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Buddhist Literature and Progressive Thinking in Late Qing and Early Republican China

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Buddhist literature in late Qing and early Republican China contributed to the new thinking in modern Chinese literature in a number of ways. Writers of Chinese Buddhist literature strove to elucidate the similarities between Buddhist culture and the scientific spirit, or to reveal the scientific spirit in Buddhist culture. Buddhist writers were aware of the importance of the spiritual enlightenment and mental reconstruction of the people, and realized the impact that literature and art as a kind of social ideology had on the national spirit. They were also interested in folk genres and vernacular literature. The May Fourth Movement put its emphasis on the people, while Buddhist literature in this period emphasized the related concept of humanity.


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