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An Environmental History of Japan’s River, 1600-1920
In Turbulent Stream: An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600-1920, Roderick Wilson describes how the rivers of Japan are both hydrologically and historically dynamic. Today, these waterways are slowed, channeled, diverted, and dammed by a myriad of levees, multi-ton concrete tetrapods, and massive multipurpose dams. In part, this intensive engineering arises from the waterways falling great elevations over short distances, flowing over unstable rock and soil, and receiving large quantities of precipitation during monsoons and typhoons. But this modern river regime is also the product of a history that narrowed both these waterways and people’s diverse interactions with them in the name of flood control. Neither a story of technological progress nor environmental decline, this history introduces the concept of environmental relations as a category of historical analysis both to explore these fluvial interactions and reveal underappreciated dimensions of Japanese history.
The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.
Author: Litian Swen
Jesuit Mission and Submission explains how the Jesuits entered the Manchu world after the Manchus conquered Beijing in 1644. Supported by Qing court archives, the book discovers the Jesuits’ Manchu-style master-slave relationship with the Kangxi emperor. Against the backdrop of this relationship, the book reconstructs the back and forth negotiations between Kangxi and the Holy See regarding Chinese Rites Controversy (1705-1721), and shows that the Jesuits, although a group of foreign priests, had close access to Kangxi and were a trusted part of the Imperial circle. This book also redefines the rise and fall of the Christian mission in the early Qing court through key events, such as the Calendar Case and Yongzheng’s prohibition of Christianity.
Volume 2: Fozu tongji, juan 39-42: From the Sui Dynasty to the Wudai Era
Author: Thomas Jülch
The Fozu tongji by Zhipan (ca. 1220-1275) is a key text of Chinese Buddhist historiography. The core of the work is formed by the “Fayun tongsai zhi,” an annalistic history of Buddhism in China, which extends through Fozu tongji, juan 34-48. Thomas Jülch now presents a translation of the “Fayun tongsai zhi” in three volumes. This second volume covers the annalistic display from the Sui dynasty to the end of the Wudai period. Offering elaborate annotations, Jülch succeeds in clarifying the backgrounds to the historiographic contents, which Zhipan presents in highly essentialized style. Jülch identifies the sources for the historical traditions Zhipan refers to, and when accounts presented by Zhipan are inaccurate or imprecise, he points out how the relevant matter is depicted in the sources Zhipan relies on. Consistently employing these means in reliable style Jülch defines a new standard for translations of medieval Chinese historiographic texts.
Intersections of Hindu Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal
Author: Ankur Barua
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.
A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae
Chán Buddhism in Dūnhuáng and Beyond: A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae is dedicated to the memory of the eminent Chán scholar John McRae and investigates the spread of early Chán in a historical, multi-lingual, and interreligious context. Combining the expertise of scholars of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and Tangut Buddhism, the edited volume is based on a thorough study of manuscripts from Dūnhuáng, Turfan, and Karakhoto, tracing the particular features of Chán in the Northwestern and Northern regions of late medieval China.
In an era of environmental crisis, narratives of ‘hidden lands’ are resonant. Understood as sanctuaries in times of calamity, Himalayan hidden lands or sbas yul have shaped the lives of many peoples of the region. Sbas yul are described by visionary lamas called ‘treasure finders’ who located hidden lands and wrote guidebooks to them. Scholarly understandings of sbas yul as places for spiritual cultivation and refuge from war have been complicated recently. Research now explores such themes as the political and economic role of ‘treasure finders’, the impact of sbas yul on indigenous populations, and the use of sbas yul for environmental protection and tourism. This book showcases recent scholarship on sbas yul from historical and contemporary perspectives.
New Perspectives on the History of Modern Chinese Scientific and Technical Lexicon
Author: Gabriele Tola
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.