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China has a long and complex history of interactions with the world around it. One of the most successful imports—arguably the most successful before modern times and the impact of the West—is Buddhism, which, since the first centuries of the Common Era, has spread into almost every aspect of Chinese life, thought and practice.
Erik Zürcher was one of the most important scholars to study the history of Buddhism in China, and the ways in which Buddhism in China gradually became Chinese Buddhism. More than half a century after the publication of Zürcher's landmark The Buddhist Conquest of China, we now have a collection of essays from the top contemporary specialists exploring aspects of the legacy of Zürcher's investigations, bringing forward new evidence, new ideas and reconsiderations of old theories to present an up-to-date and exciting expansion and revision of what was arguably the single most influential contribution to date on the history of Chinese Buddhism. Contributors are Tim Barrett, Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Funayama Toru, Barend ter Haar, Liu Shufen, Minku Kim, Jan Nattier, Antonello Palumbo, and Nicolas Standaert.
Military History and Ethnicity. Volume 1: The Twenty-Eight Yuntai Generals of the Eastern Han
Author: Fan Ye
Editor / Translator: Shu-hui Wu
Fan Ye’s Book of Later Han (Houhanshu) is enormously important as China’s most complete work on Eastern Han history in biographical form. For the first time in any Western language, the author introduces Fan Ye’s magnificent writings in lively translation with rich annotation and informative and insightful commentary.
This first volume covers its early military history and highlights the lives and achievements of the twenty-eight generals who helped Emperor Guangwu unify China and establish the Eastern Han dynasty (Houhanshu, 15-22).
Also included are images of these twenty-eight founding fathers, maps, and information related to early Eastern Han systems.
Author: Di Luo
Beyond Citizenship focuses on the role of literacy in building a modern nation-state by examining the government provision of adult literacy training in early twentieth-century China. Based on untapped archives and diaries, Di Luo uncovers people’s strategic use of literacy and illiteracy in social interactions and explores the impact of daily experiences on the expansion of state power. Highlighting interpersonal and intergroup relations, Beyond Citizenship suggests a new methodology of studying literacy which foregrounds the agentive role of historical actors and so moves away from a more traditional approach that treats literacy itself as the key factor enabling social change.
In the past decades, the world has watched the rise of China as an economic and military power and the emergence of Chinese transnational elites. What may seem like an entirely new phenomenon marks the revival of a trend initiated at the end of the Qing. The redistribution of power, wealth and knowledge among the newly formed elites matured during the Republican period.
This volume demonstrates both the difficulty and the value of re-thinking the elites in modern China. It establishes that the study of the dynamic tensions within the elite and among elite groups in this epochal era is within reach if we are prepared to embrace forms of historical inquiry that integrate the abundant and even limitless historical resources, and to engage with the rich repertoire of digital techniques/instruments available and question our previous research paradigms.
This renewed approach brings historical research closer to an integrative data-rich history of modern China.
The Zhou Changes, better known in the West as I Ching, is one of the masterpieces of world literature.
This book, the climax of more than forty years of research in Chinese archaeology, explores the text’s origins in the oracle-bone and milfoil divinations of Bronze Age China and how it transformed over the course of the Zhou dynasty into the first of the Chinese classics.
The book provides an in-depth survey of the theory and practice of divination to demonstrate how the hexagram and line statements of the text were produced and how they were understood at the time.
Author: Tsung-i Jao
Editor / Translator: Joern Peter Grundmann
The articles assembled in this volume present an important selection of Professor Jao Tsung-i’s research in the field of the early Chinese intellectual tradition, especially as it concerns the human condition. Whether his focus is on myth, religion, philosophy or morals, Jao consistently aims to describe how the series of developments broadly associated with the Axial Age unfolded in China. He is particularly interested in showing how early China had developed its own notion of transcendence as well as a system of prediction and morals that enabled man to act autonomously, without recourse to divine providence.
Author: Tsung-i Jao
Editor / Translator: David J. Lebovitz
Author: Tsung-i Jao
Editor / Translator: Colin Huehns
From prehistoric bone flutes to Confucian bell-sets, from ancient divination to his beloved qin, this book presents translations of thirteen seminal essays on musical subjects by Jao Tsung-i. In language as elegant and refined as the ancient texts he so admired, his journey takes readers through Buddhist incantation, the philosophy of musical instruments, acoustical numerology, lyric poetry, historical and sociological contexts, manuscript studies, dance choreography, repertoire formulation, and opera texts. His voice is authoritative and intimate, the expert crafting his arguments, both accessible and sophisticated, succinct and richly tapestried; and concealed within a deft modesty is a thinker privileging us with his most profound observation. The musician’s musician, the scholar’s scholar, bold yet cautious, flamboyant yet restrained, a man for all seasons, a harmoniousness of time and place.
How is it possible to write down the Japanese language exclusively in Chinese characters? And how are we then able to determine the language behind the veil of the Chinese script as Japanese? The history of writing in Japan presents us with a fascinating variety of writing styles ranging from phonography to morphography and all shades in between.
In Japanese Morphography: Deconstructing hentai kanbun, Gordian Schreiber shows that texts traditionally labelled as “hentai kanbun” or “variant Chinese” are, in fact, morphographically written Japanese texts instead and not just the result of an underdeveloped skill in Chinese. The study fosters our understanding of writing system typology beyond phonographic writing.
Editor / Translator: Daniel Canaris
The True Record of the Lord of Heaven (Tianzhu shilu, 1584) by the Jesuit missionary Michele Ruggieri was the first Chinese-language work ever published by a European. Despite being published only a few years after Ruggieri started learning Chinese, it evinced sophisticated strategies to accommodate Christianity to the Chinese context and was a pioneering work in Sino-Western exchange. This book features a critical edition of the Chinese and Latin texts, which are both translated into English for the first time. An introduction, biography, and rich annotations are provided to situate this text in its cultural and intellectual context.