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 Buddhism in China: Past, Present and Future

Author: Dharma Master Jingzong

Translator: Jingfa and Foqing

Publication Date: 2018-02


Brief Introduction

Since its introduction into China two millennia ago, Buddhism has been accepted, digested, absorbed and transformed to nourish the spirit of the nation, providing sustenance to the Chinese soul. Such disciplines as philosophy, religion, culture and the arts have all been deeply influenced by Buddhism. Its impact was profound on the worldview, outlook on life, and values of the Chinese people. Indeed, Buddhism has been an inextricable part of China’s distinguished traditional culture, entwined with popular customs, lifestyles and attitudes. China also became a second homeland to Buddhism.

How can Chinese Buddhism survive and develop in the present era? This is an issue of concern not only to the Buddhist community, but to our society at large. It has great significance for the preservation of our cultural roots, promotion of national peace and happiness, and development of social harmony and stability. It even affects our interaction with a multicultural world, for the purpose of coexisting peacefully and enjoying common prosperity.

This essay attempts to analyze the current status of Chinese Buddhism and assess its prospects – how it can avoid crisis and ignite hope. The author is acutely aware of its shortcomings and only wishes to initiate a discussion.

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Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings