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11 How the ‘Science of Religion’ (zongjiaoxue) as a Discipline Globalized ‘Religion’ in Late Qing and Republican China, 1890–1949—Global Concepts, Knowledge Transfer, and Local Discourses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that globalization of the 'contested category of religion' takes place as an ongoing process within a multitude of simultaneous processes and phenomena. It concentrates specifically on three aspects relevant for the question of globalization: 1) channels of transfer, 2) local discourses and 3) the question of identity-with 2) and 3) being related to the concept of 'religion' or the history of religion(s), respectively, as universal concepts. The issue of 'Science of Religion' in Republican China thus leads us to a prominent chapter of the Chinese genealogy of religion, that is, of how the category 'religion' was received, negotiated and appropriated in early 'local' intellectual discourses and conditions. These complex, multifaceted processes took place as interplay of more or less effective channels of transfer, the interrelated discourses of modernization and national identity as well as diverging interests and positions.

Keywords: Chinese genealogy; globalization; modern natural sciences



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