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Series:

John Lagerwey

From the fifth century BC to the present and dealing with the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) as well as popular religion, this introduction to the eight-volume Early and Modern Chinese Religion explores key ideas and events in four periods of paradigm shift in the intertwined histories of Chinese religion, politics, and culture. It shows how, in the Chinese church-state, elite processes of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are at work in every period of major change and how popular religion gradually emerges to a position of dominance by means of a long history of at once resisting, adapting to, and collaborating with elite-driven change. Topics covered include ritual, scripture, philosophy, state policy, medicine, sacred geography, gender, and the economy. It also serves as the basis for an on-line Coursera course.

The Origins of Chinese Thought

From Shamanism to Ritual Regulations and Humaneness

Series:

Zehou Li

From Shamanism to Ritual Regulations and Humaneness offers an account of the origins and nature of a uniquely Chinese way of thinking that, carried through Confucian tradition, continues to define the character of Chinese culture and society. Li Zehou argues that vestiges of the practices of early shamanistic ritual, rationalized in ritual regulations and internalized in morals and values, continue to shape Chinese thought and relationships. This outlook and its understanding of the world, the divine, ourselves, one another, what is right and what is good differ fundamentally from other world traditions. As an alternative to modern liberalism, it offers unique resources for addressing modern Chinese—and even global—philosophic and moral issues.

Series:

Zhaoguang Ge

A history of traditional Chinese knowledge, thought and belief from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries with a new approach that offers a new perspective. It appropriates a wide range of source materials and emphasizes the necessity of understanding ideas and thought in their proper historical contexts. Its analytical narrative focuses on the dialectical interaction between historical background and intellectual thought. While discussing the complex dynamics of interaction among the intellectual thought of elite Chinese scholars, their historical conditions, their canonical texts and the “worlds of general knowledge, thought and belief,” it also illuminates the significance of key issues such as the formation of the Chinese world order and its underlying value system, the origins of Chinese cultural identity, foreign influences, and the collapse of the Chinese world order in the 19th century leading toward the revolutionary events of the 20th century.

Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought

A Confucian Appropriation of Buddhist Ideas in Response to Scientism in Twentieth-Century China

Series:

King Pong Chiu

In Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought, King Pong Chiu discusses Thomé H. Fang and Tang Junyi, two of the most important Confucian thinkers in twentieth-century China, who appropriated aspects of the medieval Chinese Buddhist school of Huayan to develop a response to the challenges of ‘scientism’, the belief that quantitative natural science is the only valuable part of human learning and the only source of truth.

As Chiu argues, Fang’s and Tang’s selective appropriations of Huayan thought paid heed to the hermeneutical importance of studying ancient texts in order to be more responsive to modern issues, and helped confirm the values of Confucianism under the challenge of ‘scientism’, a topic widely ignored in academia.