An international research project funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (2015-2018), codirected by Ester Bianchi and Daniela Campo.
Our research project focuses on one of the major features of modern and contemporary Chinese Buddhism, i.e. vinaya revival (jielü fuxing 戒律復興). In the Chinese Buddhist tradition the term jielü 戒律 refers to 1) the monastic discipline (vinaya) as it is defined in the Indian tripiṭaka; 2) the so-called māhayāna vinaya (i.e. the Bodhisattvaprātimokṣa inspired by the Brahmājalasūtra); 3) disciplinary codes and regulations composed in China such as Chan’s “pure regulations” (qinggui 淸規). These three aspects have been adopted in various degrees by modern and contemporary Buddhist monastics in China and Taiwan. The analysis of these three aspects will shed new light on the so-called “Buddhist revivals” of the first and second half of the twentieth century and, thus, on Buddhist modernism.
This three-year project involves an international research team composed of renowned specialists in the field. The team met twice (once in Europe and once in Taiwan) for roundtable discussions and the final public conference will be held in Taiwan, in the second half of 2017. The final outcome will be a thematic volume on “Vinaya Revival in twentieth century China and Taiwan”, to be published either as a special issue of an academic journal or as a peer-reviewed book.
This project focuses on the renewal of the Chinese vinaya (jielü fuxing 戒律復興) in China and Taiwan throughout the twentieth century, a phenomenon that we analyse in its specific historical and social background and in a long-term diachronic perspective. The contemporary resurgence of Chinese Buddhism includes a recovery of ancient traditions and practices, some of which had been disregarded or had disappeared for decades – sometimes even for centuries. This process is especially evident with vinaya. The rebuilding of Buddhist monasteries in the People’s Republic of China and the renewal of Buddhism in Taiwan since the early 1980s have been accompanied by a generalized reinstatement of monastic discipline. Read More