Books for Jewish Studies to China
The SBL Forum reports that SBL and BJS have decided to supply scholarly literature for the study of the Hebrew Bible and biblical Hebrew language at Nanjing University, People's Republic of China (PRC). This is good news indeed, and the two partners are to be commended.
As is perhaps unknown to the Society, there are also several European based library projects in which universities and societies supply scholarly literature to departments within the PRC that presently offer various courses in Hebrew, Greek or Biblical Studies. There are also societies and organizations supplying translations of Western philosophical and theological classics to be freely distributed to Chinese universities. Especially when it comes to advanced scholarly literature, the experience is that reference libraries are best built in departments that have a stable history of religious or biblical scholarship and where there are scholars fully trained to take advantage of the supplied resources. In these departments, there are also going to be new generations of scholars profiting from the library holdings.
In addition, the Institute for Sino-Christian Studies in Hong Kong houses an impressive list of Western philosophical and theological books that have been translated into Chinese. These are offered for free to a large number of libraries at cooperating universities. You may check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Sino-Christian_Studies , which also links to the Institutes's own web pages.
While the ISCS is an independent institution, it is housed in Dao Fong Shan, which is owned by the Scandinavian Areopagus Foundation. Historically, the two have had a very close cooperation.
It would be wonderful if the SBL could engage more deeply in this process, and perhaps even help to form some kind of coordination and sharing of information among Western contributors to such initiatives.
Terje Stordalen Professor of Old Testament Studies University of Oslo
Editor's note: Although the SBL currently does not have the staff to coordinate such an international initiative, we applaud those who are already addressing this need. Among others with which we are familiar is the Theological Book Network (http://www.theologicalbooknetwork.org/ ); they exhibit at our Annual Meetings.
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Citation: Terje Stordalen, " Books for Jewish Studies to China," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited June 2007]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=686