Recovering Buddhism in Modern China

Hardcover | March 29, 2016

EditorJan Kiely, J. Brooks Jessup

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Modern Chinese history told from a Buddhist perspective restores the vibrant, creative role of religion in postimperial China. It shows how urban Buddhist elites jockeyed for cultural dominance in the early Republican era, how Buddhist intellectuals reckoned with science, and how Buddhist media contributed to modern print cultures. It recognizes the political importance of sacred Buddhist relics and the complex processes through which Buddhists both participated in and experienced religious suppression under Communist rule. Today, urban and rural communities alike engage with Buddhist practices to renegotiate class, gender, and kinship relations in post-Mao China.

This volume vividly portrays these events and more, recasting Buddhism as a critical factor in China's twentieth-century development. Each chapter connects a moment in Buddhist history to a significant theme in Chinese history, creating new narratives of Buddhism's involvement in the emergence of urban modernity, the practice of international diplomacy, the mobilization for total war, and other transformations of state, society, and culture. Working across an extraordinary thematic range, this book reincorporates Buddhism into the formative processes and distinctive character of Chinese history.

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Modern Chinese history told from a Buddhist perspective restores the vibrant, creative role of religion in postimperial China. It shows how urban Buddhist elites jockeyed for cultural dominance in the early Republican era, how Buddhist intellectuals reckoned with science, and how Buddhist media contributed to modern print cultures. It...

Jan Kiely is professor of Chinese studies and associate director of the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. J. Brooks Jessup is a postdoctoral fellow in Chinese studies at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Free University of Berlin.

other books by Jan Kiely

Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 29, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231172761

ISBN - 13:9780231172769

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: Republican-Era Modernity1. Buddhist Activism, Urban Space, and Ambivalent Modernity in 1920s Shanghai, by J. Brooks Jessup2. Buddhism and the Modern Epistemic Space: Buddhist Intellectuals in the Science and Philosophy of Life Debates, by Erik J. Hammerstrom3. A Revolution of Ink: Chinese Buddhist Periodicals in the Early Republic, by Gregory Adam ScottPart II: Midcentury War and Revolution4. Resurrecting Xuanzang: The Modern Travels of a Medieval Monk, by Benjamin Brose5. Buddhist Efforts for the Reconciliation of Buddhism and Marxism in the Early Years of the People's Republic of China, by Xue Yu6. The Communist Dismantling of Temple and Monastic Buddhism in Suzhou, by Jan KielyPart III: Contemporary Social Practice7. Mapping Religious Difference: Lay Buddhist Textual Communities in the Post-Mao Period, by Gareth Fisher8. "Receiving Prayer Beads": A Lay-Buddhist Ritual Performed by Menopausal Women in Ninghua, Western Fujian, by Neky Tak-ching CheungBibliographyList of ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

This is an excellent book that deserves to be widely read. Scholars of modern Buddhism will find much of interest, of course, both substantively and theoretically. True to its ambition, the book also has much to offer scholars of modern China and it is very much to be hoped that it reaches that audience. Graduate students looking for a single book on modern Chinese Buddhism for their generals list will certainly want to choose this one not only for the breadth of its coverage but also as a sampler plate of an exciting emerging field. Certain chapters might even be assigned to advanced undergraduates in relevant classes.