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Volume Editors: Jongtae Lim and Francesca Bray
Science and Confucian Statecraft in East Asia explores science and technology as practiced in the governments of premodern China and Korea. Contrary to the stereotypical image of East Asian bureaucracy as a generally negative force having hindered free enquiries and scientific progress, this volume offers a more nuanced picture of how science and technology was deployed in the service of state governance in East Asia. Presenting richly documented cases of the major state-sponsored sciences, astronomy, medicine, gunpowder production, and hydraulics, this book illustrates how rulers’ and scholar-officials’ concern for efficient and legitimate governance shaped production, circulation, and application of natural knowledge and useful techniques.

Contributors include: Francesca Bray, Christopher Cullen, Asaf Goldschmidt, Cho-ying Li, Jongtae Lim, Peter Lorge, Joong-Yang Moon, Kwon soo Park, Dongwon Shin, Pierre-Étienne Will
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.