Incense at the Altar: Pioneering Sinologists and the Development of Classical Chinese Philology (American Oriental Series #86)

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9780940490161: Incense at the Altar: Pioneering Sinologists and the Development of Classical Chinese Philology (American Oriental Series #86)

The discipline of Sinology, as it has been developed in the West, is rooted in philology. Despite the variety of new scholarly fashions and approaches to the study of premodern China that have arisen during the past half-century, the careful examination of texts remains fundamental for all serious Sinological work. In this we are beholden to those European, and latterly, American, scholars who, over several generations, painstakingly established the standards for such work. But no comprehensive history of the field has heretofore been published in a Western language. Now Professor Honey offers just such a history of Sinology, spanning its beginnings in the first efforts of seventeenth-century Jesuit missionaries to the growing disciplinary fragmentation of the field in the second half of the twentieth century. Honey gives his most thorough attention to the major figures of French, German, Dutch, British, and American Sinology from approximately 1800 to 1980, with extensive discussion of their most significant works and individual techniques. This is a book of special importance for every student of China who cares about the history of the field.

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