|Religions in Chinese and Indian Cultures: A Comparative Perspective|
Call for Proposals
The Bhagavad Gita is among the most influential Indian religious scriptures, and it is also one of the most translated texts in the world. Given its prominence within India and beyond, the text has been the subject of constant scholarly studies in the West, quite often in the context of fruitful comparisons with Western religious and philosophical texts. However, there has been little, if any, effort in the scholarly community to engage the Bhagavad Gita from perspectives arising out of Chinese texts. We are soliciting papers that draw connections between the ideas presented in the Bhagavad Gita and certain key notions in core Chinese texts. We have already prearranged the panel but are still open to additional proposals on this subject.
This Consultation proposes to address two significant gaps in the current scholarship on Chinese and Indian religious traditions. The first gap is on historical scholarship; there has been inadequate scholarly attention paid to how Indian Buddhism — and its central Asian variants — introduced new issues and imaginations to the Chinese people and how the Chinese managed to appropriate the alien tradition into their own intellectual milieu, hence deeply enriching and reshaping the indigenous Chinese culture. Second, we also seek to redirect some of the attention of the comparative study of religion and philosophy away from the default West-centered approach. India and China are profoundly important civilizations, both historically and contemporarily. Despite the historical connection of Buddhism, the differences in their cultural products — whether religious, linguistic, philosophical, artistic, or material — are so striking that comparing them would highlight the true richness, plurality, and diversity of human creativity and cultural productivity.
Anonymity of Review Process
Proposer names are visible to Chairs but anonymous to Steering Committee Members.
Method of Submission