The Science of Chinese Buddhism
Early Twentieth-Century Engagements
Columbia University Press 2015
New Books in Buddhist StudiesNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network March 30, 2016 Carla Nappi
Erik J. Hammerstrom‘s new book looks carefully at “what Chinese Buddhists thought about science in the first part of the twentieth century” by exploring what they wrote in articles and monographs devoted to the topic in the 1920s and early 1930s. The Science of Chinese Buddhism: Early Twentieth-Century Engagements (Columbia University Press, 2015) grounds its analysis in writings that appeared in the Buddhist periodical press between 1923-1932, tracing the development of ideas about the relationship between science and Buddhism that had their genealogy in the 1890s. Hammerstrom takes readers into some of the landmark moments and places that shaped the discourse of this period, from debates over the material basis of life itself and anti-superstition campaigns, to seminaries, to the places where Buddhist canon and subatomic particles meet. Here you will find a careful and measured analysis that places the histories of Buddhism, psychology, social evolutionism, physics, and logic into dialogue. It will be of interest to readers of the histories of science, Buddhism, and China.