The Modern Spirit of Asia (häftad)
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Commended for American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Analytical-Descriptive Category 2014; Short-listed for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2014
Princeton University Press
241 x 165 x 25 mm
462 g
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The Modern Spirit of Asia (häftad)

The Modern Spirit of Asia

The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India

Häftad Engelska, 2013-10-27
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The Modern Spirit of Asia challenges the notion that modernity in China and India are derivative imitations of the West, arguing that these societies have transformed their ancient traditions in unique and distinctive ways. Peter van der Veer begins with nineteenth-century imperial history, exploring how Western concepts of spirituality, secularity, religion, and magic were used to translate the traditions of India and China. He traces how modern Western notions of religion and magic were incorporated into the respective nation-building projects of Chinese and Indian nationalist intellectuals, yet how modernity in China and India is by no means uniform. While religion is a centerpiece of Indian nationalism, it is viewed in China as an obstacle to progress that must be marginalized and controlled. The Modern Spirit of Asia moves deftly from Kandinsky's understanding of spirituality in art to Indian yoga and Chinese qi gong, from modern theories of secularism to histories of Christian conversion, from Orientalist constructions of religion to Chinese campaigns against magic and superstition, and from Muslim Kashmir to Muslim Xinjiang. Van der Veer, an outspoken proponent of the importance of comparative studies of religion and society, eloquently makes his case in this groundbreaking examination of the spiritual and the secular in China and India.
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Finalist for the 2014 Award for Excellence in Religion in Analytical-Descriptive Studies, American Academy of Religion One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014 "A fascinating read."--Nick Leech, National "The authority of this study is based on a combination of field research in each of the two nations (China and India), along with an impressive command of the literature and tools of cultural anthropology, comparative sociology, and conceptual analysis. The author is a well-respected, contemporary European social scientist, and this study is likely to stimulate intense scholarly discussion for years ahead."--Choice "[A] particularly outstanding work."--Guo Ting, Oxford Comparative Critical Review "One of the many merits of Peter van der Veer's The Modern Spirit of Asia is that he acknowledges the unprecedented nature of 'the project of modernity with all its revolutionary ideas of nation, equality, citizenship, democracy, and rights,' yet shows how it has taken strikingly different shapes in the Chinese and Indian cultural spheres."--Benjamin Schewel, Hedgehog Review "This is an important book, which will be useful for helping scholars of Chinese religion think more deeply about the question of modernity."--Erik Hammerstrom, Review of Religion and Chinese Society "This book will be a fundamental point of reference for any ethnography of secularism and for anyone interested in the study of religion, secularism, modernity, and politics in Asia and in the global world."--Chiara Letizia, American Anthropologist

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Övrig information

Peter van der Veer is director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Gottingen, Germany, and a Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His books include Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain (Princeton) and Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India.


Preface ix Chapter 1 Introduction 1 Chapter 2 Spirituality in Modern Society 35 Chapter 3 The Making of Oriental Religion 63 Chapter 4 Conversion to Indian and Chinese Modernities 90 Chapter 5 Secularism's Magic 115 Chapter 6 "Smash Temples, Build Schools": Comparing Secularism in India and China 140 Chapter 7 The Spiritual Body 168 Chapter 8 Muslims in India and China 193 Chapter 9 Conclusion 214 Notes 231 Bibliography 253 Index 271