In this Book

buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary

Modern Orientalism is not a brainchild of nineteenth-century European imperialists and colonialists, but, as Urs App demonstrates, was born in the eighteenth century after a very long gestation period defined less by economic or political motives than by religious ideology.

Based on sources from a dozen languages, many unavailable in English, The Birth of Orientalism presents a completely new picture of this protracted genesis, its underlying dynamics, and the Western discovery of Asian religions from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. App documents the immense influence of Japan and China and describes how the Near Eastern cradle of civilization moved toward mother India. Moreover, he shows that some of India's purportedly oldest texts were products of eighteenth-century European authors.

Though Western engagement with non-Abrahamic Asian religions reaches back to antiquity and can without exaggeration be called the largest-scale religiocultural encounter in history, it has so far received surprisingly little attention—which is why some of its major features and their role in the birth of modern Orientalism are described here for the first time. The study of Asian documents had a profound impact on Europe's intellectual makeup. Suddenly the Bible had much older competitors from China and India, Sanskrit threatened to replace Hebrew as the world's oldest language, and Judeo-Christianity appeared as a local phenomenon on a dramatically expanded, worldwide canvas of religions and mythologies. Orientalists were called upon as arbiters in a clash that involved neither gold and spices nor colonialism and imperialism but, rather, such fundamental questions as where we come from and who we are: questions of identity that demanded new answers as biblical authority dramatically waned.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Copyright Page
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Figures and Tables
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xviii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-14
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 1. Voltaire’s Veda
  2. pp. 15-76
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 2. Ziegenbalg’s and La Croze’s Discoveries
  2. pp. 77-132
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 3. Diderot’s Buddhist Brahmins
  2. pp. 133-187
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 4. De Guignes’s Chinese Vedas
  2. pp. 188-253
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 5. Ramsay’s Ur-Tradition
  2. pp. 254-296
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 6. Holwell's Religion of Paradise
  2. pp. 297-362
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 7. Anquetil-Duperron’s Search for the True Vedas
  2. pp. 363-439
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 8. Volney’s Revolutions
  2. pp. 440-480
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Synoptic List of Protagonists
  2. pp. 481-482
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 483-502
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 503-536
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 537-550
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9780812200058
Print ISBN
9780812242614
MARC Record
OCLC
794700616
Pages
568
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.