Inheritance within Rupture

Culture and Scholarship in Early Twentieth Century China


Author: Zhitian Luo
Editors / Translators: Lane Harris and Chun Mei
In Inheritance within Rupture, Luo Zhitian brings together ten essays to explore the themes of change and continuity, rupture and inheritance from the late Qing through the early Republic (1890s-1940s). Rejecting binaries such as tradition/modernity, conservative/liberal, Luo blurs the divisions between intellectual opponents and clarifies the divergences between scholarly friends. Centering these discussions around some of the most famous intellectual debates in the modern period, Luo challenges our understanding of ideological positions, political affiliation, and scholarly identity in early twentieth-century China. By focusing on the influence of cultural inheritance within the rupture of modernity, we come to understand those concerns shared by all Chinese in their own times and in the present.

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Luo Zhitian, Ph.D. (1994), Princeton University, is the Distinguished Professor of History at Sichuan University and Professor of History at Peking University. He has published numerous monographs, edited volumes, and scholarly articles on Chinese history, including The Dream of Rebuilding Civilization: A Biography of Hu Shi (People's Publishing House, 1995).

Lane J. Harris, Ph.D. (2012), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Early Modern History, Frontiers of History in China, and Twentieth-Century China.

Mei Chun, Ph.D. (2005), in Chinese and Comparative Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis, is an independent scholar. Her publications include "'Garlic and Vinegar': The Narrative Significance of Verse in 'The Pearl Shirt Reencountered'" in Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews and The Novel and Theatrical Imagination in Early Modern China (Brill, 2011).
"Professor Luo Zhitian's collected volume on the multi-layered bases of modem Chinese intellectual transformations from the
post-Boxer Rebellion years to the May Fourth New Culture era, Inheritance within Rupture: Culture and Scholarship in Early Twentieth Century, makes an important contribution to English academia. [...] the translators have made this book readable and intellectually accesible in English."
Nagatomi Hirayama, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Frontiers of History in China 12.2, August 2017
Series Editors' Foreword

  • Historical Continuities
  • Inheritance in the Anti-Traditional Turn
  • The Complete Negativization of Tradition
  • About this Work

Chapter 1. Turning Heterodoxy into Orthodoxy: The Historical Transitions Manifested by the Boxer Incident of 1900

  • Intellectual Competitors and Allies in Social Categorization
  • ‘What Confucius Doesn’t Talk About’: The Post-Boxer Shift from Heterodoxy to Orthodoxy

Chapter 2. Confucianism, Non-Canonical Classical Philosophers, and the Yellow Emperor in National Learning: Late Qing Scholars and the Search for Symbols of National Identity

  • The Rise of the Study of Non-Canonical Classical Philosophers and the Struggle with Confucianism
  • Confucius and the Yellow Emperor: Contending Symbols of National Identity
  • An All-Encompassing National Learning

Chapter 3. The Dream of a Chinese Renaissance: From the Late Qing ‘Revival of Ancient Studies’ to the Republican ‘New Tide’

  • The Revival of Ancient Studies in the Late Qing
  • The Renaissance and Interpreting Qing Scholarship
  • Additional Thoughts

Chapter 4. Into the Museum: The Removal of ‘the Ancient’ from ‘the Modern’ by Scholars Pursuing ‘the New’ in the Late Qing and Early Republic

  • Its Origin in the Late Qing
  • Its Development in the Early Republic
  • The Antiqued ‘Heritage’ and the Real ‘Nation’

Chapter 5. Reading and Tradition: The Evolution of an On-Going Concern among
Late Qing and Early Republican Scholars

  • Reducing to the Minimum: Preserving Tradition through Simplification
  • Stretching the Concept of ‘Using the New to Preserve the Old’ in the Late Qing
  • The Early Republican Discussion of What Study-Abroad Students Should Read
  • Study Abroad and Tradition

Chapter 6. Rejuvenating the Old to Better Understand the New: ‘Historical Perspective’
in the Late Qing and Early Republic

  • Perfecting the Old through Daily Renovation
  • Weeding Through the Old to Bring Forth the New and Rejuvenating the Old to Better Understand the New

Chapter 7. Exploring the Historical Relationship between Scholarship and Thought: Late Qing and Early Republican Intellectual Debates on ‘National Learning’

  • Intellectual History and the History of Scholarship
  • Intellectual Debates about National Essence, National Heritage, and National
  • Learning in the Late Qing and Early Republic

Chapter 8. ‘Mr. Science’s Turn Towards National Learning and History: An Example of
“Science” as Seen by the Chinese Public During the May Fourth Period.

  • ‘Science,’ Learning, and Techniques in Modern China
  • How Did Science Turn towards Reorganizing National Heritage?
  • The Rise of Historical Materialism after the Turn from National Learning to History

Chapter 9. The Voicelessness of Literature: Reorganizing National Heritage and Evidence-Based Research on Literature

  • Was the Vernacular the Mainstream of Chinese Literary History?
  • Europeanization, Classicization, and Popularization: Trends in the Vernacular
  • The Breakthroughs and Inheritances of The New Redology in the Context of the Literary Revolution
  • When Ritual is Lost in the Capital, Seek it in the Country: Modern Expressions of Tradition

Concluding Remarks

Chapter 10. The Rise of Materialism: A Trend in Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture

  • ‘Material Essence’ and ‘Cultural Essence’ in Late Qing Intellectual Discourse
  • Visible and Invisible: From the ‘Spiritual’ to the ‘Technological’ in Science
  • Culture is also National Power: The Spread of Utilitarianism in Society and Oppositional Efforts

Appendix: List of Names
Anyone interested in late imperial, late Qing, and Republican Chinese history, Chinese intellectual history, the May Fourth Movement, and modern Chinese cultural studies.