Orientalism in Sinology
Foreword by Professor Wang Gungwu,former Vice Chancellor, University of Hong Kong and currently Director of the East asian Institute, University of Singapore. This research monograph is a major contribution to Chinese Studies especially in area studies of comparative religion, Chinese Rhetoric, History and translation (esp. Chinese to English). Professor Chan, using questions first raised in Edward Said's ORIENTALISM, begins with a close examination of the intellectual production of Christian missionaries to the Middle Kingdom in the 16th and 17th centuries and the creation of Sinology. Chan believes from cosmogony theory to history of Science (Joseph Needham) many Western scholars have distorted and misunderstood the cultural and intellectual stance of classic Chinese thought and have attempted to create a Chinese equivalent of European material civilization and culture. Chan begins his critique by describing the problem of Chinese cosmogonies, Confucian thought, moral improvement and non Deistic teaching to the first Western scholars to reach China. This search for mirror events (events and trends in China mirroring events in Europe and America) consumes much of Western intellectual energies for centuries leading such historians as Spengler, Needham, Roberts and McKay. Finally, Chan discusses the disaster of overarching development theories on China and the misappropriation of Chinese events by Marxists and non Marxists alike.