The spring semester 2021 will certainly take place online until Easter. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

851-0554-04L  Cultural and Scientific History of East-Asia

SemesterSpring Semester 2016
LecturersV. Eschbach-Szabo
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractThis course deals with the cultural and scientific history of East-Asia. It comprises lectures on new research work on stagnation and innovation in different fields: it is an overview of history and an introduction into the Chinese writing system, philosophical concepts and their influence on various cultural phenomena and scientific areas of natural sciences in China, Japan and Korea.
ObjectiveThe Cultural and Scientific History of East Asia

The lecture on the cultural and scientific history of East Asia is intended as an introduction to the cultural and scholarly history of China, Japan and Korea. Cultural and scientific developments may have different origins. Although East Asia and the West have never functioned as separate entities, there are certain distinct characteristics concerning cultural understanding and different levels of development of stagnation and innovation.

The Chinese writing system was adapted in different countries. The same canonical texts are known in Japan and Korea. Firstly an overview of history and an introduction into philosophical concepts as Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and Buddhism will be presented in order to point out there influence on various cultural phenomena and scientific areas: rites, gardening, architecture, calligraphy, Mathematics, Biology, Medicine, Astrology and Astronomy and modern technical developments.

It is intended for everyone, to gain a basic insight into this specific region and to enable students to do research on scientific topics in East Asia.
ContentIntroduction, Early Chinese History
Confucianism and the reading of a text of Confucius in Chinese
Further development of the Chinese Writing System in East Asia
Cultural and scientific contacts between China and Europe
Buddhism, garden
Taoism, Medicine, Astrology
Christian influences in East Asia
Modern China and Japan
Concepts for Person, Gender in Japan
Intercultural communication inJapan
Globalization and East Asia
Language policy and writing technology
Lecture notesLecture notes, handouts will be available for purchase at the cost of reproduction for the most lectures.
LiteratureNeedham, Joseph: Science and Civilisation in China. Abridged by Colin A. Ronan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1978.