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Confucianism as a World ReligionContested Histories and Contemporary Realities$
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Anna Sun

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155579

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155579.001.0001

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The Making of a World Religion

The Making of a World Religion

Confucianism and the Emergence of Comparative Religion as a Discipline in the Nineteenth Century

(p.45) Chapter 2 The Making of a World Religion
Confucianism as a World Religion

Anna Sun

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the connection between the making of Confucianism as a religion and the emergence of comparative religion as a discipline, based primarily on extensive archival research conducted in the Max Müller Archive at Bodleian Library in Oxford, the British India Office Archive at the British Library, and the Archive at the Oxford University Press. It shows that by allying himself with Max Müller and the emerging discipline, professor James Legge moved the controversy over the religious nature of Confucianism from the small circle of missionaries in China to a new arena. Through innovative boundary work, Müller and Legge helped establish a legitimate intellectual field to promote the discourse of world religions of which Confucianism was an essential part.

Keywords:   Confucianism, comparative religion, Max Müller, James Legge, Chinese missionaries, world religions, British India Office Archive, Bodleian Library

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