Competing Transnational Buddhisms: Yu Guanbin's Contribution to Taixu's Buddha-ization Movement in 1920-30s Shanghai
Hwansoo I. Kim - Assistant Professor of Religion, Duke University
This talk concerns the work of the prominent Korean lay Buddhist and entrepreneur Yu Guanbin (1891-1933) in Shanghai during the mid-1920s and early-30s. Yu collaborated with the Chinese Buddhist reformer Taixu (1890–1947) to promote a transnational Buddhist discourse called “the Buddha-ization movement” (fohua yundong). Yu also acted as a bridge between Korean and Chinese Buddhism by undertaking the project of rebuilding an eleventh-century Korean temple, Koryŏsa, in Hangzhou. In this talk, Kim examines how Yu’s engagement in these projects is a distinctive case of modern East Asian Buddhism in which national/transnational and religious/political visions intersected and conflicted with each other.
Hwansoo Kim is an assistant professor at Duke University in the field of Korean Buddhism and culture with the departments of Religion and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 2007, followed by a post-doctoral appointment with the Harvard Reischauer Institute. He then taught Japanese religions as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. Kim’s most recent article is “ ‘The Mystery of the Century’: Lay Buddhist Monk Villages (Chaegasŭngch’on) Near Korea’s Northernmost Border, 1600s–1960s.” He is the author of Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912 (Harvard Asia Press, 2013).