On Sects and Sectarianism in Chinese and Korean Buddhism

In dealing with East Asian Buddhism, Japanese and Westem scholars are
easily exposed to Japanese Buddhist sectarianism and western Christian sectarianism.
However, from the introduction of Buddhism to the period of Wonhyo, there are no
institutionalized sects that resemble Western religious sects or Japanese Buddhist sects.

For example, the scholars of the Chinese Huayan sect, actually established by Fazang,
do not have strong sectarianism, compared to Japanese Buddhist sectarianism and
western Christian sectarianism. The “Huayan sect” refers simply to the group of
scholars who are interested in Huayan Buddhism.

The Jijang Bosal Book Club

The is the “Master” page for everything related to the “Jijang Bosal Book Club”. This reading/discussion group will meet twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesdays, starting at 7pm on March 14.

We will be reading and discussing four books related to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, known as Jijang Bosal to Korean Buddhists (and as Jizo in Japan and Dizang to Mandarin speakers).

Charles Muller on interpenetration (通達) and essence-function (體用)

Exclusive reliance on Western modes of interpretation need not in itself be harmful. But it appears as if it can be, as we can see a distinct tendency in recent works on East Asian religion, and especially East Asian Buddhism, to regard the object of study in a disparaging manner. To, for example, wrap up the texts of the entire East Asian Ch’an/Sŏn/Zen traditions as being little other than rhetorical devices, or to report on the East Asian religious traditions by concentrating on examples of how poor East Asian Buddhists supposedly were at grasping the implications of their own writings. Or, on the other hand, to suggest that now that ten percent or so of the East Asian canon has been rendered into English, it is time to stop expending our energies in the effort of translation and interpretation, and rather devote ourselves toward the investigation of living traditions. Over its first century of existence, Western scholarship on the East Asian religions has tended toward two extremes: naive acceptance (seen during earlier periods of scholarship) or a subtle, but nonetheless perceptible arrogant downlooking, in which the leading figures of the tradition are seen as being wholly preoccupied with sectarian motivations, and either hopelessly simple-minded or untrustably deceptive.

Online Classes

For each class there will be many different posts scattered about in this blog. But each class will have it’s own “Master” page, and each of those will always be listed on this page. Right now there is just the “Master” page for the current class on the Four Great Vows, as well as a page (under heavy construction) for the forthcoming class on Writing the Heart Sutra:

Four Great Vows Master Page

Writing the Heart Sutra Master Page