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Brill’s book series Science and Religion in East Asia features scholarly monographs and edited volumes, focusing on the question of how human understanding of the world and its application to various fields of socio-cultural life in East Asian societies were shaped in the context of religious thought and practices, notably those of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism.
Recent scholarship on the history of European science in medieval and early modern periods has shown that society’s scientific endeavor was inextricably intertwined with spiritual and moral pursuits, classified in modern times as a separate category called "religion". The rich resources in East Asia on both scientific pursuits and moral-religious teachings, enable us to examine the fine texture of relations woven in the course of the continuous interchange of aims, methods, and knowledge between these scientific and moral-religious enterprises.
A special emphasis is put on the relation between science and what is called Confucianism, the most common and dominant thread of thought in East Asian societies. Science and Confucianism developed form and content to a considerable degree under the influence of ideas and techniques from Daoist and Buddhist traditions. From the sixteenth century onwards, they also interacted with Western science that had been developed in Europe dominated by Christianity. Science and Religion in East Asia pays ample attention to the role of these other religions present in East Asia as well and the interaction with other regions of the world.

A great number of historical examples show how desperate people sought to obtain a glimpse of the future or explain certain incidents retrospectively through signs that had occurred in advance. In that sense, signs are always considered a portent of future events. In different societies, and at different times, the written or unwritten rules regarding their interpretation varied, although there was perhaps a common understanding of these processes.
This present volume collates essays from specialists in the field of prognostication in the European Middle Ages.
Contributors are Klaus Herbers, Wolfram Brandes, Zhao Lu, Rolf Scheuermann, Thomas Krümpel, Bernardo Bertholin Kerr, Gaelle Bosseman, Julia Eva Wannenmacher (†), Matthias Kaup, Vincent Gossaert, Jürgen Gebhardt, Matthias Gebauer, Richard Landes.
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This study is the first book that explores how the Catholic Mass was introduced and propagated in late Imperial China. Its dynamic exploration reveals the tension between localized and global forms of Catholic rituals, especially the tension faced by missionaries and Chinese Catholics, who were caught up between the Chinese tradition and the Catholic one. Drawing on rich primary sources, some of which are rarely noticed in the field, this book unfolds the intriguing interactions between the Mass and various cultural expressions of Chinese society, including traditional religion, architecture, art, literature, government, and theology.
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The first scholarly work on the subject by leading scholars in the field, Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and China examines the variety of ways in which MEP missionaries complemented and complicated Catholic Church and French engagement with Chinese society. Key players in the Church’s overseas missions in the Far East, many MEP missionaries spent their entire lives working with ordinary Chinese. This volume explores the proactive engagement of MEP missionaries in Bible translation and cultural accommodation, their evangelization efforts in local communities, and the interaction between MEP representatives and various local groups. Each study in this book responds to one or more of the major themes in the history of Christianity in China that include conflicts, accommodations, indigenization, imperialism, and nationalism. Contributors are François Barriquand, Jean Charbonnier, Yanrong Chen, Lina Guo, Zhijie Kang, Ji Li, Matthieu Masson, Jean-Paul Wiest, Qing Wu, Hongyan Xiang, Ernest Young, and Aidong Zhao.
The Field of Ritual Learning in Early China to 9 CE
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Ritual Learning is a key driver in the cultural dominance of Confucianism. In early China, Confucian officials derive political influence from the sub-discipline of ritual. Imperial regimes establish legitimacy through their state religion, headed by sacrifices to ancestors and to deities of Heaven and Earth. Ritual Learning allows Confucian-educated officials to assert control over these cults, and reshape dynastic legitimacy according to their own design, claimed to derive from the sage kings of antiquity. Confucianism is not just a philosophical and intellectual tradition. Through its ritual expertise, it has cultural and political power, like that of a religion, allowing it to perpetuate itself successfully over time, even in contemporary China.
Intersections of Hindu Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal
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In The Brahmo Samaj and its Vaiṣṇava Milieus: Intersections of Hindu Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal, Ankur Barua offers an intellectual history of the motif of religious universalism in the writings of some intellectuals associated with the Brahmo Samaj (founded in 1828). They constructed Hindu worldviews that were simultaneously rooted in some ancient Sanskritic materials and orientated towards contemporary universalist visions with western hues. These constructions were shaped by their dialectical engagements with three groups: members of the Bengali middle classes with sceptical standpoints (‘Young Bengal’), Christian missionaries, and Hindu Vaiṣṇava thinkers. In this genealogy of religious universalisms, Barua indicates how certain post-1900 formulations of the universalist compass of Hinduism were being enunciated across Brahmo circles from the 1820s.
New Perspectives on the History of Modern Chinese Scientific and Technical Lexicon
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In John Fryer and The Translator’s Vade-mecum, Tola offers for the first time a comprehensive study of the collection of scientific and technical glossaries, with English-Chinese parallel translation, compiled by the English scholar John Fryer (1839–1928). Other than contributing to the history of modern Chinese lexicon and translation in late Qing China, Tola analyses the role of The Translator’s Vade-mecum in the diffusion of ideas and terms between China and the West, at the same time providing new insights on the connection between religious efforts by missionaries in late Qing China and their secular attitude towards translation. The great number of resources presented also show a new perspective on the transcultural flows of knowledge, China’s modernisation process in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the history of nineteenth-century Protestant missions in China.
Codicological and Historical Studies of an Archaeological Find in Mustang, Nepal
In 2008, an international team of climbers discovered a large collection of Tibetan manuscripts in a cave complex called Mardzong, in Nepal’s remote Mustang district. The following year, the entire cache—over five thousand folios from some sixty different works of the Buddhist and Bön religions, some more than seven centuries old—were removed to the safe keeping of a monastery, where they were later examined by experts from different disciplines. This book is the result of their findings. The authors present what they have been able to discover about the content of these manuscripts, their age, the materials with which they were made, the patrons who commissioned them and the scribes and artists who created them.

Contributors include: Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, Charles Ramble, Nyima Drandul Gurung, Naljor Tsering, Sarah Skumanov, Emilie Arnaud-Nguyen and Bazhen Zeren
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This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari
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‘Ecumenism’ and ‘independency’ suggest two distinct impulses in the history of Christianity: the desire for unity, co-operation, connectivity, and shared belief and practice, and the impulse for distinction, plurality, and contextual translation. Yet ecumenism and independency are better understood as existing in critical tension with one another. They provide a way of examining changes in World Christianity. Taking their lead from the internationally acclaimed research of Brian Stanley, in whose honour this book is published, contributors examine the entangled nature of ecumenism and independency in the modern global history of Christianity. They show how the scrutiny afforded by the attention to local, contextual approaches to Christianity outside the western world, may inform and enrich the attention to transnational connectivity.