By defining "literati" and discussing the relationship between the literati, their apparatus, and their oeuvre, we are examining, in fact, Chinese thought. In Chinese worldview the sacred and secular are not sharply separated, as in the West. The Chinese primary religions are Daoism and Confucianism. Daoism is concerned with the individual’s relationship with Nature. And Confucianism explains man’s bearing on society and hence on the universe. For, it is the action of man, which maintains the harmony in the world.
El-Mallakh, Olfat, "Whispering Sacredness: The Literati and their Apparatus" (2008). Philosophical Ideas and Artistic Pursuits in the Traditions of Asia and the West: An NEH Faculty Humanities Workshop . Paper 3.