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Chinese History and CultureSeventeenth Century Through Twentieth Century$
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Ying-shih Yü

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178600

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178600.001.0001

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Neither Renaissance nor Enlightenment

Neither Renaissance nor Enlightenment

A Historian’s Reflections on the May Fourth Movement

(p.198) 9. Neither Renaissance nor Enlightenment
Chinese History and Culture

Ying-shih Yü

, Josephine Chiu-Duke, Michael S. Duke
Columbia University Press

This article examines the history of how the May Fourth Movement in China became widely known as a Chinese Renaissance or Enlightenment. It shows why neither of these Western analogies fit the Chinese context and concludes that May Fourth is primarily an age of cultural contradictions that were both multidimensional as well as multidirectional because there were several May Fourth projects constantly undergoing changes and often conflicting with one another, and each project also had different versions.

Keywords:   Renaissance, Enlightenment, Tradition, Modernity, Revolution, humanistic and rationalist China

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