This chapter briefly explains some of the forces that drove Chinese Buddhists to engage with modern science in the early twentieth century. Buddhists’ efforts, and the book itself, are conceptually organized around the concept of a “philosophy of life,” an important term in China from the 1920s. A philosophy of life unites ideas about the nature of human existence, human knowledge, and ethics. The chapter closes with a reflection on the sources used in the study (newspaper columns, magazine articles, and monographs), as well as the demographics of the authors of those pieces. In many cases little is known about the authors, but the importance of their work is affirmed.
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