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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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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

The Historical Context

The Historical Context

(p.18) 1 The Historical Context
The Science of Chinese Buddhism

Erik J. Hammerstrom

Columbia University Press

The book argues that the most important period for Chinese Buddhists engagement with modern science occurred in the ten years between 1923 and 1932. This chapter lays out the historical context for that period. It begins with a general outline of Chinese history from the mid nineteenth century to 1920, culminating in an explanation of the historical significance of the year 1923. The central third of the chapter describe the spread of modern science in China, particularly the professionalization institutionalization of the various sciences, which were generally complete by the mid 1930s. The chapter closes with a review of the history Chinese Buddhist during the entire period, underscoring the manner in which social changes served to compel Buddhists to engage with science.

Keywords:   May Fourth period, Republican Period, Science and Philosophy of Life Debates, Self-strengthening Movement, superstition, Wuchang School

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