August 14, 2018 – Dr. Marilyn Bowman, SFU – “James Legge & the Chinese Classics”

Dr. Marilyn Bowman, Professor Emerita SFU, schooled in Edmonton and at McGill, taught at Queens (1972-76) and Simon Fraser University (1976-2005). She was the founding director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology at SFU and served variously as Chair of Psychology, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Deputy Chair of Senate and Deputy Chair Board of Governors. She was made a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. She completed Grade 10 in piano with the Royal Toronto Conservatory, studied pipe organ with Robert Pounder in Edmonton and sang with the Vancouver Bach Choir for many years. A wide-ranging traveler, she became a painter during her retirement. Long interested in China she became interested in the life of James Legge, Scots translator of the Chinese Classics, so interested that she did research in Oxford, New York, London and Hong Kong and over a 14-year period of research and writing, published her book “James Legge and the Chinese Classics” in 2016.

Dr. Bowman’s research and clinical academic career as a psychologist focused on individual differences in cognitive abilities and in response to challenging life events. Long interested in the history of China and in the countries of the Silk Road, she has travelled widely in Asia and Europe, seeking places with their historical connections. Her encounter with James Legge combined her professional interests with her interests in Asian history. The challenging events that James Legge experienced across his life in Hong Kong revealed his exceptional linguistic talents and steadfast resilience, her own “peculiar department”, as Legge described his interests. As she discovered his rich blend of talent and resilience in a setting of great political and cultural conflict, she wanted more people to know about this outstanding man.

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