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Regarding the Research and Translations of Buddhist Scripture by Nineteenth Century European Religious Studies Scholars: Using Max Müller as an Example
Author Hong, Xiu-ping (著)
Source Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies
Volumev.1 n.1 Special Issue: Buddhism in the West
Pages118 - 141
PublisherCambria Press
Publisher Url
LocationNew York, US [紐約州, 美國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteThe author is a Doctor of Philosophy.
KeywordEuropean religious studies scholars; Max Müller; translation and research of Buddhist scriptures
AbstractMax Müller is a representative nineteenth century European scholar of the ‘Science of Religion’ who strove to break free from the fetters of traditional Christian theology in Europe, by studying Eastern languages, translating Eastern religious scriptures, and using comparative religious studies as a method. He hoped to perform an ‘impartial’, objective study upon the varied and complicated phenomenon that is religion. His efforts not only promoted the establishment of religious studies as an academic discipline, but also revealed Buddhism’s place in the world, opened a door for the Buddhist religion—which had been ‘otherised’ in the context of the west—to enter Europe, promoted the dissemination of Buddhism in Europe, and deepened Europeans’ understanding of Buddhism. At the same time, Müller used comparative linguistics as a model to construct comparative religious studies. He wrote and compiled a series of writings related to Eastern religions, and he regarded translating Buddhist scriptures as a way of recreating the religion’s early culture. This promoted the research of Buddhism in Europe and exchanges among Eastern and Western academics. Over the course of translating Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures into English, Müller emphasised performing textual analysis to determine the etymology of concept presented by nouns within these scriptures. He also emphasised performing cross-sectional comparisons involving Buddhism and other religions in order to reveal the cognition of the unique qualities of Buddhist culture. This formed an academic trajectory within European Buddhist studies that placed equal weight on philology and philosophy. Looking back over the translations of Buddhist scriptures and research regarding the religion carried out by nineteenth century European religious studies scholars, it is clear that this has had a significant impact on understandings and dialogues between different religions. It also paved the way for significant exchanges across Eastern and Western academic culture.
Table of contentsI. Providing Rich Cultural Resources to Found Religious Studies Through an Understanding of Buddhism 120
II. Compiling the Sacred Books of the East; Bolstering Buddhist Research in Europe and Buddhist Cultural Exchanges Between East and West 123
III. A Unique Understanding of Buddhism and Principle Contribution to the Translation and Dissemination of Buddhist Scriptures 133
ISSN25762923 (P); 25762931 (E)
Created date2021.03.22
Modified date2021.03.22

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