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This study explores a Buddhist response to the challenges facing Buddhism in the Song dynasty through an examination of the Buddhist literati-monk Zanning’s (919-1001) Da Song Seng shilue 大宋僧史略 (Topical Compendium of the Buddhist Clergy compiled in the Great Song dynasty, often also translated as Brief History of the Sangha). The work, written at the request of Song emperor Taizong (r. 976-997), argues for a legitimate role for Buddhism in China and active participation of Buddhist monks and institutions in the affairs of the Chinese state. The purpose of the Da Song Seng shilue was to inform the emperor and his officials of pertinent facts regarding Buddhism in China useful for the administration of the sangha, especially regarding the propagation of the Buddhist faith in China, and the institutional and social history of Buddhism and Buddhist institutions.


In: The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel
Author:

Abstract

This study explores a Buddhist response to the challenges facing Buddhism in the Song dynasty through an examination of the Buddhist literati-monk Zanning’s (919-1001) Da Song Seng shilue 大宋僧史略 (Topical Compendium of the Buddhist Clergy compiled in the Great Song dynasty, often also translated as Brief History of the Sangha). The work, written at the request of Song emperor Taizong (r. 976-997), argues for a legitimate role for Buddhism in China and active participation of Buddhist monks and institutions in the affairs of the Chinese state. The purpose of the Da Song Seng shilue was to inform the emperor and his officials of pertinent facts regarding Buddhism in China useful for the administration of the sangha, especially regarding the propagation of the Buddhist faith in China, and the institutional and social history of Buddhism and Buddhist institutions.


In: The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel
In: T'oung Pao
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Abstract

In recent decades, the study of Chan Buddhism has emerged from the haze of mythologically tinged orthodoxy. This study focuses on the yulu (Dialogue Record) formation process of two of Chan’s most important masters, Qingyuan Xingsi and Nanyue Huairang, linchpins for a flourishing Chan tradition allegedly descended from them. Viewed through four seminal texts – Zutang ji, Zongjing lu, Jingde chuandenglu and Tiansheng guangdenglu – Qingyuan Xingsi and Nanyue Huairang represent two very different cases in the development of Chan. While Xingsi remains a relatively obscure figure, Huairang emerges with a full-fledged Chan persona. The study emphasizes the role of textual compilations in shaping the Chan imaginaire of these two masters.

In: Journal of Chan Buddhism