Category Archives: Research Notes

Some Remarks on the 1923 “Controversy Over Science and Metaphysics”

by Joseph Ciaudo (University of Heidelberg)

Controversies are often seen as important events that contribute to the march of intellectual history. Some can even be considered historical landmarks. The controversy over science and metaphysics that took place in China in 1923 is no exception. It had a lasting impact on the Chinese intellectual scene of the twentieth century. But what happens if, instead of thinking of ideas confronting each other in a mental realm, we regard this debate as one of concrete people speaking in conference halls, taking notes, writing, reading, and exchanging opinions? And could our understanding of this debate be altered by the discovery of a document located at the very core of the debate, but which had remained unknown up to now because another version of the same text had been in circulation? Would we regard the controversy over science and metaphysics differently if the inaugural text of the conference was not the one we had been reading so far?

Full text of the research note on perspectivia.net

A Brief Introduction to the Qingshui River Manuscripts

by QU Jian (PhD Candidate, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg / Visiting Researcher, Max -Planck Institute for European Legal History)

The Qingshui River Manuscripts (清水江文书) refer to a large number of Ming-Qing (1368–1911) written contracts as well as various other kinds of documents that were found in the Qingshui River Basin of southwest China. Over the last decade, these manuscripts have been enjoying increasing popularity among scholars. This short paper intends to offer some basic information for understanding the Qingshui River Manuscripts in their entirety.

Full text of the research note on perspectivia.net

Traditional Hui Mosques in Northern China

by Candice Del Medico (PhD student at the Université Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne, recipient of a fieldwork grant from the EFEO)

The presence of Muslims in China is a phenomenon which seems unknown to the general public. However, today there are more than twenty million Muslims in Chinese territory. The early implantation of Islam was accompanied by the construction of a new type of architecture that had never been seen in China before: the mosques, or qingzhensi (清真寺) in Chinese.

There are currently more than forty thousand mosques in China and some were erected as early as the 14th century. These oldest mosques are the traditional Hui-style mosques.

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