Toward a Modern Chinese Buddhism
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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This book on modern Chinese Buddhism evolved over a number of years, and in its preparation I benefited from the help of many people.Those who read all or part of the manuscript and offered valuable comments include Joseph M. Kitagawa, who first suggested to me a study of Taixu’s reforms when I was a doctoral candidate at the...
A Note on Romanization
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No single romanization system for Chinese names and terms is satisfactory in all respects.The Wade-Giles-system or some variant of it was used in virtually all the English-language resources cited in this study.However, because the pinyin romanization system, often referred to as the United Nations’ Mandarin Phonetic...
Introduction: In Search of a New Buddhism
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The chaotic Republican period in China (1912–1949) was one of intense self-criticism, ideological polarization, military conflict, and change. The corrupt Manchu dynasty had been overthrown, yet the forging of a new social order proved far more difficult than anyone had imagined. It was a time of grand utopian dreams and of harsh, unyielding realities. Foreign intrusions, famine, civil war,...
Chapter 1: Defending the Dharma in a Revolutionary Age
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In the late nineteenth century, long before the 1911 revolution that forced the abdication of Puyi (1906–1967), the last emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), Chinese intellectuals were engaged in a reevaluation on an unprecedented scale of the very foundations of their ancient culture. The primary reasons for this intense introspection, and the sometimes polarizing,...
Chapter 2: The Sound of the Tide for a New China
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To understand the mental universe of many religious leaders, it is important to know something about the fabric of their lives. In such cases, interpretation requires a sense not only of the person’s historical context but of how he or she experienced and engaged it. Thus biographical accounts and autobiographical reflections are crucial to appreciating...
Chapter 3: An Ecumenical Vision for Global Mission
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During the last thirty years of his life, in addition to his efforts in the field of monastic education,Taixu devoted considerable energy to the establishment of regional and world Buddhist organizations. Xuming asserts that the reformer’s growing interest in the 1920s in the global organization of Buddhists reflected a definite strategic decision...
Chapter 4: Mahāyāna and the Modern World
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Yu-yue Tsu has asserted that the first phase of the revival of Chinese Buddhism that began during the final years of the Manchu dynasty was primarily political rather than spiritual in nature. That is, the most important attempts to reform and reenliven the Chinese Buddhist community during the waning years of the Qing and the initial years...
Chapter 5: A Creative Recovery of Tradition
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The central spiritual paradigms of any religious tradition can be understood to address the existential situation of the majority of individual people who are perceived to form its holy community. The Confucian scholars of classical China, for example, understood their community, in the midst of disorder, to be on the way—via the rectification of names and the extension...
Chapter 6: Taixu's Legacy
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None of Taixu’s twenty-four tonsure disciples and grandson-disciples proved capable enough in the continuation of his master’s work to be widely recognized. In fact, six of them left the order to return to lay life, and two renounced Buddhism altogether.¹ Yet after the reformer’s death in 1947, there were prominent members of the sangha in China,Hong...
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Glossary of Chinese Characters
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Index [Includes About the Author]
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Publication Year: 2001