165 , 2016-03 , Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia
Opinion Forum China studies in Germany has undergone great changes since the 1960s. Influenced by burgeoning area studies in the United States, German scholarship shifted from traditional philological studies focused on translating and interpreting Chinese classics to practical studies of modern Chinese politics, economy, law, etc. Hence, there was also a shift in research methodologies to those of the social sciences. However, this shift, significant as it is, can never replace traditional Sinological studies aimed at Chinese history and classics. This paper uses Chinese history as an example to explore the development of German academic Sinology. It points out that research in traditional Sinology, as well as in modern China studies, no longer focuses on a particular discipline, but rather follows the trend toward interdisciplinary, comprehensive research. Hence we can expect that China studies will become increasingly decentralized and interactive in the future development of the field.