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Editors: Zong-qi Cai and Yuan Xingpei
Chinese Texts in the World publishes scholarly works on the reception, transmission, assimilation, and reinvention of Chinese texts in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas; as well as critical studies that explore new pathways connecting Chinese texts with today’s world.
Whether Chinese texts were transmitted along the ancient Silk Road, or through modern digital technologies, such well-traveled texts hold great promise for illuminating multiple aspects of China’s cultural relations with the world. The same holds true for the examination how reconfigured Chinese texts made their way back to China, to be reconstituted as culturally polyvalent, hybrid “imports”.
Critical studies explore new ways of engaging Chinese texts with non-Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions. Such studies include, but are not limited to, a traditional textually grounded Sinological work that contains a substantive dialogue with for instance Western texts; a collaborative work by Asia-based and non-Asia-based scholars on the critical issues important to different traditions; and even a work on non-Chinese texts as long as it significantly draws insights from or engages a substantive dialogue with the Chinese traditions.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals to the publisher at BRILL, Christa Stevens.
Please advise our Guidelines for a Book Proposal. Manuscripts that are published have been accepted after double-anonymous peer review.

Author: Ru Zhan
Editor: Jinhua Chen
Drawing on Dunhuang manuscripts and the latest scholarship in Dunhuang and Buddhist Studies, this translation analyzes Buddhist monasticism via such topics as the organizational forms of Dunhuang Buddhist monasteries, the construction and operation of ordination platforms, ordination certificates and government ordination licenses, and meditation retreats, etc.
Assuming a pan-Asian perspective, the monograph also made trailblazing contributions to the study of Buddhist Sinicization and Sino-Indian cultural exchanges and is bound to exert long-lasting influences on the worldwide academic study of Buddhism.
Author: Zhaoyang Zhang
How did people solve their disputes over debt, compensation, inheritance and other civil matters in early China? Did they go to court? How did the authorities view those problems? Using recently excavated early Chinese legal materials, Zhang Zhaoyang makes the compelling argument that civil law was not only developed, but also acquired a certain degree of sophistication during the Qin and Han dynasties. The state promulgated detailed regulations to deal with economic and personal relationships between individuals. The authorities formed an integral part of the formal justice system, and heard civil cases on a regular basis.
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.
Author: Catherine Jami

The present issue of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine is the first published with the new, enlarged, editorial team. Starting on 1 January 2022, He Bian (Princeton University, history of Chinese medicine), Ryuji Hiraoka (University of Kyoto, history of Japanese cosmology), Jung Lee (Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, history of colonial science in Japan and Korea), and Daniel Patrick Morgan (cnrs, Paris, history of exact sciences in early and medieval China), have joined Christopher Cullen (Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, UK) as Associate Editors, putting their valuable expertise, as well as their enthusiasm, at the service of

Free access
In: East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Free access
In: East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Commemorating the Legacy of James Legge (1815-1897)
Author: Alexander Chow
This volume explores the important legacy of Scottish missions to China, with a focus on the missionary-scholar and Protestant sinologist par excellence James Legge (1815–1897). It challenges the simplistic caricature of Protestant missionaries as Orientalizing imperialists, but also shows how the Chinese context and Chinese persons “converted” Scottish missionaries in their understandings of China and the broader world.

Scottish Missions to China brings together essays by leading Chinese, European, and North American scholars in mission history, sinology, theology, cultural and literary studies, and psychology. It calls attention to how the historic enterprise of Scottish missions to China presents new insights into Scottish-Chinese and British-Chinese relations.

Contributors are: Joanna Baradziej, Marilyn L. Bowman, Alexander Chow, Gao Zhiqiang, Joachim Gentz, David Jasper, Christopher Legge, Lauren F. Pfister, David J. Reimer, Brian Stanley, Yang Huilin, Zheng Shuhong.
Author: Zhiqiang Gao


As the first school established by Protestant missionaries to China, the Anglo–Chinese College played an important role in the history of cultural communication between China and the West. The Anglo–Chinese College offered a broad tuition that included Christianity alongside Western and Chinese humanities and sciences, which promoted the development of modern education in China. Its printing press was the first to publish Chinese books by using metal moveable type, which modernized the publishing technology of China and opened the next phase of China’s print culture. Its translations between English and Chinese opened up China to Christian culture and Anglophone societies to Chinese classical culture. The Anglo–Chinese College built a bridge between the East and the West, not only in the time of Morrison and Legge, but in its legacy that continues to have an impact even until today.

In: Scottish Missions to China


Single female missionaries arrived in Manchuria in 1882 and constituted more than half of the mission during the whole period of the mission activities there. This chapter shows the complexity of building the female missionaries’ view on China and their contribution to the creation of the Western image of China. First, the chapter shows how missionary candidates in Scotland were first given a vision of the Orient in the Women’s Missionary College through courses on non-Western cultures, initiated by Annie Hunter Small. Second, it discusses the further development of knowledge about China during a language course in Beijing. Such a language course not only facilitated the communication between missionaries and potential Christians, but it also opened different future career possibilities. Third, the chapter discusses how female missionaries presented an image of China to Scottish Presbyterians through missionary journals. Fourth, it presents the complexity of the relations female missionaries established on the mission field. Namely it discusses the friendship of a Scottish missionary Helen B. K. Maclean and a Chinese woman called Fragrant Tree. This was a very unusual friendship, as Fragrant Tree later moved to Scotland. All of these aspects present a variety of missionaries’ perceptions and knowledge of China, and their relations with Chinese women.

In: Scottish Missions to China
Author: Alexander Chow


This essay will explore the so-called “term question” associated with major attempts at providing a Chinese rendering of the name of God. It will focus on two foundational missionary-scholars to China, Matteo Ricci and James Legge, and examine the different philosophical and theological contexts that ultimately resulted in the same conclusion – that is, to identify an equivalence between the Christian God and the ancient Chinese understanding of Shangdi 上帝 (“Lord on high”). This essay will also suggest that, for James Legge, this conviction offered a major rationale for producing English translations of Chinese philosophical and religious works: his monumental Chinese Classics.

In: Scottish Missions to China