We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Encountering Modernity

edited by Albert L. Park and David K. Yoo

Publication Year: 2014

Scholarly and popular consensus has painted a picture of Indian Buddhist monasticism in which monks and nuns severed all ties with their families when they left home for the religious life. In this view, monks and nuns remained celibate, and those who faltered in their “vows” of monastic celibacy were immediately and irrevocably expelled from the Buddhist Order. This romanticized image is based largely on the ascetic rhetoric of texts such as the Rhinoceros Horn Sutra. Through a study of Indian Buddhist law codes (vinaya), Shayne Clarke dehorns the rhinoceros, revealing that in their own legal narratives, far from renouncing familial ties, Indian Buddhist writers take for granted the fact that monks and nuns would remain in contact with their families.

The vision of the monastic life that emerges from Clarke’s close reading of monastic law codes challenges some of our most basic scholarly notions of what it meant to be a Buddhist monk or nun in India around the turn of the Common Era. Not only do we see thick narratives depicting monks and nuns continuing to interact and associate with their families, but some are described as leaving home for the religious life with their children, and some as married monastic couples. Clarke argues that renunciation with or as a family is tightly woven into the very fabric of Indian Buddhist renunciation and monasticisms.

Surveying the still largely uncharted terrain of Indian Buddhist monastic law codes preserved in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese, Clarke provides a comprehensive, pan-Indian picture of Buddhist monastic attitudes toward family. Whereas scholars have often assumed that monastic Buddhism must be anti-familial, he demonstrates that these assumptions were clearly not shared by the authors/redactors of Indian Buddhist monastic law codes. In challenging us to reconsider some of our most cherished assumptions concerning Indian Buddhist monasticisms, he provides a basis to rethink later forms of Buddhist monasticism such as those found in Central Asia, Kaśmīr, Nepal, and Tibet not in terms of corruption and decline but of continuity and development of a monastic or renunciant ideal that we have yet to understand fully.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (483.6 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (612.7 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (469.0 KB)
pp. vii-viii

This book would not have been possible without the generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation to Claremont McKenna College. Funding from the Luce Foundation allowed us to hold the conference “Negotiating the Global with the Local: Translating Christianity in Modern...

read more

Introduction: Modernity and the Materiality of Religion

Albert L. Park and David K. Yoo

pdf iconDownload PDF (514.1 KB)
pp. 1-16

The story of Christianity in East Asia has been told in detail and with verve, chronicling the introduction and practice of Catholicism and Protestantism in China, Japan, and Korea. The existing literature is especially rich in documenting church and missionary activities. It also relates how...

Part I: Economy and Religion

read more

Chapter 1. A Sacred Economy of Value and Production: Capitalism and Protestantism in Early Modern Korea (1885–1919)

Albert L. Park

pdf iconDownload PDF (555.6 KB)
pp. 19-46

This essay argues that Western missionaries contributed to the cultivation of new forms of economic thought and practice through the establishment of ideological and physical structures between 1885 and 1919. Ideologically, through the Nevius Plan, which encouraged the construction...

read more

Chapter 2. Taking Jesus Public: The Neoliberal Transformation of Korean Megachurches

Eun Young Lee Easley

pdf iconDownload PDF (536.1 KB)
pp. 47-68

The Christian population of Korea witnessed a dramatic growth in the 1960s and 1970s, when the number of believers soared from six hundred thousand to three million. The growth rate somewhat slowed thereafter, but the absolute number still managed to more than double in the

Part II: Religion and Social Relations

read more

Chapter 3. Guanxi and Gospel: Mapping Christian Networks in South China

Joseph Tse-Hei Lee

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 71-94

Founded in 1849, the Yanzao church was the oldest Presbyterian congregation in the Chaozhou-speaking “Swatow (Shantou) mission” of South China. On October 17, 1999, the church held a thanksgiving service to celebrate its 150th anniversary. The newly opened chapel was the tallest...

read more

Chapter 4. Accidental Pilgrims: Modernity, Migration, and Christian Conversion among Contemporary Taiwanese Americans

Carolyn Chen

pdf iconDownload PDF (531.1 KB)
pp. 95-116

One of the most striking qualities of East Asian immigrant communities in the United States is the remarkable growth of Christianity among Koreans and Chinese. The place of the Protestant church in Korean immigrant communities is already legendary. A total of 89 percent of Korean...

Part III: The Sacred and Social Activism

read more

Chapter 5. Christianity and Civil Society in Colonial Korea: The Civil Society Movement of Cho Man-sik and the P’yŏngyang YMCA against Japanese Colonialism

Kyusik Chang

pdf iconDownload PDF (530.7 KB)
pp. 119-139

Protestantism, along with Marxism, was a foreign idea that had a profound influence on Korean society in the twentieth century. In the early modern period, Korean intellectuals accepted Christianity not as a religion but as a driving force behind the country’s push toward a modern society. Rhee Syngman, who, along with Ahn Chang-ho, was one of the most...

read more

Chapter 6. Between Mission and Medicine: The Early History of Severance Hospital

Yunjae Park

pdf iconDownload PDF (536.2 KB)
pp. 140-161

In 1994 Severance Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Korea, proclaimed its mission to, “with the love of God, free humankind from disease and suffering.” It also manifested its vision “to be the most reliable medical institution, following in the footsteps of Missionaries, Allen...

read more

Chapter 7. Kagawa Toyohiko (1888–1960) and the Japanese Christian Impact on American Society

Mark R. Mullins

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.8 MB)
pp. 162-194

Studies of Christianity for most of the past century were dominated by a Euro-American “master narrative” and largely focused on the history and impact of the Western missionary enterprise. It has become increasingly clear that this approach is no longer viable given the emergence of...

Part IV: Religion and National Identity

read more

Chapter 8. Preaching Modern Japan: National Imaginaries and Protestant Sermons in Meiji and Taishō Tokyo

Garrett L. Washington

pdf iconDownload PDF (561.1 KB)
pp. 197-223

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Japan embarked on a feverish quest to reach the promised land of modernity. To more fully understand this objective and the means of achieving it, the country’s most sociopolitically active men and women looked to the advanced nations of...

read more

Chapter 9. “Smelling of Pickled Radish, Not Butter”: The Wartime Search for a Christianity Viable in Japan

Gregory Vanderbilt

pdf iconDownload PDF (582.5 KB)
pp. 224-253

The question of what might constitute “Japanese Christianity” came to the surface in the 1930s, at the time that military aggression on the Asian continent and increased political controls and mobilization of the populace, recognizable as fascism, were swept up into ideology that promised...

read more

Chapter 10. Diasporic Korean Christianity in the United States, 1922–1941

David K. Yoo

pdf iconDownload PDF (547.9 KB)
pp. 254-277

In October of 1922, Julian S. Park left New York City on a three-week tour of a dozen colleges and universities to visit with Korean and Korean American students. Park, who was a graduate of Methodist-related Baldwin- Wallace College in Ohio and had taken classes at the Presbyterian...

read more

Chapter 11 Protestant Christianity in Reform-Era China: Realities and Representations

David Ownby

pdf iconDownload PDF (569.1 KB)
pp. 278-308

For several summers in the mid-1990s, I had the good fortune to carry out fieldwork in rural Henan with a Chinese colleague who taught at the Communist Party School in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Although we were working on the resurgence of Chinese popular religion, we immediately...

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (684.1 KB)
pp. 309-328


pdf iconDownload PDF (615.2 KB)
pp. 329-330


pdf iconDownload PDF (649.8 KB)
pp. 331-343

Production Notes, Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (247.7 KB)

E-ISBN-13: 9780824840174
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824839475

Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Christianity -- East Asia.
  • East Asians -- United States -- Religion.
  • East Asian Americans -- Religion.
  • Christianity -- United States.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access