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It is an approach to the Chinese and Sinophone world that pays due accord to the demands of academic disciplines while essaying a more holistic understanding relevant not only to academics, but also to a wider, engaged public.

Early Christian missionaries in their attempts to sway Ming subjects, noble and common alike, familiarised themselves with indigenous traditions of thought, history, literature and scholarship, which were known as Hanxue , the accumulated body of learning that predated the Christian era and which formed the basis for rulership, culture and thought in Ming times. After all, Chinese were the first Sinologists.

Western Sinology developed as a broad-based attempt to understanding and engage meaningfully with Chinese ways of thinking about and ordering reality, with the hope also of influencing China and its ruling elite. In reality, from the nineteenth century, the study of China has often been intimately related to economic, political and cultural agendas.

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As China has reformed economically and revitalised intellectual and cultural agendas since the s, National Learning has enjoyed a widespread revival and massive state funding. The resurgence of National Learning and the persistent relevance of Marxist-Leninist, and particular Maoist ways of thinking, acting and talking add to pre traditions of Chinese scholarship and statecraft.


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It is in this context then that a pursuit of a New Sinology is both timely and relevant. However, this kind of professionalised and often narrow focus often came at the expense of a more integrated approach that suits better an understanding of a civilisation as varied and complex as that of the Chinese world a point forcefully made by the historian Frederick W. Mote of Princeton University at a Symposium on Chinese Studies and the Disciplines in , see the reading list above.


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Today, academics concerned with producing work primarily for themselves can perhaps too readily use China and their research as a footnote, or as a case study for regimes of knowledge production suited best to the industrialised global academy. In the post-Cultural Revolution era of Chinese reform, re-evaluations of the past and the rehabilitation of conflicting traditions ancient, dynastic and modern previously occluded by High Maoism would make this more integrative, and demanding, approach to the study of China more pressingly relevant.

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If Chinese political leaders, strategists, business people, academics, media figures and the public generate new ideas and approaches to deal with Chinese problems by employing the resources of tradition alongside modernising international paradigms and practices, surely any basic education in Chinese Studies would require an appreciation of the National Learning that decocts those traditions for modern use.

Pages: 74— Pages: 95— Pages: — Biographical Note Lane J. Harris, Ph.

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This reader is really set up to create a dialogue between teachers and students as they work through the documents. I am also even more aware after this reading about how this reader may serve a launch pad for research projects by students.

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This provides a real possibility that students can develop a real primary based investigation. Crucial to this is how the editor also made great efforts to include list of other contemporaneous publications in the readings sections.

Having additional documents for the reader available digitally is a great feature. This will extend the advantage of the reader as a whole. Anyone interested in the political, social, and cultural history of China in the nineteenth century, particularly professors and students exploring these themes in undergraduate and graduate classes. Pages: xiv, pp.

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