Buddhist Statecraft in East Asia explores the long relationship between Buddhism and the state in premodern times and seeks to counter the modern, secularist notion that Buddhism, as a religion, is inherently apolitical. By revealing the methods by which members of Buddhist communities across premodern East Asia related to imperial rule, this volume offers case studies of how Buddhists, their texts, material culture, ideas, and institutions legitimated rulers and defended regimes across the region.
The volume also reveals a history of Buddhist writing, protest, and rebellion against the state.
Contributors are Stephanie Balkwill, James A. Benn, Megan Bryson, Gregory N. Evon, Geoffrey C. Goble, Richard D. McBride II, and Jacqueline I. Stone.
Stephanie Balkwill, Ph.D. (2015), McMaster University, is Assistant Professor of Chinese Buddhism at the University of California, Los Angeles. She publishes on the social, political, and intellectual history of Buddhist women in early medieval China.
James A. Benn, Ph.D. (2001), University of California, Los Angeles, is Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at McMaster University. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007) and Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015).
Acknowledgments List of Figures Notes on Contributors
Introduction Stephanie Balkwill and James Benn
1 Metropolitan Buddhism vis-à-vis Buddhism at the Metropolis: How to Understand the Ling in the Empress Dowager’s Name Stephanie Balkwill
2 Silla King Chinhŭng Institutes State-Protection Buddhist Rituals Richard D. McBride II
3 The Commissioner of Merit and Virtue: Buddhism and the Tang Central Government Geoffrey C. Goble
4 Images of Humane Kings: Rulers in the Dali-Kingdom Painting of Buddhist Images Megan Bryson
5 Buddhism and Statecraft in Korea: The Long View Gregory N. Evon
6 Refusing the Ruler’s Offerings: Accommodation and Martyrdom in Early Modern Nichiren Buddhism Jacqueline I. Stone
Researchers in the fields of Buddhist Studies, Religions Studies, and premodern history of East Asia. It may also be of interest to practitioners of Buddhism.