Methodology Workshop: Rethinking Religion(s) in China - Theories, Methods, Practices
This workshop conceptualizes religions in China as a lens and a method to navigate trans-regional circulations and contestations within which China has been embedded.
Tansen Sen (New York University Shanghai) proposes two conceptual frameworks to study the longue durée spread and circulation of Buddhist ideas, artifacts, and people. The first focuses on the transregional idea of “Buddhist cosmopolis,” within which Buddhist ideas, artifacts, and people circulate and develop their unique features, traits, and entanglements. The second relates to the ecumenical approach through which sites of cross-cultural interactions, exchanges, influences, and contentions within this Buddhist cosmopolis can be understood and analyzed. The objective of proposing these concepts is to encourage the examination of “Buddhisms” that transcend doctrinal, regional/sub-regional, and nation-state boundaries and form spaces of Buddhist worldmaking.
Vincent Goossaert (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris) introduces the CRTA database (https://crta.info/wiki/Main_Page), a wikimedia-based open-access database describing all Chinese religious texts, created and curated by an international team of scholars. The presentation will introduce the vision and history of this project and show how it can be used to address various questions pertaining to modern Chinese history.
The two presentations will be followed by a short commentary by Mohammed Alsudairi (Australian National University) and a session for Q&A and discussion.