Buddhists in the Print Culture of Republican China

Driven by technological development, political and social change, and the potential for massive profits, publishing grew explosively during the first thirty-eight years of the Republic of China, resulting in the production of hundreds of thousands of titles. While most academic assessments of this era focus on the large commercial presses based in Shanghai, there was a diverse range of groups who also participated in this print culture, among them Chinese Buddhists who produced thousands of titles and tens of millions of copies of their own works. Dr Scott’s presentation will introduce his ongoing research into how Buddhists contributed to the print culture of this era, how they adopted modern approaches to book and periodical production and circulation, and how they preserved certain aspects of their own print practices in specific contexts. In doing so Dr Scott illuminates important aspects of modern Chinese print culture, and an important facet of the modern Chinese Buddhist revival.

Dr Gregory Adam Scott is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Culture and History at the University of Manchester. His research examines Buddhist culture in China in the late Qing and Republican eras, especially print culture and publishing.