A Global Conceptual History of Asia, 1860–1940 (Perspectives by Hagen Schulz-Forberg

By Hagen Schulz-Forberg

Members to this quantity discover the altering options of the social and the commercial in the course of a interval of basic swap throughout Asia. They problem authorized causes of the way Western wisdom unfold via Asia and convey how flexible Asian intellectuals have been in introducing ecu thoughts and in mixing them with neighborhood traditions.

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Additional info for A Global Conceptual History of Asia, 1860–1940 (Perspectives in Economic and Social History)

Example text

All Asian countries are nation-states today, they have concepts of the social and the economic with all their inclusionary and exclusionary elements; they have also moved towards a vertical temporalization of their social and economic imagination, without fully abandoning more traditional, for example Confucian, ways of temporalizing. All Asian countries adopted these concepts in unique ways. A diffusion model must be rejected. It cannot be sustained empirically. The introduction of Western concepts was in many ways a conscious decision at a particular moment in history, which was characterized by conceptual insecurity and innovation in moments of normative and political struggles, tensions and shifts.

As early as the Shilla period from the fifth to seventh century, meetings celebrating Buddhist festivals were called yeondeunghoe, meaning literally the ‘meeting with lotus flower candles’. 9 Although the words sa, hoe and gye were familiar in traditional discourse, however, they differed from the new term sahoe. It was during the first few decades after Korea’s opening of its door to the outside world that Western concepts of economy and society were introduced. Korea could import foreign ideas not only through their own native translations, but also through appropriating and borrowing already translated terminologies from Japan and China because these three countries had long shared a common character, terminology and civilization.

Such an effort begs for a clear distinction between modernization and modernity on a theoretical level. The former needs to be put into its historical context, as a key term that was further developed theoretically in the 1950s and 1960s, providing a narrative for the West as a cohesive region. While modernization theory should in no way influence the methodological and theoretical perspective of global conceptual history, to perceive modernization as a certain form of comparison that is used by historical actors in non-European countries is nevertheless unavoidable.

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