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The Science of Chinese BuddhismEarly Twentieth-Century Engagements$
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Erik Hammerstrom

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170345

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170345.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Science of Chinese Buddhism
Author(s):

Erik J. Hammerstrom

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231170345.003.0001

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.

Keywords:   modernity, philosophy of life, religion, Taixu, Wang Xiaoxu, Wuchang School

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