Cultural Intersections in Later Chinese Buddhism

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Bechert, Heinz. Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, This work deals with theoretical considerations of the social and political role of Buddhism and provides a very detailed case study of Ceylon Sri Lanka.


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This volume treats the developments in the Theravada countries of Southeast Asia, namely Burma rather extensively , as well as Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos more briefly. It also includes an excursus about the predominantly Mahayana Buddhist Vietnam.

Taoist Sorcery and Its Cultural Practice

A third volume, published in , contains a very detailed annotated bibliography reflecting the state of the art until the late s, along with selected documents in English. Borchert, Thomas. DOI: Exploring the relationship between religion and nation in those Asian countries with a significant Buddhist population, the article emphasizes that contemporary Buddhism is marked by a tension between the transnational ties of the respective national Sanghas and national articulations of Buddhism.

Frydenlund, Iselin. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, The chapter examines the relationship between Buddhism and the state in historical perspective. Harris, Ian, ed. Buddhism and Politics in Twentieth-Century Asia. London and New York: Pinter, An introductory exploration of the relationship between Buddhism and politics in modern Asia.

Jerryson, Michael, and Mark Juergensmeyer, eds. Buddhist Warfare. New York: Oxford University Press, None of the eight contributions discuss directly the relationship between Buddhism and nationalism. However, the volume is important to understand the role of violence in Buddhism.

Keyes, Charles. This article examines briefly how Buddhist nationalism in four Theravada countries has shaped relations with members of other religions, notably with Muslim minorities, living in these countries. Ladwig, Patrice, and James M.

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The authors, specialists in Lao and Japanese Buddhism, respectively, give a general overview of Buddhist socialist radicalism and millennialism. As these movements were often directed against the state, they also reveal the tensions between Buddhist nationalism and the revival of local religious traditions. Tikhonov, Vladimir, and Torkel Brekke, eds. Buddhism and Violence: Militarism and Buddhism in Asia. New York: Routledge, This volume evolved out of a workshop hosted by the University of Oslo in It is a collection of eleven essays discussing the participation of Buddhist monks in nationalist movements and their attitudes toward militarization and violence in their respective societies.

Walton, Matthew J. Edited by Michael Jerryson, — Oxford: Oxford University Press, This short but excellent overview article deals with the attitude of Buddhists toward political ideologies in various East and Southeast Asian societies. The author problematizes the overlappings and contestations of Buddhist nationalism and Buddhist revivalism. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

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Esoteric Buddhist practices continued to have an influence into the late imperial period and Tibetan Buddhism was also influential during the Yuan dynasty period and beyond. Others such as Fotudeng d. The Tang dynasty saw the growth to prominence of Chinese Tantric Buddhism. These three masters brought the esoteric teachings to their height of popularity in China. Second, we see the advent of texts representing distinct and comprehensive systems that are meant to codify the swelling tide of mantric texts, deities, and techniques.

Full entry into these systems was accessed only through abhiseka, effecting the ritual transformation of a disciple into a cosmic overlord. Third, these overarching systems were given what amounts to imperial imprimatur during the twenty year period from the s into the s. According to Geoffrey C. Goble, Amoghavajra was the most influential of these and is to be considered as the true founder of the Zhenyan or Mantra Tradition.

He translated the largest number of texts second only to Xuanzang , performed rituals for the royal family, taught disciples from Japan and Korea and was the first to be bestowed Tang imperial titles. There is less information about the Tantric Buddhists that came after Amoghavajra , like his descendants Huilang and Huiguo. Due to this new found influence and prestige, esoteric Buddhism strongly influenced the rest of Chinese Buddhism during the Tang dynasty. The followers of the Baotang school of Chan, founded by Baotang Wuzhu also seem to have had a strong affiliation with the Zhenyan tradition.

There is also evidence that esoteric Buddhist practices also influenced developments in Daoism.

Review of Marsha Weidner, ed., Cultural Intersections in Late Imperial Chinese Buddhism

The growth of esoteric practice in the Tang era is also evident outside the Chinese heartland such as in Dunhuang , Central Asia , Yunnan and Nanzhao. Kukai was taught by the great master Hui-kuo —; Japanese: Keika. It is claimed that he learned the complete teachings in two years before returning to Japan. Esoteric Buddhism also entered the Korean kingdom of Goryeo — The Xia in particular adopted Tibetan Buddhist influences and produced many translations into the Tangut language and artistic works, many of which have been preserved in the findings at Khara-Khoto. Following the Liao, the Jinn dynasty saw a continuation of the forms of Buddhism that existed in the Liao.

Vajrayana had also become the major religion of Tibet and the Western Xia by the time of the rise of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century. The tantric deity Mahakala was used in military campaign to protect the armies during their war against China and became the protector deity of the Yuan state.

They were granted unprecedented status and privileges such as temple offerings and shrines. The introduction of "the secret teaching of supreme bliss" tantric sexual practice caused quite a scandal among Chinese literati. However despite these attacks Tibetan Vajrayana continued to spread in China after the downfall of the Yuan. The rulers of the Ming were also enthusiastic about Tibetan tantric Buddhism.

During the Ming dynasty — , the emperors such as the Yongle Emperor r. The rule of the Yongle emperor also saw the carving of printing blocks for the first printed Kangyur known thus far, known as "the Yongle Kanjur. Another edition of the Tibetan canon was further printed in Beijing in During the Xuanzong reign — , Tibetan monks were allowed back into the palace and also allowed to live in Beijing.

The Zhengde Emperor r. Among the common populace Tibetan Buddhism seems to have grown in popularity. A profitable business was the selling of Dharma instruments at the capital and one report states that "men and women in the capital filled the street" for Tibetan monks in Beijing.

Many Ming literati and courtiers continued to attack and ridicule the religion as demon worship and sorcery. The Qing dynasty — court promoted the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, which was the official religion of the Manchu state. The Qianglong Emperor was also a promoter of the arts which flourished in his reign, and he was particularly fond of Tibetan thangkas.

The wars and rebellions which racked the later Qing saw the weakening of state-sponsored esoteric Buddhism. During the Republic of China — , the government believed that esoteric Buddhism had become weakened after the Tang and thus sought to revitalize it by returning to either Tibet or Japan to revitalize Chinese Buddhism.

Buddhism and Nationalism - Buddhism - Oxford Bibliographies

Chinese Buddhists like Dayong — also went also to Japan to learn and bring back the complete teachings of Tang Mysteries passed down in Tendai and Shingon Buddhism. Most of this movement's work was severely damaged by the Cultural Revolution.


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However, Tibetan Buddhists remain under serious government surveillance and control in the mainland. Fahai attempted to reconcile Tantrism and Chan, claiming that Dzogchen "can be aligned with the overcoming of the last barrier in Chan".



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