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Palumbo, Antonello (2014) Periods in the History of Chinese Buddhism. In: International conference: Chinese Buddhism and the Scholarship of Erik Zürcher., 12-14 February 2014, Leiden University, Leiden. (Unpublished)

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In the same year (1959) in which The Buddhist conquest of China made its appearance, Arthur F. Wright, a scholar whom Erik Zürcher much respected, published his Buddhism in Chinese history, proposing an influential outline of the historical stages of Buddhism in China: Preparation (AD 65-317 CE), Domestication (AD 317-589), Independent Growth (AD 589-900), Appropriation (AD 900-1900). Zürcher himself would adopt a virtually identical scheme about thirty years later. This paper will revisit the chronological frameworks in which these scholars, and several more before and after them, have understood the trajectory of Chinese Buddhism. It will suggest that the exercise of periodisation, far from being the historian's recreation, can lead to remarkably dissimilar constructions of the same past and, in the case of Buddhism in China, to rather different appraisals of its nature and forms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2015 15:49

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