Politics and Religion in Ancient and Medieval Europe and China by Ming-chiu Lai
Now distributed by Brill for The Chinese University Press.
Seven, diverse papers, written by ancient and medieval historians, are collected in this volume. These papers were presented at the academic conference "Politics and Religion in Ancient and Medieval Europe and Asia", organized by the Department of History and New Asia College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in March 1996. Although the papers vary widely in the region and time-span of coverage – from ancient Egypt, the early Roman Empire, Norman England, to medieval China, they have in common their concern about the relationship between politics and different religions – Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism and others – in ancient and medieval Europe and Asia, and the respective intellectual and cultural interactions. Professor Mu-chou Poo in his paper explores the ancient Egyptian attitudes toward foreigners and foreign culture as an effort to understand Egyptian culture from a new perspective, and as a preliminary attempt to probe into the issues concerning the nature of ancient ethnicity and cultural consciousness. Professor Yen-zen Tsai's paper looks into the way the early Roman Empire treated mystery cults under its rule. Professor Ming-chiu Lai discusses the impact of a Buddhist ritual on Chinese religious culture between the second and sixth centuries. Professor Chi-tim Lai in his paper argues that some Taoist teachings advocated a new world order, but they were not the real force that provoked the rebellions during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Professor Puay-peng Ho exhibits the political meanings of the imperial buildings in the Tang period and sheds light on the research about legitimacy in medieval China. Professor Warren Hollister's paper, which is also the keynote speech, points out that the high culture of twelfth century western Europe was largely the product of monastery. Finally, Professor Frederick Hok-ming Cheung examines the role of the Church in Anglo-Norman politics. The book will furnish a basis for further investigation on politics and religion in the ancient and medieval world, and inspire scholarly inquiries into the comparative dimensions of these important historical phenomena. This volume is distributed by Brill for The Chinese University Press.