Buddhist Apologetics in East Asia

Countering the Neo-Confucian Critiques in the Hufa lun and the Yusŏk chirŭi non


While the Neo-Confucian critique of Buddhism is fairly well-known, little attention has been given to the Buddhist reactions to this harangue. The fact is, however, that over a dozen apologetic essays have been written by Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan in response to the Neo-Confucians. Buddhist Apologetics in East Asia offers an introduction to this Buddhist literary genre. It centers on full translations of two dominant apologetic works—the Hufa lun (護法論), written by a Buddhist politician in twelfth-century China, and the Yusŏk chirŭi non (儒釋質疑論), authored by an anonymous monk in fifteenth-century Korea. Put together, these two texts demonstrate the wide variety of polemical strategies and the cross-national intertextuality of East Asian Buddhist apologetics.

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Uri Kaplan received his Ph.D. from Duke University and is currently a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He specializes in East Asian religions and is author of Monastic Education in Korea: Teaching Monks about Buddhism in the Modern Age (University of Hawaii Press, forthcoming).

Part 1: Introduction
 1 Early Chinese Buddhist Polemics
 2 The Neo-Confucian Critique of Buddhism
 3 Buddhist Responses to the Neo-Confucians
 4 Apologetic Strategies and Themes

Part 2:Translations
 1 In Defense of the Dharma: Annotated Translation of Zhang Shangying’s Hufa lun (護法論)
 2 Probing the Doubts and Concerns between Buddhism and Confucianism: Annotated Translation of the Yusŏk chirŭi non (儒釋質疑論)
All interested in the history of Buddhism in China, Korea, and Japan, in Neo-Confucianism, in the Classic of Changes, and in inter-religious encounters and polemics
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