, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 273–289 | Cite as

Buddhist logic and apologetics in 17th century China: An analysis of the use of Buddhist syllogisms in an anti-Christian polemic



A glimpse of the new application of Buddhist logic in the seventeenth century leads us to reflect about our approach to logic in a given religious tradition: Should we isolate a logical system from the very context that has given rise to the genesis and development of such an intellectual apparatus? Methodologically, we do have the legitimate right to approach Buddhist logic from a purely logical point of view. However, when we study the actual use of Buddhist logic in the seventeenth-century anti-Christian polemic, an analysis of its intentional application allows us to conclude that Buddhist logic in the context of controversy is primarily apologetic. Therefore, with a methodological concern, I suggest that philosophers and logicians should reconsider the apologetic nature of logic in any given religious tradition.



Shengchao poxieji, 8 vols. Ed. by XupU Changzhi, 1639; reprinted in Japan, 1855–1856


Taishō shinshō daizōkyō, 100 vols. Edited by Takakusu Junjirō et al. Tokyo: Daizō Shuppan, 1924–32


Shinsan dai Nihon zokuzōkyō, 90 vols. Tokyo: Kokusho Kankōkai, 1975–1989; originally published asDainihon zokuzōkyō, 750 vols. Kyoto: Zōkyō Shoin, 1905–12.


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© Global Scholarly Publications 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesThe University of ArizonaTucson

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