In their project titled “Religion in Conflict: Modern East Asia," Dr. Huaiyu Chen and Dr. Zhange Ni examine the tremendous changes that have occurred in East Asia. In the early twentieth-century, there were many conflicts between China, Japan, and Western powers, such as the conflict between Confucianism and Western religions, the conflict between Japanese Buddhism and other religious traditions, and the conflict between Chinese tradition and Japanese tradition. Even today, some of these conflicts are still troubling East Asia and also confusing the scholars from the West who observed the ongoing changes found in these regions.
Certain questions arise from these ongoing interactions such as:
Huaiyu Chen (Ph. D. Princeton University) is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Religions in the School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. His research interests span Buddhism and Nestorian Christianity, as well as medieval Chinese social and cultural history. Currently, Chen is interested in modern intellectual history, in particular, the cultural construction of religious studies as an academic discipline in modern China. Along with his research on religion and conflict in modern East Asia, he is working on two books related to the roles played by animals in medieval Chinese religious life, and a socio-cultural history of East Asian Buddhism through Buddhist canonical sources, inscriptions, and gazetteers.
Zhange Ni (Ph. D University of Chicago Divinity School) is an Assistant Professor of Religion & Culture in Asia in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her research interests include theories of religion and gender, modern and contemporary fiction, lyric poetry (English and Chinese), and history of Christianity in modern China. Along with these interests, Ni recently published an article in The Journal of Religion titled, “Rewriting Jesus in Republican China: Religion, Literature, and Cultural Nationalism.” This publication follows along the same vein as her work on “Religion in Conflict: Modern East Asia” and focuses on topics such as religion and Chinese nationalism.