「當東方遇見西方」——專訪荷蘭漢學家許理和

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1989 / 8月

文‧王家鳳 圖‧鄭元慶


荷蘭萊登大學漢學院師生,對院長許理和教授(Prof. Dr. Erik Zucher)最簡要的形容詞就是——忙。

 

他的研究室總是大門敞開,高瘦的身子匆匆穿梭在課室、圖書館,和辦公室之間。

 

在學生心目中,這位名重士林的漢學家著作繁浩,註釋之周延縝密,少人可及;在其他歐洲漢學家眼裡,除了學術地位,他的行政長才也不可多得。腦筋轉得快、精擅於推動各種計畫,顯然是他如此忙碌的原因之一。

 

在穿梭奔忙中,許院長的「用功」尤其令人印象深刻。在本刊編輯走訪漢學院的幾天裡,即使是十幾廿分鐘的空檔,他也會大步邁回辦公室,忙不迭坐回堆滿書帙的長桌前翻書、作卡片。事實上,他的眼疾不輕,書桌旁還立著一架碗口大的放大鏡助讀。

 

以下是本刊編輯在萊登漢學院所作的訪談內容。


問:光華雜誌為西方漢學家系列報導所訂的總題是「當西方遇見東方」;不過,您的研究主題恰恰是「當東方遇見西方」,對不對?

答:可以這麼說。我的研究工作主要是「中國與外界關係的歷史」;但是這堜瓵蛌滿u外界」,不只是歐洲,還包括整個世界。

舉例來說,我研究中國佛教史,探討佛教在中國的傳佈與調適,同時也研究明末清初耶穌會來華史,包括中國人反教會的反應,或受基督教(編按:指廣義基督教 Christianity,以下皆同)影響的太平天國等。總之,設法瞭解中國在接受外來影響的反應、變遷,與適應的過程,是我最大的興趣。

鄰居吵架,本色乍現

問:中國佛教史和基督教來華史,都是屬於宗教範圍的東西。這似乎要比學文學、戲劇牽涉更廣、更複雜。為什麼會選擇這個主題?您本身有宗教信仰嗎?

答:我不能真正算是有宗教信仰,頂模糊的。我不上教堂,也沒有什麼固定的意識形態。

當然,牽涉到宗教方面的東西的確比較困難,但是由另一個角度來看,對中國而言,佛教和基督教其實可以單純地看作兩種「外來的」東西。我相信中國文化每在遇到外來衝擊的時候,特別能表現出她的特質。

這就像兩個人起爭執一樣,當你和鄰居辯得面紅耳赤,你可能發現自己說出了一些以前並沒有認真組織過的話,而它們不但蠻有道理,也很能解釋你的立場和人格特質。同樣的,中國對佛教和基督教反應,也展現出相當的文化特色。

就拿「一神論」的挑戰來說,中國人向來相信許多各有職司的神明可以並存,這個道理人人皆知,不必費事昭告世人。直到傳教士東來,聲稱「真主只有一位!」這時候,中國人說話了:「不對,這不合邏輯!」然後他們才訴諸理論、形諸文字,闡明為什麼不可能只有一個神。

再舉個例子:中國人不相信天地是由「一個神」創造的,他們寧可承認那是天地間「化育」的力量。而後耶穌會來了,說是神在七天之內創造了世界。中國人聽到,急了,說:「你瘋了嗎?你怎麼可能相信這樣的事?」而後他們著書立說,告訴世人有關中國人的想法。

未知生,焉知死

此外,佛教到中國以前,除了「仙化」觀念外,中國人較少提及「來世」(after-life)的種種。當然也有「鬼」、「魂」、「魄」……等說法,可是很模糊,甚至有矛盾處。有人相信精魄存在「氣」中;有人說他們住在「黃泉」;另一說是「泰山」……。

等到佛教帶來「投胎轉世」的輪迴觀念,學者們受此刺激,紛紛起而撰寫中國人的來世觀。中國人在面對這些衝突的調適過程,令我大感興趣。

問:聽起來的確非常有意思。不過,中國人在佛法西來的一連串挑戰和回應中,最後似乎還是接納了它?

答:這是事實。以輪迴觀念來說,是很普遍地被民間接受了。你可以在許多小說、戲曲中看到「緣定三生」、「七世夫妻」之類的情節。此外「十殿閻王圖」也到處可見。

不過,在菁英階層的知識分子倒不一定完全接納這些,他們仍持保留態度。

宗教概念,迥然有別

問:那麼,中國人在面對外來宗教的調適過程中,又顯現了些什麼樣的文化特徵?

答:我認為中國人永遠不可能真正接受「只有一個真主」的觀念,他們頂多承認或許有某個神的「權威」大些。所以中國人可能很容易成為基督教徒或佛教徒,因為從實際的角度來看,既然「未知生,焉知死」,將來的事誰也不知道,何妨多少相信一些。這是非常中國的態度。

問:說到這裡,我們是不是可以先確定一下,在東、西方對宗教截然不同的概念下,西方定義下的religion這個字究竟適不適用於討論中國人的信仰?或者說,當您在談中國的religion時,所指為何?

答:當我提到religion的時候,意思是:超自然的信仰(beliefin the supernatural)。所以,中國的儒家有某些宗教成份,像是祭祖;但整體來說,它不是非常宗教性的,因為超自然因素在儒家中並不強。再說儒家沒有特別的「教士」,更不像伊斯蘭教、基督教般充滿神蹟。所以我說,在中國,儘管下層社會廟壇林立,但上階層社會的宗教性不強。

只是一種嗜好?

問:可不可以進一步說明宗教在中國和西方社會中所代表的不同意義?

答:我們可以說,在中國文化中,宗教不像在西方社會中那樣重要。當然,現在我們的社會也在改變中,很少人按時去上教堂,而上教堂意義也不那麼大。但是如果我們看看五十年前,宗教力量深深根植在西方社會中。在此之前,尤其中古時代,教堂更是人們生、老、婚、死的重心,牧師也有權介入你的私生活。你如果做錯了什麼,神父會找你談談。這對傳統中國人而言,是不可思議的事,因為宗教只是人生的一部分,而且不頂重要,或許你的家族還顯得更重要些。

從某一個角度來看,宗教在中國人的生活中,甚至只是一種嗜好,一種閒暇時用來消磨時間的東西。

在西方,牧師的地位就像一位權威而嚴格的父親,但是在中國,「老和尚」算不了什麼。甚至在封建時代,和尚與戲子、娼妓、乞丐並列,地位非常低;很多小說堙A也常有「賊禿」、「笨和尚」之譏。他們根本沒有社會地位。

儒家勢力,左右外來思想

我可以再舉個例子:一個中國人的長輩過世了,晚輩在請和尚來念經時,可能會理所當然地先談妥價錢,甚至討價還價。這和打電話找水電工人修水管差不多。

所以宗教對中國人來說,通常只有在涉及葬禮、和與國家有關時,才顯得重要。比方說皇帝主持祭天,是一個很大的儀典,這在西方是絕無僅有的事。西方的皇帝或國王跟別人一樣虔誠地進教堂。

問:我相信中、西方對宗教的概念的確截然不同,是不是這個原因,使得明末基督教在中國的傳佈,不比佛教在中國的影響力來得大?

答:這個問題的影響因素很多。以社會背景來說,唐代社會風氣比較開放,而儒家在當時的影響力,只及於少數菁英分子,一般老百姓還沒有受到波及。但到了明末,整個社會教育系統已經被儒家定型,就算一個鄉下小村莊,年輕人也必讀四書五經。在儒家文化濃重的籠罩下,是很不容易再吸收外來思想的。到了清代,思想更是定於一尊。或許是因為那時中國受到很多外來侵略他們顯得更害怕接受新事物。

問:所以儒家的影響力的大小,才是決定性的因素?

答:是的,這個很重要。

佛、道是強勁對手

問:那麼道教在中國吸收外來思想的過程中,又扮演什麼角色?

答:道教向被認為是中國傳統的東西。所以他們總是強調「佛教是舶來品」的觀念。因此,直到明、清時代,一般人仍然視佛教為外來思想。我們可以說佛、道兩教一直是強勁對手。道教說佛教是番邦夷貨,佛教反斥:「胡說!你難道不知道老子就是佛在中國的現身嗎?」事實上,道教和儒教一直與佛教對立的。

問:在儒、道兩家的對立下,佛教如何在中國傳佈?

答:所以他們必須適應和改變。比方說,家庭制度是非常儒家的東西,而佛教講「出家」,這是絕對的衝突。於是佛教也作了些讓步,在葬禮中,作「水陸」的和尚可以被請到家堥荌窗C從這些小地方,你可以發現佛教已經被巧妙地融入了家庭制度。

問:印度佛教完全沒有這些嗎?

答:沒有。這是典型的中國佛教。

問:那麼,所謂的「在家居士」也是「中式」佛教的產物?

答:是的。在印度佛教中,你必須拒絕整個世界。但在中國佛教裡,尤其禪宗,你可以接納世界、生活其中,仍然有機會悟道成佛。

且把城隍當「天使」

問:有了佛教中國化的前例,基督教在明末的傳佈,為什麼不運用這樣的經驗?

答:其實他們也試過。比方說,針對祭祖一事,他們說:好吧,只要不太迷信,你們可以榮耀先祖,不過這只是禮貌上的追思。此外,過去中國縣太爺必須祭「城」,如果教會不准,他甚至會丟官。傳教士為了想說服他們皈依,就說:也行,你就把城隍當作一種守護天使好了。就像天使長聖米迦勒(St. Michael)一樣。可惜這些因應當地文化所做的解釋和讓步,後來都被羅馬教廷禁止了。因為教皇說:不成。

問:那大約是什麼時候?在那裡?

答:是十七世紀,一六三○年左右。在福建。不過後來傳教士又試著從中國古書裡找適合的理論,設法說服中國學者信教。比方說「天」、「上帝」這些字眼都經常在詩經、書經裡出現,他們乾脆將God翻譯成天或上帝,讓中國人容易接受。不過,這又被羅馬教廷禁止了。

問:聽起來這些早期的傳教士遍讀經書,可稱得上是第一代「漢學家」嘍?

答:可以這麼說。可惜他們夾在儒家勢力和羅馬教廷之間兩面為難,傳教工作很難推展。

康熙趕走了教廷大使

問:後來他們怎麼辦?

答:基督教在雍正年間被清廷正式禁止。傳教士無法公開傳教,所以我們不確知當時究竟有多少教士或信徒。這個情況一直持續到鴉片戰爭之後,外國教士才再度能夠自由傳教。因此,我們可以說康、雍、乾時代直到鴉片戰爭,是基督教在中國的低潮期。這期間教士無法自由旅行,只有少數傳教士在宮廷裡以「外國專家」的身分出現。他們在宮裡製造自鳴鐘、設計西式庭園、充當翻譯員,像有名的畫家郎世寧,就是義大利籍的傳教士。

這與佛教初期的傳佈有很明顯的不同,佛教在低階層中十分普及,而耶穌會教士則由層峰下手。

問:在一般印象中,西方傳教士總是在窮鄉僻壤做慈善工作兼佈道,這是後來的做法嗎?

答:是的。當時的教廷政策是進入領導階層,包括文人學者、官員大臣,甚至皇族、太監,並沒有普及到一般大眾。

問:既然由層峰下手,後來又為什麼遭到禁令?

答:那是因為後來羅馬做了一件大大的錯事。他們派了一位教廷大使到中國,想要遊說康熙皇帝。中國皇帝聽了當然很生氣:好傢伙,你來告訴我該怎麼做?!他認為教廷是在干涉中國內政,於是把他趕了回去,從此關係惡化。這件事對後來耶穌會的傳教,傷害非常大。

宋代以降,理性當道

問:其實在宗教問題上游說皇帝,唐代的韓愈也做過……

答:那不一樣,韓愈是個中國大臣,後來也被流放了;更何況一個來自義大利的外國人,去告訴中國皇帝該怎麼做,這是非常不敬的事。

韓愈諫迎佛骨代表的是儒家的反對勢力。這種反對勢力自宋、明以降更趨明顯,儒家再度強化,朱熹、范仲淹,以及後來的新儒家,都非常反佛教。佛教徒多半存在貧苦的下階層堙A高階層則是儒家的信徒。

我們可以發現,唐代出過許多偉大的佛學大師,明清就沒有。此外,所有的手卷、經文釋義,幾乎都是出自宋代以前,此後就逐漸走下坡。總的來說,宋以後的中國,理性更強、宗教性較弱。同時道教在宋以後也大不如前,而成為一般民間信仰,十分世俗化了。

問:所以造成了基督教傳佈的不利環境?除此之外,會不會是佛教本身的特質比基督教融合性大,不像基督教那麼排斥異端?最近有一位年輕的美國學者寫了一本書,說佛教百年來在美國已經形成了美式佛教。

答:事實上,美國的佛教主要來自日本,你知道,就是那個迷人的「禪」。特別在加州,他們稱做「西岸佛教」;這其實是種東方遊戲,不那麼嚴肅的。

時代在變,潮流在變

問:所以我們不能說是因為佛教本身的特質,較容易與不同文化融合?

答:這很難說,有些東西隨著環境、時間不得不改變。比方說,現在佛教有許多做法是由基督教得來的靈感。在台灣,有些尼姑清修,也有些尼姑在醫院當護士,這在佛教理論中不見得出現,只是佛教徒引進了這樣的做法。而日本人也融合了佛教和神道,有時甚至出現頗為危險的政治極右派。

今天的基督教也是一樣,教會給予的彈性較大,各種不同民族特色的教會出現了,在墨西哥或非洲,你可以看到非基督教的部落習俗,與基督教色彩並存。

事實上,基督教本身在中古初期也吸納了很多異教觀念和倫理,比方說耶誕節、耶誕樹、耶誕老人……等等,都是異教東西。此外,各種聖節、習俗,甚至聖徒都是非常古老的神祇。

十六世紀基督教還出現了一個清教運動,叫做Counter Reformation,此後比較嚴格。到了最近十五、廿年,基督教會顯得彈性更大。不過,對中國大陸而言,我不會這麼說。中國大陸的教會,至今使用拉丁文作彌撒,比歐洲更老式。

耶穌寫英文,錯誤百出?

我可以再告訴你一件有趣的事,發生在台灣。我的一位巴黎朋友曾在台灣學做道士,他見過一位「乩童」會用英文在沙上寫字,而且說那是耶穌、瑪利亞,或神的意思,他建議你可以買什麼東西、要孝順父親……等等。可是他的英文錯誤百出,我的朋友於是問他:「上帝無所不能,祂當然懂英文,但是你怎麼解釋這些錯誤?」那位乩童聽了回答說:「噢!那是為了方便啊,神為了親近老百姓,故意降低了層次來跟大家溝通。」真聰明!

問:由唐代的佛教和明末基督教在中國傳教過程來看,基督教的影響力似乎小得多;不過就文化上來看,佛教傳到中國,顯然豐富壯大了中國文化,但明清基督教的來臨,卻似乎帶來了此後文化自信上的懷疑?

答:比較起來基督教傳教的影響的確非常小。你看,佛教在唐代是個大規模的運動,中國同時也和中亞、新疆有龐大的生意。但明末恐怕只有卅、四十個耶穌會教士在中國,不足以改變中國。

直到十九世紀,隨著自由貿易的要求,外國勢力才隨著商業力量迫使中國開放通商而擴大,傳教衝突不時夾在其中,問題層出不窮。所以,應該說是商業力量改變了中國,宗教只能說是副作用。

再寫一本大書

問:您的許多著作至今影響深遠,最近有沒有寫新書,或有其它計畫?

答:最近沒有寫什麼新書,漢學院的行政工作太忙;而推廣「視覺教學」是我目前最重要的事,不過再過幾年我就可以退休了。

問:退休意味著什麼呢?

答:哈,哈!這是說你將要停止工作、失業,變成一個退休公民;你結束啦!

問:那麼您就有時間寫書了?

答:是的,我會花個幾年寫一本有關中國佛教的大部頭書。當然,也會多寫些文章。

問:然後呢?

答:然後我就很老啦!然後我就成了一個老天真,開始釣魚去嘍!

〔圖片說明〕

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「早期佛教在中國的傳佈與調適」,是許理和教授的主要研究方向之一。

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「視覺教材」是許教授的「新貝比」,他目前最大的心願,就是把小貝比拉拔長大。

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「再過幾年,我就可以退休了!」他說,退休以後要好好地花幾年功夫寫一本「大書」。

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剛剛結束和本刊編輯的談話,下一秒鐘,他已經出現在書庫裡了。

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許理和教授(Dr. Erik Zucher)小檔案

相關文章

近期文章

EN

"When East Meets West"--An Interview with Dutch Sinologist Erik Zucher

Wang Jia-fong /photos courtesy of Arthur Cheng

The most succinct description of Prof. Dr. Erik Zucher of Leiden University is--busy.

The door to his office is always open, and his tall thin frame can frequently be seen hurrying about among classrooms, libraries, and offices.

He is noted for his numerous, thoroughly researched scholarly works as well for his rare administrative talents. His quick mind and adeptness at carrying through plans are clearly part of the reason for his being so busy.

Dr. Zucher's dedication to studies is equally impressive. During the few days that we visited the Sinological Institute at Leiden University, whenever he had ten or twenty minutes spare time he would march back to his book-covered desk and page through weighty tomes making notes. . . . In fact, his eyesight is poor and he uses a large magnifying glass to help him.

Dr. Zucher was interviewed by us at the Sinological Institute, Leiden University.

 


Q: The title of our series on Western sinologists is "When West Meets East," but the subject of your research has been "When East Meets West," hasn't it?

A: You could say that. My research has mainly been on the history of the relationship between China and the outside world, not just between China and Europe but between China and the whole world. My main subject has always been the history of Buddhism in China and how it was changed by Chinese culture. I have also studied the history of the coming of Christianity to China during the late Ming and early Ch'ing, including how China received and transformed the influence and the Chinese reaction to it, such as the Taiping rebellion. That is the process that interests me most.

Q: The history of both Buddhism and Christianity in China falls within the field of religion. Why did you choose this subject? Are you religious yourself?

A: Not really, not very clearly. I am not really that ideological and church going. But it's a matter of interest and that is what interests me. Especially foreign things. And from the point of view of China, both Buddhism and Christianity are foreign religions. I believe that Chinese culture shows its features most clearly when it is confronted with something from outside. It's like people in conflict--when you're quarreling with your neighbor, you may say things and show things about your character that you otherwise never would. In the same way, the Chinese have shown certain characteristic features in their reactions to Buddhism and Christianity.

For instance, the Chinese have never believed in the creation of heaven and earth by the gods; there was just hua, a force that came about and evolved. So when the Jesuits came and said that God created the world in seven days, they started writing, "You're crazy. How can you believe that?" And the same with Buddhism. They reacted against Buddhism by putting forward all kinds of arguments that they never would have expressed if they hadn't been challenged by it.

Q: In the end the Chinese accepted Buddhism though, didn't we?

A: That's true. You find all kinds of variations, but in general the idea of rebirth was fairly largely accepted. You see it in Chinese novels, where for instance you often find two young people who were lovers for many lives. So rebirth is often accepted, and there are pictures of hell and its punishments. But at the same time the scholars of the high elite did not always accept it. They still believed in the old ways of thought, so there was always a class difference. The common people mostly believed in rebirth, but the elite were not so easily persuaded.

Q: What do you mean by religion in reference to China?

A: Well, if you say religion means belief in the supernatural, then you can say that Confucianism has certain religious elements, like ancestor worship, but as a whole it is not very religious. It is mainly social and political. The supernatural is not very strong in Confucianism. And Confucianism has no "priests" to speak of. Second, in Confucianism you don't find any miracles, unlike Islam or Christianity, which are full of them. That is why I say China has become less religious in the sense that the element of the supernatural has become less. It is mainly among the people, where you have many Buddhist temples, Taoist temples, and popular cults, but the upper class is less supernatural minded.

Q: Are there any other big differences in the role or significance of religion in China and the West?

A: Religion is less central and less important in Chinese culture. Now, of course, we have changed in the West. Very few people go to church, and it doesn't mean so much anymore. But up until fifty years ago, religion was very deeply rooted in the West--I mean institutionally, the church and church life. Before that time, during the middle ages, the church was really very central to daily life, and the priest was somebody who had authority in your private life. That has changed now, but formerly it was quite normal if you misbehaved or did something wrong, then the priest would come talk with you.

Now that would be unthinkable in the Chinese tradition because religion is just one aspect of life and not so all important--your family is much more important than religion. Religion is done almost as a hobby, as a pastime, as something you do in your free time. Also the status of the priest is low. The Buddhist monk has no high status. In the West the priest is supposed to be like a stern, authoritative father, but in China the lao ho-shang (old monk) is nothing special. Formally under the empire you had beggars, prostitutes, actors, and monks, and there was a "stupid monk" in every novel. So they had no status.

Q: Was it the difference in concepts of religion between China and the West that caused Christianity to have less of an impact on China than Buddhism?

A: There were many factors. As to social background, the T'ang dynasty was more open to foreign influence. Confucianism was more a system of the elite, but the common people were not very Confucian. But by the end of the Ming dynasty the whole educational system had become Confucianized, so that even in small villages the young people had to study the Confucian classics. The society was more Confucian, and that made it more difficult to absorb ideas from outside. During the T'ang dynasty it was easier for Buddhism to spread, and it combined with Chinese civilization more or less. But by the late Ming and earlier Ching the society was more resistant to absorbing ideas from the outside. That is one of the main reasons.

Q: So the influence of Confucianism was a decisive factor?

A: Yes, it was very important.

Q: What about Taoism?

A: It was native Chinese, so you never had the problem. But there was always this idea that Buddhism was something from abroad, even in the late Ming and Ch'ing. So there was always a rivalry between Buddhism and Taoism. Taoists would say that Buddhism was from the outside, and Buddhists would say, "Nonsense, Lao-tzu was just the incarnation of the Buddha in China." Actually Confucianism and Taoism always stood in opposition to Buddhism.

Q: Under this opposition, how was Buddhism propagated in China?

A: It had to be transformed and changed. For example, the family system is very Confucian, while Buddhism talks about leaving the home, which is an absolute conflict. But Buddhism made some concessions. Monks could be asked to perform ceremonies at funerals, for instance. From these small places you can discover how Buddhism was adapted and became a part of the family system.

Q: Buddhism in India doesn't have that?

A: No, it is typically Chinese. They introduced it to the family system.

Q: So the practice of being a "monk at home" is also a product of Chinese-style Buddhism?

A: Yes, it is very much Chinese. In Indian Buddhism you have to reject the world, but in some kinds of Chinese Buddhism, especially Ch'an, you can accept the world and just go on living in it, and you can have enlightenment in daily life.

Q: With the precedent of Buddhism being sinicized before them, why didn't Christians at the end of the Ming make use of that experience?

A: Actually they tried. For instance, they said ancestor worship was all right as long as it was not so superstitious. You were allowed to honor your ancestors but only as a sort of polite remembrance. And also, for instance, every Chinese official had to perform sacrifices to the local City God. Otherwise he would lose his job, you know. So how did they convince an official to convert? They have to do it very carefully. They just said, "Well, okay, he's a kind of angel. He's not a god but a kind of angel who protects the city, like St. Michael." But then the problem was that these concessions were forbidden by Rome. The Pope said no.

Q: When was that? And where?

A: In the seventeenth century, around 1630. In Fukien. They also tried to use the indigenous terms, so in translating "God" they said t'ien, or "Heaven," and they also tried shang-ti. They said, "This is an old Chinese term, you can find it in the Classics." So that made it acceptable to Chinese scholars. But again that was forbidden by Rome.

Q: So the missionaries really tried hard to read the Chinese classics?

A: Yes, they did. That was the beginning of Western sinology. But the problem was not only from the Confucianists but also from Rome.

Q: When we adopted Buddhism in the T'ang dynasty it seems to have made Chinese culture stronger and richer, but when Christianity arrived in the Ming and Ching our culture seems to have experienced a crisis in confidence. Do you think there is any relationship?

A: No, I don't think so. You see, in T'ang times Buddhism was really a big, massive movement, and there was also a lot of trade with Central Asia and Sinkiang. But in the late Ming there was only a handful of Catholic fathers, perhaps no more than thirty or forty Jesuits and missionaries in China. It was a very small trickle, not enough to change China.

It was only in the nineteenth century that foreign influence became so strong that things actually changed. The English and Europeans broke China open not for religious reasons but more for commercial and political reasons. The West did not come to China to propagate Christianity, but it was a side effect. First of all, they wanted free trade.

Q: You have written many influential books. Do you intend to write any more books or do you have any other plans?

A: I haven't written any new books recently. I am very busy as the director of the institute and head of the department. But in a couple of years I will have to retire.

Q: What does that mean?

A: You stop working and lose your job and become a retired citizen!

Q: Then you'll have time to write, I suppose.

A: Yes. I'd like to write a big book on Chinese Buddhism and some articles here and there.

Q: And then?

A: By that time I'll be so old I'll become gaga and go fishing.

[Picture Caption]

The spread and adaptation of Buddhism in early China is Professor Zucher's chief field.

The Visual Presentation of Chinese Culture is Professor Zucher's "new baby," and his greateat wish is to see it grow up.

"In a couple of years I will have to retire!" He says that after retirement he wants to spend a few years writing a "big book."

No sooner did he finish talking with our reporter than he showed up in the stacks.

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