Chinese Buddhism Today

Conservatism, Modernism, Syncretism and Enjoying Life on the Buddha’s Light Mountain

by Yu-Shuang Yao, Fo Guang UniversityRichard Gombrich, Oxford University

Complete Collection
New Religious Movements, Contemporary Paganisms & Western Esotericism Collection
​South & East Asia Collection​

Fo Guang Shan, “Buddha’s Light Mountain”, is a Buddhist movement founded in Taiwan in 1967 and led by the Ven Hsing Yun (b.1927), who had fled to Taiwan from mainland China in 1949. It stands in the Chinese tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism and more specifically is a form of Buddhism which in English is usually referred to as “Humanistic Buddhism” or as “engaged Buddhism”. Humanistic Buddhism owes its origin to the Chinese monk Tai Xu (1890-1947). He found the Buddhism which surrounded him in China dreary and moribund, preoccupied with rituals for the dead, and offering nothing to help or guide people living in the world outside monasteries. His determination to reverse this decay centred on the idea that it was the vocation of a Mahayana Buddhist to do good to others, finding their own spiritual benefit in benefitting society.

Hsing Yun has been a devoted disciple of Tai Xu. It is telling that he founded a seminary before he founded a monastery, and has laid huge emphasis on education. As the sub-title of this book indicates, in order to make Buddhism widely attractive and relevant he has incorporated every influence available. Gifted with a benign personality, he has turned his seemingly boundless energy and prodigious versatility to creating an institution which presents Buddhism as potentially a source for benefitting society through making life enjoyable. This book hopes to convey the movement’s ethos primarily by focusing on his views and activities.

This book is included in the Complete and the South & East Asia Collections. Subscribers can access the eBook from the Read Online tab.

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  • isbn
    9781800502338 (eBook)
  • publisher
    Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2022
  • publisher place
    Sheffield (U.K.)
  • rights holder
    Equinox Publishing Ltd.
  • series title
    Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies Monographs
  • doi