Grégoire Espesset deposited The Invention of Buddho-Taoism: Critical Historiography of a Western Neologism, 1940s–2010s in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 1 month, 1 week ago
“Buddho-Taoism” is a neologism that appeared in Western academic discourse during the late nineteen-forties, was put to various uses without being consensually defined, enjoyed a brief vogue around the turn of the twenty-first century, and began to fall from grace in recent years. This neologism implicitly created new epistemic repertoires derived from the names of two presumably known religions and has become a highly versatile speech unit, increasingly loaded with a heterogeneous subtext pertaining to Western-centred representations of the non-European Other. By contextualising its appearance and its variants in European-language writings and following their semantic evolution, this essay attempts to shed light on some of the problems raised by its retrospective implementation in contemporary Western discourse on China. It also illustrates the power of seduction of trendy terms that academics tend to overuse without careful consideration for their meaning, thereby adding unnecessary problems to the intrinsic difficulties of their primary materials.