In the year 1915 a series of trivial incidents led some Chinese students in Cornell University to take up the question of reforming the Chinese language.
But I wish to point out that it is entirely wrong to say that the Chinese are not religious.
Confucius was a humanist and an agnostic.
In such diffused changes of culture two factors are necessary: contact and understanding.
What is sacred among one people may be ridiculous in another; and what is despised or rejected by one cultural group, may in a different environment become the cornerstone for a great edifice of strange grandeur and beauty.
Practically all the prominent leaders of thought in China today are openly agnostics and even atheists.
After learning the language and culture of the Chinese people, these Jesuits began to establish contacts with the young intellectuals of the country.
No student of Chinese history can say that the Chinese are incapable of religious experience, even when judged by the standards of medieval Europe or pious India.
For all the social changes in China can be traced to their early beginnings in the days when the new tools or vehicles of commerce and locomotion first brought the Chinese people into unavoidable contact with the strange ways and novel goods of the Western peoples.
On the basis of biological, sociological, and historical knowledge, we should recognize that the individual self is subject to death or decay, but the sum total of individual achievement, for better or worse, lives on in the immortality of The Larger.