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Wednesday, November 21, 1990 - 19:30

Chinese and Western Culture Compared as to their Respective Encyclopedic Traditions

Prof. Liang Congjie, Academy of Chinese Culture

The Netherlands Embassy Residence


Professor Liang Congjie of the Academy for Chinese Culture, a private institute in Beijing, worked as a senior editor for the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House for many years. His research on the subject of his lecture is unique in China as well as in the West. The making of encyclopedias has a long history which can be traced far back to the early centuries both in China and in the West. Its idea was to include all major human knowledge in all fields in one book for instructive purposes. Since their contents were so comprehensive, one may take them as cross-sections of different cultures in different times. By comparing those traditional encyclopedias in Chinese history and those in the West, with their differing coverage, classification and interpretation of human knowledge, the striking divergence between ways of thinking and of viewing the world of the ancient Chinese and Westerners can be seen clearly, and its effect, in a certain sense, can still be felt in our time.