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The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts

Chinese and European Stories about Emperor Ku and His Concubines

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Nicolas Standaert

The European view on history was shaken to its foundations when missionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries discovered that Chinese history was older than European and Biblical history. With an analysis of the Chinese, Manchu and European sources on ancient Chinese history, this essay proposes an early case of “intercultural historiography,” in which historical texts of different cultures are interwoven.
It focusses on the ways Chinese and European authors interpreted stories about marvellous births by the concubines of Emperor Ku. These stories have been the object of a wide variety of interpretations in Chinese texts, each of them representing a different historical genre. They are excellent case-studies to illustrate how the Chinese hermeneutic strategies shaped the diversity of interpretations given by Europeans.

The Jesuit Reading of Confucius

The First Complete Translation of the Lunyu (1687) Published in the West

Series:

Thierry Meynard

The very name of Confucius is a constant reminder that the “foremost sage” in China was first known in the West through Latin works. The most influential of these was the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (Confucius, the Philosopher of China), published in Paris in 1687. For more than two hundred years, Western intellectuals like Leibniz and Voltaire read and meditated on the sayings of Confucius from this Latin version.
Thierry Meynard examines the intellectual background of the Jesuits in China and their thought processes in coming to understand the Confucian tradition. He presents a trilingual edition of the Lunyu, including the Chinese text, the Latin translation of the Lunyu and its commentaries, and their rendition in modern English, with notes.

Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China

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

Series:

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.