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Book Cover
Author Hammerstrom, Erik J., author

Title The science of Chinese Buddhism : early twentieth-century engagements / Erik J. Hammerstrom
Published New York : Columbia University Press, [2015]
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 245 pages)
Series The Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies
Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies.
Contents The historical context -- Views on the physical universe -- Empiricism and the means for verification -- The nature of mind -- Ethics, science, and society -- Science and self-cultivation
Summary Kexue, or science, captured the Chinese imagination in the early twentieth century, promising new knowledge about the world and a dynamic path to prosperity. Chinese Buddhists particularly embraced scientific language and ideas to carve out a place for their religion within a rapidly modernizing society. Examining dozens of overlooked writings from the Chinese Buddhist press, this book maps Buddhists' efforts to rethink their traditions through science in the initial decades of the twentieth century. Buddhists believed science offered an exciting, alternative route to knowledge grounded in empirical thought, much like their own. They encouraged young scholars to study subatomic and relativistic physics while still maintaining Buddhism's vital illumination of human nature and its crucial support of an ethical system rooted in radical egalitarianism. Showcasing the rich and progressive steps Chinese religious scholars took in adapting to science's inevitable rise, this volume offers key perspective on how a major Eastern power transitioned to modernity in the twentieth century and how its intellectuals anticipated many of the ideas debated by scholars of science and Buddhism today
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Buddhism and science -- China -- History -- 20th century.
China -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0231539584 (electronic bk)
9780231539586 (electronic bk)