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Benjamin Bowen Carter as an Agent of Global Knowledge
Author: Man Shun Yeung
Benjamin Bowen Carter (1771-1831), one of the first Americans to speak and read Chinese, studied Chinese in Canton and advocated its use in diplomacy decades before America established a formal relationship with China. Drawing on rediscovered manuscripts, this book reconstructs Carter’s multilingual learning experience, reveals how he helped translate a diplomatic document into Chinese, describes his interactions with European sinologists, and traces his attempts to convince the US government and American academics of the practical and cultural value of Chinese studies. The cross-cultural perspective employed in this book emphasizes the reciprocal dynamics of Carter’s relationships with Chinese and European “others,” while Carter’s story itself forces a rewriting of the earliest years of US-China relations.
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.
Author: Zhaoyuan WAN
WAN Zhaoyuan analyses how Chinese intellectuals conceived of the relationship between ‘science’ and ‘religion’ through in-depth examination of the writings of Kang Youwei, a prominent political reformer and radical Confucian thinker, often referred to by his disciples as the ‘Martin Luther of Confucianism’.
Confronted with the rise of scientism and challenged by the Conflict Thesis during his life among adversarial Chinese New Culture intellectuals, Kang maintains a holistic yet evolving conception of a compatible and complementary relationship between scientific knowledge and ‘true religion’ exemplified by his Confucian religion ( kongjiao). This close analysis of Kang’s ideas contributes to a richer understanding of the history of science and religion in China and in a more global context.
By examining the life and thought of self-exiled Chinese intellectuals after 1949 by placing them in the context of the global Cold War, Kenneth Kai-chung Yung argues that Chinese intellectuals living in Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas Chinese communities in the 1950s could not escape from the global anti-utopian Cold War currents. Each of them responded to such currents quite differently. Yung also examines different models of nation-building advocated by the émigré intellectuals and argues in his book that these émigré intellectuals inherited directly the multifaceted Chinese liberal tradition that was well developed in the Republican era (1911–1949). Contrary to existing literature that focus mostly on the New Confucians or the liberals, this study highlights that moderate socialists cannot be ignored as an important group of Chinese émigré intellectuals in the first two decades of the Cold War era. This book will inspire readers who are concerned about the prospects for democracy in contemporary China by painting a picture of the Chinese self-exiles’ experiences in the 1950s and 1960s.
Author: Xiaoping Wang
Combining anatomies of textual examples with broader contextual considerations related with the social, political and economic developments of post-Mao China, Xiaoping Wang intends to explore newly emerging social and cultural trends in contemporary China, and find the truth content of Chinese society and culture in the age of global capitalism.
Through in-depth textual analyses covering a variety of media, ranging from fiction, poetry, film to theoretical works as well as cultural phenomena which mirror social and cultural occurrences and reflect the present ideological proclivities of the Chinese society, this study offers timely interpretations of China in the age of globalization, its political inclinations, social fashions and cultural tendencies, and provides thought-provoking messages of China’s socio-economic and political reality.
In: Chinese Literature and Culture in the Age of Global Capitalism