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KHC Directors, Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner and Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech, Evaluating the Joint Academic Visit



Both KHC directors, Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner (Sinology) and Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech (Sociology), review in their dialogue - conducted toward the end of the joint academic visit - the multiplicity of impressions and evaluate the mutual exchange of the two consortia that intersect in the field of religion. They ponder on the synchronic and diacronic aspects of the Chinese-Indian transformation process in Buddhist art, as depicted in the grottoes of Longmen, and discover modes of conscious inner archaization such as sculptured figures of Indian design which wore Chinese clothing dating back to previous dynasties. They stress the importance of deciphering text-image programs, especially in the case of Chinese culture with its ubiquitary appearance of written language. The cooperation therefore reveals the necessity for interdisciplinary cooperation to bridge the gap between philology and art history. The immediate exchange with local cooperation partners is crucial for developing a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Remarkably, the exchange also takes place in fields that have a long-standing research tradition in Europe itself. Through this development, cross-cultural studies are brought to a new level of hermeneutics, based on joint Asian-European expertise. During the visit, the KHC Erlangen put the colleagues at Buchum into contact with local experts and enabled the KHC Bochum to establish formal cooperation with Jewish studies in Shandong, Religious and Central Asian Studies at Renmin University, and the Institute for World Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.