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The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel

Aspects of the Relationship between the Buddhist Saṃgha and the State in Chinese History

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Edited by Thomas Jülch

The matter of saṃgha-state relations is of central importance to both the political and the religious history of China. The volume The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel brings together, for the first time, articles relating to this field covering a time span from the early Tang until the Qing dynasty. In order to portray also the remarkable thematic diversity of the field, each of the articles not only refers to a different time but also discusses a different aspect of the subject.
Contributors include: Chris Atwood, Chen Jinhua, Max Deeg, Barend ter Haar, Thomas Jülch, Albert Welter and Zhang Dewei.

Lightning from the East

Heterodoxy and Christianity in Contemporary China

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Emily Dunn

The Church of Almighty God, also known as Eastern Lightning, teaches that Jesus Christ has returned to earth as a Chinese woman to judge humankind. The Chinese government has banned it and similar groups, and targeted them in its campaign against “cults” such as Falun Gong.

Based on the Church’s own texts and exogenous reports, Emily Dunn offers the first comprehensive account of what the Church of Almighty God teaches, how Chinese Christians and the government have responded to new religious movements related to Protestantism, and how it all fits with global Christianity and the history of Chinese religion.

'Justification by Grace Alone' Facing Confucian Self-Cultivation

The Christian Doctrine of Justification Contextualized to New Confucianism

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Arne Redse

Chinese contexts as influenced by the religious moral philosophy of New Confucianism are characterized by the idea of becoming a sage through self-cultivation. For Christian theology – with its emphasis on God’s grace rather than on self-cultivation – Confucian teaching in this matter may appear as a problem.

Chinese Christian theology may ask: How can the Christian doctrine of justification by grace alone be contextualized in Chinese contexts which are characterized by the contradicting idea of self-cultivation? Another question may be equally interesting for Christian theology in all contexts: Which insights can be attained from an attempt at contextualizing the Christian doctrine of justification to contexts influenced by New Confucianism?

In this book professor Arne Redse contributes to answering these questions.

New Perspectives on Yenching University, 1916-1952

A Liberal Education for a New China

Edited by Arthur Lewis Rosenbaum

Essays in New Perspectives on Yenching University, 1916·1952 reevaluate the experience of China's preeminent Christian university in an era of nationalism and revolution. Although the university was denounced by the Chinese Communists and critics as an elitist and imperialist enterprise irrelevant to China's real needs, the essays demonstrate that Yenching's emphasis on biculturalism, cultural exchange, and a broad liberal education combined with professional expertise ultimately are compatible with nation-building and a modern Chinese identity. They show that the university fostered transnational exchanges of knowledge, changed the lives of students and faculty, and responded to the pressures of nationalism, war, and revolution. Topics include efforts to make Christianity relevant to China's needs; promotion of professional expertise, gender relationships and coeducation; the liberal arts; Sino-American cultural interactions; and Yenching's ambiguous response to Chinese nationalism, Japanese invasion, and revolution.

Late Works of Mou Zongsan

Selected Essays on Chinese Philosophy

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Edited by Jason Clower

In Late Works of Mou Zongsan, Jason Clower publishes English translations of this most famous and influential of modern Chinese philosophers for the first time. In essays chosen for their clarity and approachability, this leading contemporary Confucian speaks on the topics that best define his career: the future of Chinese culture and philosophy, the unique achievements of Confucianism, the place of Buddhism and Daoism in Chinese culture, and the possibility of a new partnership between Chinese and Western thought.

Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China

Transnational Religions, Local Agents, and the Study of Religion, 1800-Present

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Edited by Thomas Jansen, Thoralf Klein and Christian Meyer

Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China, co-edited by Thomas Jansen, Thoralf Klein and Christian Meyer, investigates the transformation of China’s religious landscape under the impact of global influences since 1800. The interdisciplinary case studies analyze the ways in which processes of globalization are interlinked with localizing tendencies, thereby forging transnational relationships between individuals, the state and religious as well as non-religious groups at the same time that the global concept ‘religion’ embeds itself in the emerging Chinese ‘religious field’ and within the new academic disciplines of Religious Studies and Theology. The contributions unravel the intellectual, social, political and economic forces that shaped and were themselves shaped by the emergence of what has remained a highly contested category.

The contributors are: Hildegard Diemberger, Vincent Goossaert, Esther-Maria Guggenmos, Thomas Jansen, Thoralf Klein, Dirk Kuhlmann, LAI Pan-chiu, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, Christian Meyer, Lauren Pfister, Chloë Starr, Xiaobing Wang-Riese, and Robert P. Weller.

Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers

Ritual Change and Social Transformation in a Southeastern Chinese Community, 1368-1949

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Yonghua Liu

In Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers, Yonghua Liu presents a detailed study of how a southeastern Chinese community experienced and responded to the process whereby Confucian rituals - previously thought unfit for practice by commoners - were adopted in the Chinese countryside and became an integral part of village culture, from the mid fourteenth to mid twentieth centuries.

The book examines the important but understudied ritual specialists, masters of rites ( lisheng), and their ritual handbooks while showing their crucial role in the ritual life of Chinese villagers. This discussion of lisheng and their rituals deepens our understanding of the ritual aspect of popular Confucianism and sheds new light on social and cultural transformations in late imperial China.

Five Classics of Fengshui

Chinese Spiritual Geography in Historical and Environmental Perspective

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Michael Paton

In Five Classics of Fengshui Michael Paton traces the theoretical development of this form of spiritual geography through full translations of major texts: the Burial Classic of Qing Wu, Book of Burial, Yellow Emperor’s Classic of House Siting, Twenty Four Difficult Problems, and Water Dragon Classic.
This theoretical development is analysed through the lens of history, philosophy and sociology of science in an attempt to address Joseph Needham’s conundrum of the "great beauty of the siting" in traditional China being based of such a “grossly superstitious system” and to understand what part fengshui played in the environmental history of China.

Taiwan's Tzu Chi as Engaged Buddhism

Origins, Organization, Appeal and Social Impact

Yu-Shuang Yao

This book is the first comprehensive sociological account and in-depth analysis of a new Chinese Buddhist movement, known as Tzu Chi (otherwise, the Buddhist Compassion Merit Society). Based in Taiwan, it was founded in 1966 and still led by a female Buddhist master – Master Cheng Yen. Its members are laity, and women play a major role. The main focus of the movement is medical charity – to ease and if possible prevent suffering and to teach ethics to the wealthy; at the same time, it also offers members a religion and a way of life. Recruitment typically attracts people from the urban middle class. With some 3.5 million members and a very low drop-out rate, Tzu Chi is extraordinarily successful, and has spread to other parts of the world, not least mainland China where it is attracting the attention of the general public and the media.

The book stands in the Anglo-American tradition of the sociology of religion; it also draws on the author’s knowledge of Buddhist history. The data come from participant observation and many long interviews. It will be of particular interest to students of new religious movements, religious studies in contemporary China, and studies in ethics and social change in East Asia.

China’s Creation and Origin Myths

Cross-cultural Explorations in Oral and Written Traditions

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Edited by Mineke Schipper, Shuxian Ye and Hubin Yin

How did the world begin? How were the first people created and which specific roles were they supposed to play in the cosmos? Like other mythologies worldwide, China’s creation and origin myths explain how man created order out of chaos and imposed culture on nature. Cross-cultural approaches to myth make us aware of the limitations of our own familiar classifications. This book makes a provocative case for the comparative study of the hidden treasures of China’s oral and written myth traditions in different languages and cultures, a legacy generously left behind by singers, storytellers, poets, and writers. This book opens new doors to the study of Chinese mythologies, a surprising and so far almost unknown world outside China.