Author Topic: Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society  (Read 1440 times)

Dharmakara

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Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society
« on: January 19, 2010, 03:14:25 am »
Founded in Taiwan in 1989, the Modern Chan Society was a community of lay Buddhists that challenged monks’ religious privileges and put forward the idea of equality between monks and lay believers. It asserted an independent authority from that of the monasteries in managing “salvation goods” and accordingly recruited its own clergy. In tracing the history of the Modern Chan Society, this article assesses modern Chinese Buddhism: the role of the prophet in symbolic power, the conditions governing the emergence of a prophet, the legitimisation of religious reforms in modern practice and the paradox of institutionalisation.

Read complete essay article here:
http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/document2833.html

Offline Shi Hong Yang

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Re: Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 01:04:25 pm »
It was really fascinating to read the history presented in the article.  I didn't even know of the movement.  But then there were so many in the 80s; even in America.  Also it was intriging that Li dissolved the modern chan society to focus on the Amitabha Buddha.  It was in fact, the final focus for himself.  Really very interesting! 

 :anjali:
Chinese Buddhism is the oldest form of Buddhism in the USA, in 2013 it is 161 years old.  The first Buddhist temples were built in California in 1952 & 1854. Second oldest is Korean in 1900 and Japanese in 1902 both in Hawaii.

Dharmakara

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Re: Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 01:15:37 pm »
Glad to hear you like it. It also pushes us toward re-examining the layperson's potential to become an embodiment of the Dharma. Although the group no longer exists, it would be interesting to find out how the former members have continue in their practice today.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 02:11:34 pm by Dharmakara »

Offline Shi Hong Yang

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Re: Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 01:52:41 pm »
You can see remnants in the Tzu Chi Society.  Also the amitabha society tends to be lay oriented in just the same way.

Both groups conduct their own services and their organizations away from Taiwan are always founded by lay persons.
Chinese Buddhism is the oldest form of Buddhism in the USA, in 2013 it is 161 years old.  The first Buddhist temples were built in California in 1952 & 1854. Second oldest is Korean in 1900 and Japanese in 1902 both in Hawaii.

Dharmakara

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Re: Li Yuansong and the Modern Chan Society
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 02:14:09 pm »
Also the Amida Trust.

It's not even uncommon within the Theravada tradition, the Vinaya Vardena is a perfect example.

 


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