Christian faith, but a property of human nature itself. (see soul, human; immortality.)

Mind and Spirit. Since man's mind is capable of universal, unlimited knowledge, his perfection cannot be limited to earthly experiences. His mind has a capacity for the infinite. This kinship with divine reality, already stressed in Greek mythological conceptions of man, here becomes part of a philosophy of man. In this way it also becomes evident how man belongs both to the material and to the spiritual world. Sharing in materiality through his body and in spirituality through his mind, he is, in a way, the meeting place of both: the horizon et confinium spiritualis et corporalis naturae, the meeting point of time and eternity (C. gent. 2.68). Thus man, by that which is most noble in him, is essentially related to a world of spiritual values, which also includes God.

Free Will. The very fact of existing in a concrete, materially conditioned situation, and of discovering in and through this an unlimited degree of being and value (ens et bonum ), is itself the ontological foundation of human freedom. Because man encounters different realities and situations not only as biological correlates, as is the case with animals, but under the transcendental notion of being, these do not appeal to him merely as limited biological values that stimulate determined reactions. And just as they appear to man's intellect under the transcendental notion of being, to be delimited only on the horizon of being, so they appeal to man's will under the transcendental aspect of good, on a universal horizon where their limited goodness becomes apparent. For this reason their appeal is always a limited one. While there is sufficient reason for desiring them, since they present man with a certain goodness, at the same time there is sufficient reason not to desire them, because the good they represent is itself limited. Thus man, by his very nature, is freesituated as it were at the intersection of material limitation and determination and of spiritual illimitability and transcendental openness. He is not compelled to act by any particular object that appeals to him. Dominating, as it were, every single appeal by his transcendental openness to good in the broadest possible sense, he has every particular appeal under his control. In other words, he is capable of autodetermination; he is free. (see free will; freedom.)

Ethics and Morality. Human freedom opens up the entire realm of ethics or morality, and this not by the mere introduction of a categorical imperative, but by man's very nature as capable of active self-determination toward what he recognizes as good and suitable. When this is seen not only through philosophical reflection but also in the light of divine revelation, morality becomes more than an anonymous obligation; it is God's personal appeal to man's personal decision.

Nature and Supernature. Precisely because of this connatural openness to the transcendental, man is capable of knowledge and values beyond the limits of his natural possibilities, all the way to the supreme Transcendental, God Himself. This is not to be understood in the sense that man by his own capacities can actually attain God as He is in Himself. Yet, while lacking the active capacity to reach God in His intimate nature, man has the possibility of intimacy with God, provided that God Himself actively communicates Himself to man. Here is the link between man's natural and supernatural perfection. Thus, literally speaking, man by his own nature has the promise of a superhuman destiny. Seen in this light, the supernatural end of man that is revealed by Christian faith is not something inhuman, but appears as the highest achievement of human nature. In the Thomistic synthesis man is not only an animal rationale; he is also capax divinitatis, conceived and designed by the Creator to enter into personal contact with Him and to share in His own intimate life. Thus, what the Greek thinkers obscurely hinted at as man's kinship to the gods here becomes a profound philosophical synthesis that is open to theological development.

The Thomistic conception of man is thus philosophically complete and balanced, and at the same time agrees with the tenets of Catholic faith, thereby providing a framework for an understanding of the interplay between the natural and supernatural elements in man. To have explained this conception at length, however, need not imply that with St. Thomas thought about man came to a standstill, or that the following ages had nothing valuable to say about him.

Modern Thought. With R. descartes, man's unity was replaced by a dualistic conception that sharply distinguished the res extensa from the res cogitans. In a way this stressed the spiritual nature of man; it also prepared the way for the homo noumenon of Kant, and, in general, for idealist conceptions that describe man as a manifestation of Absolute Spirit. Proposed at a time of limited religious and theological influence on philosophical thought, this led to a very high appreciation of human dignity. It also led, however, to an overemphasis of man's autonomy, resulting in the dangerous exaltation of Nietzsche's superman. In fact, the newly found autonomy appeared to be a burden too heavy for man to bear. One might consider the existentialist despairdescribing man as "being unto death" (Heidegger) or stressing his absurdity, "man is a useless passion" (Sartre)as a logical consequence of this overevaluation of man's autonomy, the breakdown of an illusion that was impossible to maintain. In this rather negative way, existentialism has contributed to a renewed and more realistic view of man, replacing an unreal rationalistic and idealistic, and ultimately inhuman, conception with the body-conditioned concept of an "incarnate spirit."

Paralleling this spiritualist Cartesian heritage there was also a mechanistic and materialistic heritage that was taken up by those interested in modern science and its development. This led, through the "hommemachine" concept of J. O. de La Mettrie, to L. Feuerbach's "Der Mensch ist was er isst (man is what he eats)." Marxist materialism is, in a way, the ultimate consequence of this materialistic conception, for here man is regarded as nothing but the highest form of organized matter. Scientific studies, especially the theory of human evolution, seemed at first to support a purely biological conception of man, explaining him in terms of his animal origin. More accurate study and analysis, however, have shown that an evolutionistic interpretation of man's origin does not explain away man's spirituality, but on the contrary, poses the problem of man's spiritual nature in a new and more urgent way. Some evolutionistic thinkers, such asP. teilhard de chardin, find in evolutionism a new and outstanding testimony of man's unique spiritual nature and destiny, thus making him the ultimate goal and achievement of the cosmos.

Karol Wojtyła. In the 1950s and 1960s, Father Karol Wojtyła (later Pope john paul ii) wrote several books dealing with the nature of man from the perspective of a personalist philosophy. Archbishop Wojtyła was influential in the writing of Vatican II's Gaudium et spes, which speaks at length of the person in the modern world. Many of his papal writings (e.g., the encyclicals redemptor hominis, veritatis splendor, and laborem exercens) reflect this same personalistic view.

In his philosophical writings Wojtyła argued that it is neither reason alone nor experience but the whole person who deliberates, selects, decides, and performs a moral action. It is with the integrity of the whole person in mind, therefore, that in his Lublin Lectures the young professor undertook a tour through the history of philosophy, gathering up the factors that enter into the constitution of the person who acts. He gathered these metaphysical factors first from Plato, who highlighted the Good as the supreme value in which the person is called to participate. While Aristotle retained the finality of the good, he also inscribed it in the rational nature of the individual. Moreover, Aristotle provided an account of how one becomes good, moving from the potentiality to the good to its actualization through action. Augustine drew upon Plato, but recognized the highest good as personal, so that Platonic participation is transformed into Augustinian love. The significance of Thomas Aquinas for Wojtyła is that he rooted the foregoing dynamic structure in the deepest source of actuality: in existential act (esse ), so that what is good and true is so by virtue of its actual existence. Wojtyła continued his tour, spending considerable time in a critical study of Hume and Bentham; but the positive elements of his analysis are drawn from the metaphysical philosophers already mentioned. In sum, it is not the will or the consciousness, but the person, constituted in the unity of his being, who is the suppositum, the concrete, existing agent of moral action.

Having assembled his metaphysics of the person as the underlying foundation of ethical action, Wojtyła turned to phenomenology in order to analyze the action from within the agent. Because the horizon of understanding in metaphysics, and consequently its vocabulary, is comprehensive, embracing everything insofar as each is a member of the community of being, the intimate and interior experience of action itself does not fall within the principal concern of metaphysics. phenomenology, on the other hand, in its adaptation to the experience of values by Scheler, provides a method by which reflection can articulate ethical action precisely as experienced from within the action itself.

In Wojtyła's view, human action is a dramatic affair in which the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of the human person is at stake. Since action is a positive fulfillment of the person, his analysis implies the possibility that we may fail in the task of integration and transcendence with the consequent diminution of our personhood. Fortunately, we are not called upon to act in isolation. As persons we are open to intersubjective, interpersonal relations. What is more, our very fulfillment as persons is to be realized in "acting together with others," who are not simply members of this or that organization, but whose wellbeing is inscribed in our motivation (solidarity). Each is our neighbor, and in acting together with others, we realize our own personhood as participants in the community of persons. In sum, the interplay of metaphysics and phenomenology in Wojtyła's thought has resulted in grounding the person objectively in the community of beings, while at the same time permitting him to enter into the lived experience of the person as an existential subjectivity.

See Also: man, natural end of; psychology

Bibliography: m. j. adler, ed. The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon of Great Books of the Western World, 2 v. (Chicago 1952); v.2, 3 of Great Books of the Western World 2:141. j. e. royce, Man and His Nature (New York 1961). g. p. klubertanz, The Philosophy of Human Nature (New York 1953). r. e. brennan, The Image of His Maker (Milwaukee 1948). m. j. adler, What Man Has Made of Man (New York 1937). k. l. schmitz, At the Center of the Human Drama, The Philosophical Anthropology of Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II (Washington, D.C. 1993).

[n. a. luyten/

k. l. schmitz/eds.]


In a sense, all revelation and, consequently, all theology is a theology of man (2 Tm 3.16). But here the term theology of man is used in a restricted sense: the supernatural understanding of man's nature and destiny found in revelation and systematized in theology. The theology of man does not exclude man's natural knowledge of himself, but (1) throws new light upon his nature and (2) gives him knowledge of new realities and of a destiny he could not otherwise know. Moreover, implicit in a theology of man is a supernatural view of all visible creation and of temporal existence. The created universe can only be fully and rightly understood in the light of divine revelation (see matter, theology of).

Man before the Fall. Man, in the whole of his being, was createdhis soul by immediate (first) creation; his body in a manner that has not been precisely revealed, i.e., the possibility of evolution is not excluded. In addition, man received supernatural gifts of grace and virtue that made him a partaker of the nature of God (2 Pt 1.4) and other prerogatives and powers transcending ordinary human nature (see original justice).

Potentiality of Man. Despite the diversity of elements in man, he was a unity, an ensouled body, an incarnated spirit; he was a divinized unity of body and spirit. Equally important, man, although the pinnacle of visible creation, was, in all elements of his nature, eminently perfectible. He was not created in a fully developed state. Instead, there were almost unlimited potentialities left for him to exploit and bring to reality. God sketched in man the lineaments of a divine image, the most perfect visible image He made. Then He left to man himself the task of evoking by his life and work the potentialities inherent in himself to be the most expressive possible reproduction of his Creator's infinite perfection.

Furthermore, because man was a horizon between matter and spirit, time and eternity, material creation and God, he was, under God, lord and builder of creation. Because he was partly material, he could act on matter. Because he was a divinized, spiritual being, he could understand both creation and God's divine plan. As a result, he was capable of discerning those potentialities in creation that depended on his initiative and bringing them to reality. He could see God, as He was then expressed in the cosmos, and sense the further revelations that were implicit in the virtualities of what God has made.

This is not to say that man always knows the full implications of his work upon nature. He works within the dual context of his own nature and of the possibilities in the materials he uses. His purpose may be primarily concerned with his own needs: seeking food, shelter, or the fulfillment of any of his needs. But so long as he works within the designed capacities of nature, his efforts will result in the mutual development of himself and of nature. (Sinful action will be considered later.)

Elevation. Moreover, his entire nature was elevated by grace and the virtues to a divine level. Consequently, he was able to know divine realities, including God's plan for man himself and the whole of visible creation, and to direct his activities in accordance with that plan. His purpose was not completely achieved within creation. His destiny was eternal and divine. He was intended to possess God beatifically throughout eternity precisely to the degree that he developed the potentialities of his existential nature. Man had no natural end. His end was divine.

To this extent philosophy, that is, human reason, is radically incapable of understanding man or his destiny. The philosopher's view of man is crucially incomplete and, thus, most open to error. Man has no merely temporal, intramundane purpose or meaning. There is no merely human, natural scale according to which his actions can be evaluated. Neither before nor after the Fall nor consequent upon the Redemption is there any situation in which man is the proper object of consideration for the philosopher alone. The purely natural man of the philosopher never existed. Nor is the end that the philosopher assigns to man existentially meaningful. Man and his destiny are totally supernatural. Man will either be with God eternally or, by his own catastrophic choice, cut off from God eternally. And every human action will contribute to man's beatification or to his exclusion from God.

Potentiality of Cosmos. The cosmos was, as the term implies, a unified, organized, purposive system. Each kind of being in the cosmos was an expression of God; it taught man something about God. And the total cosmos was simultaneously a further expression of God (St. Thomas, Comp. theol. 102). But the cosmos, including man, was radically perfectible at the outset. This does not mean that God made a defective cosmos, but rather that He produced a world rich in potentialities. These potentialities were to be realized partly by the internal dynamisms of the cosmos and partly by man's rational action. And, as the cosmos achieved its own possibilities, it would at each step be a more expressive reproduction of God.

More important still, unfolding the potentialities of the cosmos was not only one of man's chief temporal duties but was also a primary instrumentality of his own development. Man's work upon naturegrowing crops, caring for animals, developing resources of the mineral kingdomwas never a unilateral action. Provided he worked in ways consonant with his own and creation's natures, his work perfected not only material creation, but himself as well. Man was to grow by helping nature grow.

Thus, both the dynamisms of nature and man's work were ordained constantly to make creation a more perfect reproduction of God's perfections. Working in personal communion with God, man was to be the instrument of God's creative power, continuing His work upon creation, thus preparing himself for eternal beatitude. This total perfective system had as its mediate objective the perfection of man. [see glory of god (end of creation).] Creation was intended in various ways to contribute to man's development and to his ultimate beatification through eternal union with God. This truth was strikingly put by Henri bergson: "The universe is a machine for making gods" [The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (2d ed. New York 1954) 317].

Toward the Pleroma. Knowing God by faith and seeing Him revealed in creation, man was able to grow in likeness to God both by contemplating God and by all his operations upon the world in which he lived.

But men were not intended to work in isolation. United together by sharing a common nature and destiny and above all by participation in the one life of God, men were to be One Man, a Mystical Body. In charity aiding each other to grow and in the process corporately building Man by their endlessly varied evocations of the species' possibilities, men were to carry out God's creative will. Making Man in the plenitude of his divinized human nature is willed by God as the chief created good of the universe. This was to have been the pleroma, the fulfillment, toward which all of its purposiveness was directed.

Man, then, is unique within the cosmos. He alone of all kinds of beings is the object of God's personal solicitude both for his own sake and for the sake of his species. "Now a rational creature exists under divine providence as a being governed and provided for in himself, and not simply for the sake of his species, as is the case with other corruptible creatures" (St. Thomas, C. gent. 3.113.1).

Adam. This was man's work in time. In addition, adam, the first man, had a unique responsibility. By his decision he was to determine what man was to be. Adam was created more than man, as a human being to whom had been given by God's free gift preternatural and supernatural prerogatives. Adam was to determine in perpetuity whether his descendants were to begin existence with the full complement of nature and its supplementary gifts (with which it would be possible to attain their eternal destiny) or with denuded and deprived nature. If he fulfilled his personal injunction of fidelity to God's ordinance, his descendants would come into existence possessing nature and grace. But if he failed to fulfill his personal role as head of the human race, those gifts added to human nature that were either necessary or useful for attaining a supernatural destiny would be lost. Adam's original sin would radically change the model according to which all men were to be fashioned.

The Fall. Adam's sin forfeited the supernatural endowments of human nature not only for himself but for all his descendants, since he was the primeval man from whom and according to whom others were to be formed. St. Paul says: " through one man sin entered into the world and through sin death, and thus death has passed into all men because all have sinned [in Adam]" (Rom5.12). Moreover, the order that had existed in the cosmos, both within man and in creation as a whole, was shattered. Neither man nor creation through him could attain the eternal destiny ordained by God. Yet the destiny remained: "[Man] is born in a fallen state, while all the time retaining his place in the supernatural order " (Mouroux 136). This does not mean that all development was frustrated. But it does mean that the purposive development that should ultimately have flowered in the pleroma was absolutely frustrate (see original sin).

Personal sin can be defined as a word, deed, or desire contrary to the eternal law of God. From the restricted point of view of a theology of man, it is an act that fails, by man's willful decision, to contribute to the pleroma. While it is obvious that it is not under this precise formality that men sin, since not all have cognizance of this effect of sin, this is its concrete effect with respect to man's supernatural temporal responsibility.

Incarnational Redemption. The Son of God became man to restore God's plan by redeeming mankind by His passion and death.

In a sense one can say that God's purpose was accomplished by the incarnation itself, even if one prescinds from its redemptive effects. This is not the place to discuss the Incarnation. Yet one can note that the hypostatic union of Christ's sacred humanity with the Person of the Son of God effected results in creation infinitely transcending the gifts given by God when He made the cosmos. Even more, Christ equally transcends the perfection that would have been achieved if there had been no Fall and mankind had attained the fullest conceivable fruition. This is the meaning of the liturgy's exultant cry: "O felix culpa. O happy fault, that merited a Redeemer so holy and so great!" (Holy Saturday, Exultet ).

The God-Man, Christ Jesus, is Himself the pleroma."For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col 2.9). For it has pleased God the Father that in him all his fullness should dwell" (Col 1.19). Man was created as an image of God. His work in time was to perfect that image with the help of grace by all his actions. This was the work of the first man, of each man, of all men corporately. In this work man failed. Yet in Christ at the Incarnation man had become par excellence "the image of the invisible God" (Col 1.15). "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we saw his gloryglory as of the only-begotten of the Fatherfull of grace and of truth" (Jn 1.14; cf. 14.811).

Son of God and fullness of man, Christ is endowed with a plenitude of dignity and perfection so immeasurably surpassing the worth of all other creatures that His sacred humanity is adorable with the latria due to God alone.

He who is the Son of God and is God incarnate was born of the Virgin. He is not merely a man bearing God, but is God made flesh. He is anointed not by action, as a prophet, but by the presence of the anointing Person, so that He who anointed has become man, and that which was anointed has become God, not by any change of nature but by a union of hypostasis. [St. John Damascene, On Orthodox Faith 4.14; Patrologica Graeca, ed. J.P. Migne 94:116061]

Although Christ more than achieved the pleroma by the Incarnation, He did not intend to remain alone. He did two further things that made participation in Him and His work accessible to other men.

First, He offered superabundant satisfaction for the sins of all mankind. "But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal 4.45; see satisfaction of christ).

Second, and for our purpose more important, He became a unique archetype, a life-giving spirit, according to which and into whom redeemed man is reborn by a second genesis [echoing both the rebirth of Jn 3.5 and the primordial Genesis; see rebirth (in the bible)]. He is, as St. Paul insists, the second Adam, new head of divinized man (1 Cor 15.4449; Rom 5.1221). Those who are united in Christ, the second Adam, while remaining discrete human beings, possess one common divine life, lived initially and shared with them by the Head of the MYSTICAL BODY. In the supernatural order all who possess grace constitute one living organism.

Redeemed Man. Those who died in the first Adam have access to grace and life through the second Adam. But man must receive life voluntarily, as it was voluntarily lost. There must be an aversion from sin and self and a conversion to Christ and God, if life is to be received. This is the sense of Acts: "Therefore to the Gentiles also God has given repentance unto life" (11.18). In the grace of that repentance unto life, man is to "Strip off the old man with his deeds and put on the new, one that is being renewed unto perfect knowledge 'according to the image of his Creator"' (Col 3.910).

Two considerations about "repentance unto life" are important here. (1) Even at the outset of the Christian life, man's own actions are significant. God gives repentance unto life, but man must repent; he must freely die to his old life and freely rise with and in Christ. (2) Man is to live a new divinized life that has dimensions in both time and eternity. The Christian is to live a life one sees demonstrated in the two great principles of action: "without me you can do nothing" (Jn 15.5); and "I can do all things in him who strengthens me" (Phil 4.13; see conversion and grace, controversies on).

The newborn Christian is like an infant (1 Pt 2.2), undeveloped but rich in inestimable potential. He is to grow. The various faculties of the supernatural life are to be developed, and this development is the principal purpose of time and activity.

Ideally, every moment of life and every action is developmental; actually, many will be wasted through negligence or malice. The Christian effort for perfection could be described as a constant attempt to minimize the number of wasted or harmful actions and to maximize the number and quality of those that develop man. Thus, the only theoretical limit to human development for the Christian is the injunction, "You therefore are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5.48).

Redeeming the Cosmos. The Redemption inaugurated a regime the same in essentials as that before the Fall. Salvation is once more accessible to man in Christ. But there are differences. The most obvious is that the preternatural gifts are not restored. More significant, ultimately, is the fact that the order of the cosmos is not reinstated. This is to be slowly and painfully reconstituted by man's effort. Man must make his personal contribution to his own justification; so he must work out the Redemption of the cosmos. St. Paul's testimony on this is profoundly obscure, but it makes plain that man, somehow, is to achieve the Redemption of material creation that fell with man's sin.

For the eager longing of creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God. For creation was made subject to vanitynot by its own will but by reason of him who made it subjectin hope, because creation itself also will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God. [Rom 8.1921]

The precise meaning of the passage is obscure, but clearly it affirms the solidarity of man and creation. By man's sin the cosmos was disrupted and rendered frustrate of its destiny. By redeemed man it can be restored. Man can progressively reconstitute the cosmos, i.e., an ordered, purposive system, by using material creation in accord with its nature and his, once he has himself been redeemedor he can further subject creation to vanity by misusing it.

The noblest examples of the right use of creation are found in the liturgical uses: water in Baptism, wine and bread in the Eucharist; oil, wax, linen, incense. By such uses matter receives a great dignity and becomes both sanctified and sanctifying. But the redemptive and incarnational principle is not restricted to sacred uses. Everything that a Christian does can be redemptive: "Whatever you do, work at it from the heart as for the Lord and not for men" (Col 3.23).

Life in Christ. The Christian's work, then, is to prolong Christ's redemptive work. Having risen with Christ, he is to "mind the things that are above, not the things that are on earth" (Col 3.2). Yet he is not to flee from the world of men and work. The passage just quoted is followed by a lengthy exhortation to live daily life holily, including the advice to slaves quoted earlier:"Whatever you do, work at it from the heart as for the Lord."

Clearly, then, no human action is irrelevant to the work of Redemption and salvation, whether performed by Christian or pagan. Christian works can actively build the kingdom of god; those of pagans can be steps toward justification. Justified man is thus seen as an intensely dynamic being, informed and divinized by grace. Good actions not only perfect him but dignify and sanctify matter on which he works. This is the fundamental insight regarding man and creation. Man exists in an imperfect, fallenbut redeemable and perfectible system, a system that is dynamic and purposive, whose order and perfection are to be as perfect a replica of God as man, guided by the wisdom and grace of Christ, can make it. And in building the cosmos, he builds himself and Man.

Christ is the pleroma. But He is a pleroma, paradoxically, that can grow. It grows by the extension of divine life to men, by their incorporation into and growth in Christ. And among the means by which men grow in life, grace, and fullness, not least is the work they do in time and upon the cosmos.

Teaching of the Church. The Church's solemn teaching concerning the composition of man is not extensive. It has defined that souls are not of the substance of God, did not preexist their bodies (H. Denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum, ed. A. Schönmetzer 455456), do not result from transformation of sensitive souls, and are not generated (Enchiridion symbolorum 3220; see traducianism). Each man has a unique, created soul, which is the form of the body (Enchiridion symbolorum 1440). The soul is created by God from nothing (Enchiridion symbolorum 685).

See Also: man, articles on; church, articles on; destiny, supernatural; elevation of man; grace and nature; recapitulation in christ; secularism; supernatural order; temporal values, theology of

Bibliography: p. overhage et al., Lexikon für Theologie, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 7:278294. Dictionnaire de théologie catholique: Tables générales, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 1951 2:210006. p. hermand et al., Catholicisme 5:853886. t. aquinas, Summa theologiae 1a, 7588. j. mouroux, The Meaning of Man, tr. a. h. g. downes (New York 1948). r. guardini, Freedom, Grace, and Destiny, tr. j. murray (New York 1961). j. fichtner, Theological Anthropology (Notre Dame, Indiana 1963). g. thils, Théologie des réalités terrestres, 2 v. (Bruges 194649). l. j. lebret, Human Ascent, tr. r. and m. faulhaber (Chicago 1955). e. suhard, Growth or Decline?, tr. j. a. corbett (South Bend, Indiana 1948). Social Order 3 (May-June 1953) 193288, on Christian humanism. e. i. watkin, The Bow in the Clouds (New York 1932). f. d. wilhelmsen, The Metaphysics of Love (New York 1962). h. de lubac, A Brief Catechesis on Nature and Grace (San Francisco 1984). w. pannenberg, Anthropology in a Theological Perspective, tr. m. j. o'connell (Philadelphia 1985). pope john paul ii, The Theology of the Body According to John Paul II. Human Love in the Divine Plan (Boston 1997).

[f. j. corley]

Man (Manchus)

views updated May 21 2018

Man (Manchus)

ALTERNATE NAMES: Jurchens, Manzhou, Manchus
POPULATION: 10.68 million
LANGUAGE: Chinese, Manchu
RELIGION: Some shamanism
RELATED ARTICLES: Vol. 3: China and Her National Minorities


Dwelling mainly in northeast China, the Man, better known as the Manchus, have a long history. In addition to their direct relation with the Jurchens, their historical origins may be traced back to the Mohe of the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties, to the Wuji of the Han (206 bc–ad 220) and, more remotely, to the Sushen of the Zhou (c. 12th century–256 bc). Ancient Chinese books began to record the name Jurchens as early as the Five Dynasties (907–960). In the beginning of the 12th century, led by headman Aguda of the Wanyan tribe, the Jurchens established the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234). Before long, they destroyed the Kingdom of Liao (916–1125) and the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) and threatened the Southern Song (1127–1279). A great number of the Jurchens came to the Central Plains (the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River), but they were gradually absorbed into Chinese culture over a long period of time. Following the destruction of the Jin Dynasty, the Jurchens themselves were conquered by the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) and later on ruled by the Ming (1368–1644). Since the 15th century, the headmen of various tribes of Jurchens were appointed by the central government. In the 16th century, a hero of the Jurchens, Nurhachi (1559–1626), unified all the tribes by military force. He built up an organization that integrated military function, government administration, and production management, providing a sound basis for the later establishment and consolidation of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). His eighth son succeeded to the throne. In 1635, he changed the name of his nationality to Manzhou (origin of the Western term "Manchu"). The name was simplified to Man in 1911, at the end of the last dynasty of China.


The Mans are scattered all over China. The largest concentration is found in Liaoning Province. Smaller communities live in Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Shandong provinces or regions, as well as in Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, Xi'an, and Guangzhou cities. Th is wide distribution is related to the dominant position of the Mans in the Qing Dynasty. During the dynasty's 250 years or so, Mans holding important positions lived in different parts of China, and many members of their families took root and remained there. The Man population was 10.68 million in 2000, second only to the Zhuang among the minorities.


Their language is classified as belonging to the Altaic family, Manchu-Tungusic group, Manchu branch. It has withered since the end of the 18th century and is used only among a limited number of the Mans in a few counties of Heilongjiang. The written language was created on the basis of the Mongolian writing system and was used extensively under the Qing Dynasty. Now, almost all of the Mans use Chinese characters.


A large part of the rich Man corpus of mythology revolves around ancestors. According to one myth, three fairy maidens descended to take a bath in Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) of the Changbai Mountains. The youngest of them ate a small red fruit carried by a golden bird in its bill. She got pregnant and bore a boy who could speak right after birth. She gave him the surname of Aixinjueluo (the surname of emperors of the Qing Dynasty). When he had grown up, she told him the story of his birth and then ascended to Heaven. Drifting down the streams, the young man arrived at a place where three clans fought fiercely with each other. Taking advantage of his status, he stopped their fight and was selected to be their headman. This place was the hometown of the Jurchens, which means "the root of Man."

Another myth concerns their god and a hero. It was said that the Man god Abukainduli was very powerful. The rosy clouds were his breath, and the twinkling stars were the droplets from his cough. Unfortunately, he was so lazy that the northern lands froze in a world of snow and ice most of the year. Following an epic combat, the god defeated a demon and flattened him under the weight of a mountain. Not to be outdone, the demon transformed himself into a large elm, which obstructed the head of the river and it dried up. Unwilling to die of thirst, the tribe living there had to offer children in sacrifice to the demon. A young man, Mudan, met the god Abukainduli after innumerable hardships. The god gave him an axe and told him that he should chop down the elm by striking it 81 times with the axe and that Mudan himself would turn into a rock after doing so. To deliver his clan from evil and misery, Mudan lifted the axe and chopped fiercely at the elm. Every nine chops, he suffered a disaster. After the eighty-first chop, the demon fell, and Mudan was transformed into a mountain. At the same time, a vast amount of water sprang from the ground and flowed toward the north. Since then, people have called the river after the name of the hero, Mudan.


The traditional beliefs of the Mans are rooted in Shamanism. According to the Mans, a shaman means "a wildly dancing man capable of magical feats." The shaman's duty is to help women bear children, to cure illness, and to shield them from misfortune. Dancing in a trance is the usual way to cure the diseased. This is done by a professional shaman; each village only employs one. He has a variety of props: a shaman's hat, clothes, shoes, drum, stick, and sword. When he performs, he wears his special hat, on which hang many long strips of multicolored cloths so that his face and even his whole head is covered. Several copper plates cover his back and the front of his chest. He wears a long skirt and a waistband with small copper bells hung on it. Muttering incantations, he beats a drum while dancing. If the diseased recovers, the family should redeem the vow made beforehand to the gods; if not, the shaman will say, "You did not come with a true heart." If a family wishes to have a son, the shaman is invited to pray to the god called Fuolifuoduorhanximama. Another shaman is responsible for sacrificial offerings on religious festivals or when a major event occurs. Shamanism still exists in traditional Man villages but has disappeared from cities a long time ago.


The Chinese Spring Festival (lunar calendar; Western calendar, between January 21 and February 20) is a major holiday for the Mans. They put on the door red, yellow, blue, or white banners, indicating their "bannerman" status among the "Eight Banners." Some of their festivals are related to their sacrificial offerings. For example, every family offers sacrifice (usually a black male pig) to their ancestors in autumn. There is a kang (a heatable brick bed) in their house. The kang on the west side is the best place to lay offerings to their ancestors. Before the butchery, the butcher should sharpen his knife on that kang. Three pieces of cooked pork are put in front of their ancestors' memorial tablets. A box containing their family tree is placed on a small, short legged table near the kang. The family members kowtow, one after another, in proper order according to their position in the family hierarchy. Then, the invited shaman begins his dance, asking for protection and blessing for the family. The next day, the family will offer a sacrifice to Heaven. Again, a black pig is killed. The internal organs and neck bone are hung on an outdoor post. If the flesh is all eaten by crows, it is a lucky sign. The pork is chopped and cooked with millet. Relatives, friends, neighbors, and even passers-by are invited to take a bowl of gruel. Three days later, the leftovers, if any, should be buried. The bones are also buried at the foot of the post.


In order to obtain the gods' blessings, a small bow and arrow is hung at the gate when a boy is born. The ancestors of the Mans were good at archery, and a bow and arrows were always worn by men in outdoor activities. When a girl was born, three cloth bands, each 1.5 in wide, were tied outside her swaddling clothes. This was regarded as beneficial to horsemanship in the future. For this reason a strip of cloth is still hung when a girl is born. Habitually, they make the baby lie on its back and put a pillow padded with millet under the back of the baby's head. The flattened back of the head is regarded as pretty.

In the eyes of the Mans, the north kang is for senior persons and the western one is reserved for the ancestors. There-fore, nobody is allowed to die on it. The coffin is brought in and carried out through the window instead of through the door. The funeral must be held on an odd-numbered day, because a funeral on an even-numbered day would mean that two people have died. Before the funeral, a post is erected in the courtyard. A long narrow flag made of red and black pieces of cloth is hung on it. During the funeral, relatives and friends scramble to take pieces of the flag, which they will use to make clothes for their children. The clothes are believed to protect the children from evil and nightmares. After the funerary ceremony, the deceased is buried in the ground.


Since it is common knowledge that the west kang is reserved for the ancestors, guests avoid sitting there while visiting. Otherwise, guests are warmly welcomed in a Man home.

When the bride-to-be visits for the first time, a small heart-shaped bag for carrying money and odds and ends is usually offered as a token of love. Actually, it is a combination of two bags exactly of the same size and figures. The girl would keep one half and give the other half to her boyfriend.


There is usually a screen wall facing the gate, inside a traditional Man courtyard, where a post is erected for sacrificial offerings. The house is made of wood and adobes. The central room opens to the south. The room in the west part of the house is usually the bedroom, in which the north, west, and south sides are provided with kang. The parents and the senior persons (if any) sleep on the north kang, the children on the south kang. The inside of the kang is connected with the cooking stove and is always warm in winter.


The Man family is patrilineal. A house of three or more generations is not uncommon. The Mans have great esteem for their elders. The position of men and women is more or less equal in the family. Men engage in farming. Although women also work in the fields, they usually spend most of their time doing household chores. The family is monogamous. Arranged marriage is prevalent. When young people reach 16 or 17, they are allowed to be engaged. The matchmaker, representing the male side, usually visits the female side three times before getting an answer. Each time she pays a visit, a bottle of wine is presented. As the saying goes: "Just to ask: Is it all right? Is worth three bottles of wine!" If it is all right, the parents of the girl will ask for betrothal gifts (pigs, wine, money, clothes, ornaments), which will belong to the girl. On the wedding day, the bride is carried to the groom's house on a bridal sedan chair.


In the past, men's clothing was adapted to the requirements of horsemanship and marksmanship. They shaved the fore part of their hair and combed the latter part into a braid hung on the back. The tight cuffs of the sleeves, the long vents on both sides of the robe, the waistband, the boots, and their long trousers were all designed to facilitate fighting in a cold climate. Women's costumes include a long robe (cheongsam), a wooden pad about 2.5 inches high placed under the middle part of the sole, and a flat bun hung behind the neck. These customs intended to stress the nobility of Man women. Except for long robes for both sexes, the other stylized clothes are not worn today. The robes, however, were prevalent in the first half of the 20th century. Then, they gradually disappeared. But, women's robes are still worn on festive occasions, although they are quite different from the originals. Today, Man clothing is not much different from the Chinese.


The Mans like to eat millet and glutinous millet. "Cooked mutton held in the hand" is absolutely necessary on the Spring Festival. Mutton is chopped in big pieces with bone and half-cooked with a little salt. The piece is held with the hand while eating. Sometimes a knife is needed. The most famous light refreshment is saqima, a kind of candied fritter. It is made by mixing flour with eggs, cutting the paste into noodles, and frying. It is then taken out, covered with syrup, and stirred. It is finally put into a wooden frame, pressed, cut into squares, and served.


Because of the need to train large numbers of young people (mainly men) to serve as officials during the Man Qing Dynasty, the Mans have traditionally had a relatively high level of literacy. Even more important for the development of education in the recent past is the advanced urbanization of the Man people. As a result, their educational and cultural level is higher than the average for the whole country and even exceeds the average for the whole world. In China, they are second to the Koreans.


One of the main traditional art forms of the Mans is dancing. A traditional choreography entitled "Hunting Dance" needs actors with a strong physique. Half of them wear leopard skin, ride on horseback, and pursue and attack prop-animals. The Man songs are accompanied by a vertical bamboo flute and a drum. The rest of the actors dress as tigers and leopards.

A form of dance still popular in northeast China developed from an ancient wedding ceremony dance; it is still performed during festivals. Both men and women, host and guests, take turns dancing. The dancing movements are simple but quite vigorous.

The Octagon Drum Opera is a traditional Man adaptation of Peking opera. The tune and melody and the musical instruments accompanying the narrative are comparable to the styles used in Tianjin, Tangshan, Beijing, and Shenyang cities. The octagon drum is the leading instrument used by the actors.

Some artists and writers of great achievement and reputation are Man, including the famous writer Lao She, the master of comic dialogue Hou Baolin, and the outstanding actor of Peking Opera, Cheng Yanqiu.


In the remote past, the ancestors of the Mans were hunters. Later, under Chinese influence, they turned to agriculture. In the modern era, especially since late 19th century, former Manchuria became the most important base of heavy industry in China and a very large part of the Man population became workers, technicians, and managers in large factories. Th is has remained so. Heavy metals, coal, hydropower, agriculture, forestry, and stock raising are the main industrial and economic resources of the Mans.


Ice skating has a long history for the Man people and is linked with their Nordic habitat. Centuries ago, Man warriors tied filed animal bones under their boots to march on ice. Later, they exchanged the bones for iron bars inlaid in the sole. Still later, an iron sheath was fitted on a board, which was then tied beneath the boot. In the 19th century, skating was part of the military training of the "Eight Banners" army. Today, Man people still take advantage of the long, cold winter in northeast China to go skating on rivers and lakes or in skating rinks. Some Man skaters are renowned internationally.


For urban Mans, watching television is a daily entertainment in the evenings. They go to the movies once or twice a month. Beijing opera, chess, gardening, pet birds, storytelling, comic dialogues, and "clapper talks" are favorite pastimes of the aged and middle-aged persons. Youngsters like dancing, popular songs, and karaoke. Recreational activities are not different in the rural areas; however, access to television programs and movies is more restricted and the style of dancing and popular songs is different.


The Mans excel in jade sculpture, bone carving, clay and dough figurines, and snuff-bottle interior painting. They are also world-renowned for their ice carving and sculptures and have won many international competitions.


Urban Mans have one of the highest economic levels in China, but they have lost much of their cultural identity. Because of the long and cold winters, rural areas remain economically undeveloped but have preserved many of their traditional ways.


The Chinese constitution states that women have equal rights with men in all areas of life, and most legislation is gender neutral. However, there are continued reports of discrimination, sexual harassment, wage discrepancies, and other gender related problems. The gap in educational level between women and men is narrowing with women making up 47.1% of college students in 2005, but only 32.6% of doctoral students.

China has strict family planning laws. It is illegal for women to marry before 20 years of age (22 for men), and it is illegal for single women to give birth. The Family Planning Bureau can require women to take periodic pregnancy tests and enforce laws that often leave women with no real options other than abortion or sterilization. Though minority populations were previously exempt from family planning regulations, policy has changed in recent years to limit minority population growth. Today, urban minority couples may have two children while rural couples may have three or four.

Prostitution and the sex trade is a significant problem in China involving between 1.7 and 5 million women. It involved organized crime, businessmen, the police, and government workers, so prosecution against prostitution has limited success. In 2002, the nation removed homosexuality from its official list of mental illnesses, and though it is still a taboo topic, homosexuality is increasingly accepted, especially in large, international cities.


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—by C. Le Blanc


views updated May 23 2018

man / man/ • n. (pl. men / men/ ) 1. an adult human male. ∎  a male worker or employee: more than 700 men were laid off CNN's man in India. ∎  a male member of a sports team: Johnson took the ball past three men and scored. ∎  (men) ordinary members of the armed forces as distinct from the officers: he had a platoon of forty men to prepare for battle. ∎  a husband, boyfriend, or lover: the two of them lived for a time as man and wife. ∎  a male person associated with a particular place, activity, or occupation: a Harvard man I'm a solid union man. ∎  a male pursued or sought by another, esp. in connection with a crime: Inspector Bull was sure they would find their man. ∎ dated a manservant or valet: get me a cocktail, my man. ∎ hist. a vassal.2. a human being of either sex; a person: God cares for all races and all men. ∎  (also Man) [in sing.] human beings in general; the human race: places untouched by the ravages of man. ∎  [in sing.] an individual; one: a man could buy a lot with eighteen million dollars. ∎  a person with the qualities often associated with males such as bravery, spirit, or toughness: she was more of a man than any of them. ∎  [in sing.] a type of prehistoric human named after the place where the remains were found: Cro-Magnon man.3. (usu. the Man) inf. a group or person in a position of authority over others, such as a corporate employer or the police: it was a vicarious way of powerless people being able to stick it to the Man. ∎ black slang white people collectively regarded as the controlling group in society: he urged that black college athletes boycott the Man's Rose Bowl.4. a figure or token used in playing a board game.• v. (manned, man·ning) [tr.] 1. (often be manned) provide (something, esp. a place or machine) with the personnel to run, operate, or defend it: the firemen manned the pumps and fought the blaze. ∎  provide someone to fill (a post or office): the chaplaincy was formerly manned by the cathedral.2. archaic fortify the spirits or courage of: he manned himself with dauntless air.• interj. inf. used, irrespective of the sex of the person addressed, to express surprise, admiration, delight, etc., or for emphasis: man, what a show!PHRASES: as —— as the next man as —— as the average person: I'm as ambitious as the next one man with everyone acting together or in agreement: the crowd rose to their feet as one someone's man be the person perfectly suited to a particular requirement or task: for any coloring and perming services, David's your man enough for (or to do) be brave enough to do: who's man enough for the job? he has not been man enough to face up to his responsibilities.make a man out of someone (of an experience or person) turn a young man into a mature adult: I make men out of them and teach them never to let anyone outsmart about town a fashionable male and boy dated throughout life from youth: the time when families worked in the fields man and boy.the man in the moon the imagined likeness of a face seen on the surface of a full moon. ∎ fig. used, esp. in comparisons, to refer to someone regarded as out of touch with real life: a kid with no more idea of what to do than the man in the moon.the man in (or on) the street an ordinary person, often with regard to their opinions, or as distinct from an expert: it will be interesting to hear what the man in the street has to say about these latest tax of actionsee of the cloth a of God a clergyman. ∎  a holy man or of honor a man who adheres to what is right or to a high standard of of the house the male head of a of letters a male scholar or of the moment a man of importance at a particular of the worldsee's best friend an affectionate or approving way of referring to the dog.a man's man a man whose personality is such that he is as popular and at ease, or more so, with other men than with to man (or man-to-man) 1. in a direct and frank way between two men; openly and honestly: he was able to talk man to man with the delegates | a man-to-man chat. 2. denoting a defensive tactic in a sport such as football or basketball in which each player is responsible for defending against one opponent: Washington's cornerbacks are fast enough to cover in white coats humorous psychiatrists or psychiatric workers (used to imply that someone is mad or mentally unbalanced): I wondered how much more stupid I could get before the men in white coats would lead me away.separate (or sort out) the men from the boys inf. show or prove which people in a group are truly competent, brave, or a man without exception: to a man, we have all taken a keen interest in the business.DERIVATIVES: man·less adj.

Man (Manchus)

views updated Jun 27 2018

Man (Manchus)


ALTERNATE NAMES: Jurchens; Manzhou


POPULATION: 9.85 million


RELIGION: Shamanism


The Man, better known as the Manchus, dwell mainly in northeast China. They are descended from the Jurchens of the Central Plains. The Jurchens were conquered by the Yuan Dynasty (12711368) and later ruled by the Ming (13681644). Starting in the fifteenth century, the Jurchens' tribal leaders were appointed by the central government. In the sixteenth century, a Jurchen hero, Nurhachi (15591626), unified all the tribes by military force. His leadership combined military operations, government administration, and economic management. He was the founder of Qing Dynasty (16441911). His eighth son succeeded him on the throne. In 1635, he changed the name of his nationality to Manzhou (origin of the Western term "Manchu"). It was shortened to Man in 1911 when China's last dynasty ended.


The Manchus live all over China. Most live in Liaoning Province. Smaller numbers are found in the regions of Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Shandong, as well as the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, Xi'an, and Guangzhou. The Manchu population was 9.85 million in 1990, second in size only to the Zhuang among the national minorities.


The Man language belongs to the Altaic family. It has been spoken less and less since the end of the eighteenth century. Today it is used only by a small number of Manchus. Almost all of the Manchus speak Chinese.


A large portion of Manchu mythology is about ancestors. According to one myth, three fairy maidens took a bath in Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) in the Changbai Mountains. The youngest ate a small red fruit that a golden bird carried in its bill. She got pregnant and bore a boy who could speak as soon as he was born. She named him Aixinjueluo (the last name of Qing Dynasty emperors). When he had grown up, she told him the story of his birth and then rose up to heaven.


The traditional beliefs of the Manchus are rooted in shamanism, which revolves around magical healers. Shamans help women bear children, and they cure illness and shield people from harm. The shaman dances in a trance to cure the sick. There is only one real shaman in each village. When he performs, the shaman wears a long skirt and a special hat. Many long strips of colored cloth hang from it and cover his face and head. Shamanism still exists in Manchu villages, but it disappeared from cities long ago.


The Chinese Spring Festival, or New Year, occurs between January 21 and February 20 on the Western calendar. It is a major holiday for the Manchus. They decorate their doors with red, yellow, blue, or white banners.

Some Manchu festivals are related to sacrificial rites. For example, every family offers a sacrifice (usually a black male pig) to its ancestors in autumn.


In order to obtain the gods' blessings, a small bow and arrow are hung at a family's gate when a boy is born. A strip of cloth is hung when a girl is born. Girls are made to lie on their backs with a special pillow under their heads because it is considered pretty for the back of the head to be flattened.

When a person dies, the coffin is brought in and carried out through a window instead of through the door. The funeral must be held on an odd-numbered day. Before the funeral, a post is erected in the courtyard. A long, narrow flag made of red and black pieces of cloth is hung on it. During the funeral, relatives and friends take pieces of the flag. They then use the pieces to make clothes for their children. They believe this will protect the children from harm. After the funeral ceremony, the dead person is buried.


Guests are warmly welcomed in a Manchu home. However, they must avoid sitting in the part of the house reserved for ancestors.

When the bride-to-be visits her future husband's family for the first time, she is given a small heart-shaped bag. It is used for carrying money and other objects and actually consists of two smaller bags. The girl keeps one and gives the other to her future husband.


Inside a Manchu courtyard, there is usually a post for sacrificial offerings. The house is made of wood and adobe. Its central room opens to the south. The room in the west part of the house is usually the bedroom. The parents and older family members sleep on the north side, the children on the south side.


The Manchu family name is carried on by males. Three or more generations often live in one household. The Manchus have great respect for their elders. Men and women hold equal power in the family. Men engage in farming. Women work in the fields, but they usually spend most of their time doing household chores. The Manchu are monogamous (they marry only one person). Arranged marriages are common. Young people become engaged at sixteen or seventeen.


The traditional Manchu costumes included long robes. These robes were still worn in the first part of this century. Then they slowly disappeared. However, women's robes (cheongsam) are still worn on special occasions, but their style has changed. Women wear wooden blocks about 2.5 inches (6.2 centimeters) high under the middle part of their shoe soles. Their hair is worn in a flat bun behind the neck.


The Manchus like to eat millet, including sticky millet. "Cooked mutton held in the hand" is a required part of the Spring Festival. Mutton (the meat of a sheep) is chopped into pieces and partly cooked with a little salt. Each piece is held in the hand while it is eaten. Sometimes a knife is needed. The most popular snack is saqima, a candied fritter. It is made by mixing flour with eggs, cutting the mixture into noodles, and frying it. It is then taken out, covered with syrup, and stirred. Finally, it is put into a wooden frame, pressed, cut into squares, and served.


The Manchus have always had a high level of literacy (ability to read and write). Many young people (mainly men) needed an education in order to work for the emperor during the Manchu Qing Dynasty. More recently, the growth of cities has furthered education among the Manchu.


One of the main Manchu art forms is dancing. In the Hunting Dance, the dancers wear leopard and tiger costumes. Some ride on horseback as they hunt "animals" wearing costumes. Manchu songs are accompanied by a bamboo flute and a drum.

The Octagon Drum Opera is the Manchu version of the famous Chinese Peking Opera.

Famous Manchu figures in the arts include writer Lao She (18991966), comic writer Hou Baolin, and actor Cheng Yanqiu.


Metals, coal, hydroelectric power production, agriculture, and forestry are the main sources of income among the Manchu. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Manchu homeland has become the center of Chinese heavy industry. Many Manchu are workers and managers in large factories.


The Manchu have a long tradition of ice skating. During the long, cold winters in northeast China they skate on rivers and lakes or in skating rinks. Some Manchu skaters have won international fame.


Urban Manchus watch television in the evening. They go to the movies about once or twice a month. Adults enjoy Peking opera, chess, gardening, keeping pet birds, and storytelling. Young people like dancing, listening to popular songs, and karaoke (singing for others in public). Recreation is similar in rural areas. However, people see fewer television programs and movies.


The Manchus are experts at jade sculpture, bone carving, making small clay and dough figures, and painting the insides of small bottles. They are also known around the world for their ice carving and sculptures.


Urban Manchus have one of the highest standards of living in China. However, they have lost much of their cultural identity. In contrast, the rural Manchu remain poor because of their long, cold winters, but they have preserved their traditions.


Harrell, Stevan, ed. Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995.

Heberer, Thomas. China and Its National Minorities: Autonomy or Assimilation? Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1989.

Ma Yin, ed. China's Minority Nationalities. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989.


Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Washington, D.C. [Online] Available, 1998.

World Travel Guide. China. [Online] Available, 1998.


views updated May 21 2018

man because a man is born in a stable that does not make him a horse proverbial saying, mid 19th century; sometimes attributed to the Duke of Wellington, who asserted that being born in Ireland did not make him Irish.
man cannot live by bread alone one needs spiritual as well as physical sustenance. Proverbial saying, late 19th century, originally with biblical allusion to Matthew 4:4, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’
a man for all seasons a person who is ready for any situation or contingency, or adaptable to any circumstance; originally, as a description of St Thomas More by Robert Whittington in Vulgaria (1521). Erasmus had applied the idea earlier, describing More in In Praise of Folly (1509) as ‘a man of all hours’.
Man Friday in Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) Crusoe's servant, to whom he usually refers as ‘my man Friday’, named for the day on which Crusoe saved his life. From the early 19th century the term has been used to designate a (male) helper or follower.
man in the moon a mythical person supposed to live in the moon. Inhabitants of the moon were postulated in ancient and Hellenistic Greek texts; the use in English, recorded from Middle English, derives from the imagined semblance of a person or a human face in the disc of the (full) moon. By the mid 16th century, the man in the moon had become proverbial as the type of someone too distant to have any understanding or knowledge of a person's circumstances.
a man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks proverbial saying, late 19th century; both parts of the proverb are sometimes used on their own.
man is the measure of all things everything can be understood in terms of humankind. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 16th century, but the proverb is found earlier in Greek, and is attributed by Plato to the Greek sophist Protagoras (b. c.485 bc).
Man of Sorrows a name for Jesus Christ, deriving from a prophecy in Isaiah 53:3; in art represented as an image of Christ surrounded by instruments of the Passion.
man proposes, God disposes often now said in consolation or resignation when plans have been disrupted. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 15th century, but early 14th-century French has, ‘for if man proposes evil, God…disposes of it.’
man's extremity is God's opportunity great distress or danger may prompt a person to turn to God for help; proverbial saying, early 17th century.
whatever man has done, man may do anything that has been achieved once can be achieved again. The saying is recorded from the mid 19th century, but there is a similar idea behind a comment (1723) of S. Cranston, recorded in G. S. Kimball Correspondence of Colonial Governors of Rhode Island (1902), ‘But as the Proverb is what hath been may be again.’

See also angry young man, the child is the father of the man, a man is known by the company he keeps, every man for himself, God made the country and man made the town, like master, like man, one man's meat is another man's poison, men, money makes a man, mouse and man, nine tailors make a man, no moon, no man, old man of the mountains, man of straw, white man's burden, white van man, a young man married.


views updated Jun 11 2018

man pl. men human being; adult male OE.; vassal, manservant XII; (dial.) husband XIII. OE. man(n), mon(n), pl. menn (:- *manniz), also manna, monna, corr. to OS., OHG. man (Du. man; G. mann), ON. maðr (g. manns, pl. menn), Goth. manna (g. mans, pl. mans, mannans); the various forms belong to two Gmc. stems *mann-, *mannan-, rel. to Skr. mánu- man, mankind, OSl. mǫźĭ.The prominent sense in OE. was ‘human being’, the words distinctive of sex being wer and wīf, wǣp(n)man and wīfman WOMAN. The sense ‘ship’ (as in Frenchman) appears in XV. Among spec. phr. is man-at-arms (XVI; formerly † man of arms), tr. OF. homme d'armes and à armes. The sense of ‘piece’ used in chess appears c.1400.
Hence man vb. Late OE. (ġe)mannian. manhood, †manhead XIII. mannish † human; masculine XIV; pert. to a grown man XVI; characteristic of a male XVIII. repl. OE. mennisċ, manslaughter XVII. Superseded † manslaught, OE. (Angl.) mannslæht, the second el. being:- Gmc. *slaχitz. f. *salχ- SLAY1.


views updated May 21 2018

Man. (1, It.) Short for mano, hand.

(2, Ger.) Short for Manuale, manual (of organ); Man. I = Great; II, Swell; III, Choir; IV, Solo (but occasionally another numeration is used, based on position, i.e. I, Choir; II, Great; III, Swell; IV, Solo).


views updated May 29 2018

Man. A primordial and cosmic figure, occurring in several religions, but with different emphases. In Hinduism, see NARA.


views updated Jun 08 2018

MAN Acronym for metropolitan area network.


views updated May 23 2018

man Zoological term for a human