Experimental Buddhism highlights the complex and often wrenching interactions between long-established religious traditions and rapid social, cultural, and economic change. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, it is one of the first studies to give readers a sense of what is happening on the front lines as a growing number of Buddhist priests try to reboot their roles and traditions to gain greater significance in Japanese society. The work's central theme of "experimental Buddhism" provides a fresh perspective to understand how priests and other individuals employ Buddhist traditions in selective and pragmatic ways. Taiwanese nuns today are highly educated and greatly outnumber monks. Both characteristics are unprecedented in the history of Chinese Buddhism and are evident in the Incense Light community (Xiangguang.) Passing the Light is the first in-depth case study of the community, which was founded in 1974 and remains a small but influential order of highly educated nuns who dedicate themselves to teaching Buddhism to lay adults. This engaging study enriches the literature on the history of Buddhist nuns, seminaries, and education, and will find an appreciative audience among scholars and students of Chinese religion, especially Buddhism, as well as those interested in questions of religion and modernity and woman and religion. Book jacket.
From Comrades to Bodhisattvas
University of Hawaii Press
Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China
Mind, Body & Spirit