Department of Religion and Philosophy
Questioning the modern emergence of “Zōngjiào” 宗教 and “Zhéxué” 哲學 in modern Chinese language and cultures: Beyond historical geneologies to matters of legitimization within the transformation of cultures = 超出文字系谱学、从文化转化的合法性中探究“宗教”及“哲学”在近现代中国语文及文化中的出现
Studies of the Chinese neologisms zōngjiào 宗教 and zhéxué 哲學 have been pursued along etymological and historical lines, focusing on works of particular intellectuals that employed these terms. I argue that these methods are limited in their explanatory power to indicate how these words become dominant terms representing new academic disciplines in 20th century China. There is a need to demonstrate how the these terms invoked new interests shaping East Asian intellectuals’ identities in differing 19th and 20th century cultural contexts. A dialectical cultural transformation is involved, as well as institutionalization processes reflecting the values associated with these neologisms. These Chinese words become dominant terms precisely because there was a new set of experiences which older terms could not articulate. Zōngjiào and zhéxué, therefore, not only emerged from external cultural sources, but also represented a new mentality among Chinese intellectuals involved in modern transformations of post-traditional Chinese cultures.
Zōngjiào, zhéxué, neologisms, cultural transformation, Chinese intellectuals' identity, post-traditional Chinese culture, 宗教, 哲学, 新词, 文化转化, 中国知识分子身份, 后传统中国文化
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Chinese Character Studies = 世界漢字通報
Wolrd Association of Chinese Characters Studies = 世界漢字學會
Pfister, L. (2015). Questioning the modern emergence of “Zōngjiào” 宗教 and “Zhéxué” 哲學 in modern Chinese language and cultures: Beyond historical geneologies to matters of legitimization within the transformation of cultures = 超出文字系谱学、从文化转化的合法性中探究“宗教”及“哲学”在近现代中国语文及文化中的出现. International Journal of Chinese Character Studies = 世界漢字通報, 1 (1), 1-13. Retrieved from https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/hkbu_staff_publication/5901